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Spring Weekend 2019 – London Spanish Film Festival
12 Apr - 14 Apr|
The London Spanish Film Festival is bringing the 9th edition of the Spring Weekend, an annual date to show what’s been going on on Spanish screens this past year. With a total of 9 titles, the screenings will include both critically acclaimed TV shows as well new films never seen before in the UK.
Friday 12th April
- Ana by Day (Ana de día)
110 min | cert. 15 | In Spanish with English subtitles
Ana is a young woman unsatisfied with her life. She feels alienated, out of place, and her state of confusion only increases when she discovers that another woman, identical to her, has taken her place in the family and then in all aspects of life. Stripped from her family, social and work obligations, Ana feels liberated and leaves, ending up in a guests house and a nightclub full of colourful and strange characters. Andrea Jaurrieta is a graduate from Barcelona’s ESCAC and in this her first feature film, she explores identity and the limits of freedom, enabling García Jonsson an inspiring and nuanced performance.
Followed by a Q&A with actress Ingrid García Jonsson
115 min | PG | In Spanish with English subtitles | Special screening courtesy of Modern Films
Based on a screenplay by Bollaín’s long-time partner Paul Laverty and on Carlos Acosta’s autobiographical No Way Home, the film takes us to Cuba and the struggles of a poor family, revealing the harshness with which a man tries to get his son out of the streets and into the right path by exploiting his outstanding talent for dance. Bollaín brings us again a thoughtful and delicate work, this time coupled with the vibrancy of the dance scenes and the moving and heartfelt interventions of Acosta himself.
Saturday 13th April
- Arde Madrid
TV series | cert. 15 | In Spanish with English subitles | UK premiere
Madrid, 1961. Ava Gardner is living a dissolute life of parties and Franco’s authorities are determined to keep a close eye on what she does and to uncover any possible communist activity. To investigate this matter, the secret services infiltrate a loyal and trustworthy instructor from the Female Services, Ana Mari, as a maid in the American actress’s home as well as, under the appearance of her husband, Manolo, a shameless opportunist who will act as driver. The naughty Manolo will try to take advantage of his position in the household to earn some extra money, while Ana Mari, spinster and lame, will observe with rigour the continuous mundane and often wild parties in the house and stoping at the same time Manolo’s advances.
Through the eyes of Ana Mari and Manolo, we’ll see Gardner’s impudence and the world of Madrid’s elite in the early 60s, which aesthetics are inhanced by the use of black and white. All this. with the joyous sense of humour and with great doses of music, sex, gypsies and whisky, all the while paying homage to femaile strength and dignity.
The screening of the series will be divided in two sessions, preceded by a Q&A with Paco León and Anna Costa
Sunday April 14th
- The Silence of Others (El Silencio de los Otros)
96 min | doc | PG | In Spanish with English subtitles
Filmed over six years, this documentary follows the struggles of familiars of victims of the Franco regime in Spain as they organise the ground breaking Argentine Lawsuit. They are fighting at the same time against the agreement to “forget” that came with democracy and its amnesia of crimes against humanity. The tragic cases of men and women killed and buried in hidden mass graves, those of newborns being taken away from their mothers for a state-run eugenics program and the impact on the lives of their families are unveiled in a well-crafted and informative film that enables us to see how the country is still divided forty years into democracy. The film has been produced by the Almodóvar brothers.
- Formentera Lady
85 min | PG | In Spanish and Catalan with English subtitles | UK premiere
Formentera has been for decades a hippie refuge and it is here that Samuel lives. An ageing man, he has been trying to avoid responsibilities and commitments and making a precarious living off his banjo playing, smoking and drinking too much. One day his daughter arrives by surprise with her son and with the intention of leaving the ten year old child with Samuel while she goes to France to try a new job. Sacristán delivers, as usual, a superb performance as a battered man who realises his failures in life. This is the début feature film of Pau Durà, a well established actor, who had previously directed a number of shorts. The film, which shares the title with a song by King Crimson, benefits from a beautiful as well as realistic photography.
- The Distances (Les Distàncies)
99 min | PG | In Catalan, Spanish, English and German with English subtitles | UK premiere
Four friends travel from Barcelona to Berlin to pay a surprise visit to their old university days friend, Comas, who lives now in the city and is about to turn thirty five. When he doesn’t welcome them as expected, a chain of events and comments start to make evident that every one of them has something to hide and thus their friendship is put to the test. A graduate from Barcelona’s ESCAC, Elena Trapé brings in her second feature film, and with superb finesse, the vain longing for better and happier past times capturing, with the help of cinematographer Julián Elizalde, the pale and cold light of Berlin’s winter as well as the Spaniards’s feelings of disorientation.
- Get Her… If You Can (¿Qué te juegas?)
90 min | PG | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
Roberto and Daniela are siblings and shareholders in the family business, which makes them extremeley wealthy. While Daniela is committed to her executive role in the company and ruthless with everyone, Roberto seems to be completely irresponsible and a viveur. When Daniela tries to stop the development of a turbine Roberto has designed, he starts a plot to win this fight with his sister and here is where things, involving a rebelious bar comedian, start to get complicated. A hilarious and lighthearted comedy about love, preconceptions and missunderstandings.
- The Realm (El Reino)
132 min | cert. 15 | In Spanish with English subtitles | Special preview courtesy of Signature Entertainment
Manuel López Vidal, played by Antonio de la Torre, is a beloved politician in his region: he’s charismatic, enjoys a good social position, has a loving family and friends everywhere. In a political system in which corruption is the norm, when he tries to cover up his associate, his Party turns against him and he turns against them to take revenge. After May God Save Us, Sorogoyen and de la Torre team up again to bring us a tense and fast-paced thriller full of intrigue and corruption, a sad portrayal of Spanish politics and its corruption cases as well as that of a loving husband and father that is at the same time unscrupulous and manipulative in his determination to hold on to power.
For more information, visit the London Spanish Film Festival Website.