How much do you know about the Spanish cinema?

During the 70s and 80s, the Spanish cinema wasn’t that good, because there were no good ideas neither good directors, and the techniques were quite poor (except for the social satire of Luis García Berlanga, and the art-film of Víctor Erice).

An exceptional figure contributed to change this panorama: we are talking, of course, about Pedro Almodóvar. He is an independent director who caused quite a stir when he released his gay-drama La ley del deseo (Law of Desire, 1987, with a very young Antonio Banderas), and won the Oscar for the best foreigner movie the year after with his Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown): this delirious comedy talks about four women taken to the extreme of madness for wanting the wrong man.

Almodóvar reached the fame worldwide thanks to movies like ¡Átame! (Tie me up! Tie me Dow!, 1989), Tacones lejanos (High Heels, 1991), La flor de mi secreto (The Flower of my secret, 1995).

The style marks of Almodóvar are his melodramatic arguments and his way to direct women in his movies, that’s way being a “Chica Almodóvar” for the Spanish actresses was like being a Bond girl for the British ones. The most famous chicas Almodóvar has been Victoria Abril and Penélope Cruz.

His more recent cinema distanced from his comic and extreme style, which made him famous, and reveals more intimate and autobiographic aspects.

Movies like La mala educación (Bad Educacion, 2004) or Volver (Return, 2006) explore moral ambiguities and evoke nostalgically the youth lost wishes. Other well known worldwide recognized as masterpieces movies of the director are Todo sobre mi madre (All about my mother, 1999), Hable con ella (Talk to her, 2002), and the most recent Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken embraces, 2009), and La piel que habito (The skin I live in, 2011).

spanish cinema

Let’s discover other popular film directors!

Another important Spanish director is Luis Buñuel, who had to leave Spain because of the Franco Regime, and worked abroad in Mexico and France. He is usually associated with the surrealist movement, and is known for his experimental movies.

His most renown and awarded films are: Los olvidados (The forgotten, 1950), Belle de jour (1967), Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (The discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, 1972), and Cet obscure objet du désir (The obscure object of the desire, 1977).

Other Spanish Oscar Prize awarded are Fernando Trueba, with his Belle Epoque (1992) and Alejandro Amenábar with Mar adentro (2004).

Almodóvar has always refused to work for the Hollywood productions, but other Spanish directors didn’t: this way, Amenábar directed many famous movies, such as The others (2001).

Alejandro González Iñarritu, a mexican director, became famous in the US and worldwide thanks to movies like 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010) and the last lucky Birdman, who won the Prize for Best Movie, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay in the last Oscar of 2015.

Well, there’s a long list of movies here! Are you brave enough to try to watch them in original language?

Francisca Ferreras