16 items from 2013
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.
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Directed by Terence Young
Written by Robert Carrington
Directed by Terence Young, »
Labouring under an oppressive fascist dictatorship for much of the 20th century, Spanish cinema took a while to flourish. During the dying days of General Franco’s far right government a series of interesting horror pictures, such as zombie classic The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, were produced, primarily for the English market. After the regime fell, though, a wave of young directors, including Pedro Almodovar and Bigas Luna, revelled in their newfound freedom of expression to produce films that were exuberantly brash, camp, anything goes affairs. Bad taste and boundary pushing may have been the order of the day, but it was not in service of making scary movies.
The creepy and disturbing have always had a place in Spanish cinema, though. You need only look at the eyeball slicing early collaborations between Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali to see that. A more mature Spanish film industry has returned »
- Jack Gann
The multi-talented actor from Barcelona, Spain was personally picked to play a bounty hunter named Santana by Riddick star and producer Vin Diesel, and director David Twohy. You may recognize the actor from memorable roles as the bad buy in Bad Boys II (Will Smith), Knight & Day (Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz) and Colombiana (Zoe Saldana). His breakthrough Hollywood film was with Blow starring Johnny Depp and another Spanish import, Penelope Cruz. Aside from Hollywood, the painter and author has worked with highly acclaimed Spanish directors Bigas Luna, Montxo Armendáriz, Pedro Almodóvar, Ricardo Franco and Fernando Colomo.
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The 33rd Cambridge Film Festival (Sept 19-29) has unveiled its 2013 line-up, comprising 150 titles from 40 countries.
Alongside Hawking, other special guests to the festival will include directors Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel), Roland Klick (Deadlock), Mark Levinson (Particle Fever), Julien Temple (Oil City Confidential), Ramon Zürcher (The Strange Little Cat), Małgośka Szumowska (In The Name Of), Marzin Malaszczak (Sieniawka), Matt Hulse (Dummy Jim) and Andrew Mudge (The Forgotten Kingdom), Bob Stanley, John Pearse and actress Stephanie Stremler (Dust On Our Heart).
Strands include Young Americans, aimed at showcasing »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Update: Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have named their baby girl, Luna Encinas Cruz, according to the Spanish publication, Vanitatis. Javier reportedly registered the birth of his daughter during a visit to Madrid's registrar office on July 30. The name Luna translates to mean moon in Spanish, while Encinas is Javier's first surname. The moniker could also hold special meaning for the couple since the name also belongs to their late director, Juan Jose Bigas Luna, who passed away this past April. Penelope and Javier shared a close bond with Bigas Luna, who they credit for introducing them on the set of their first collaboration, Jamon, Jamon. Penélope and Javier welcomed their second child in Madrid two weeks ago on July 22. People magazine confirmed that Penélope Cruz gave birth to a daughter, but few other details have been revealed about the latest addition to the Cruz-Bardem family. Penélope showed no signs »
- Maria Mercedes Lara
Mexico City, June 28 (Ians/Efe) The latest from Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, "Los amantes pasajeros" (I'm So Excited), will be the first offering at Mexico's Es.Cine festival of Ibero-American film, organizers said.
The film, which debuted in Spain three months ago, will have its Mexican premiere at the July 5-11 festival, which is to feature 13 pictures from Spain and Latin America.
Es.Cine will also pay homage to Spanish filmmaker Jose Juan Bigas Luna, who died in April at the age of 67, with screenings of four of his most important movies: "Las edades de Lulu", "Jamon, jamon", "Huevos de oro" and "La teta y la luna".
- Machan Kumar
Most recent film appearances, plus concert and television work Please check out our previous post: "Montiel La Violetera and Pedro Almodóvar Icon." Her last star vehicle of note was Juan Antonio Bardem's Varietés (1971), a melodrama about an aging actress who continues to dream of becoming a bona fide star. [Please scroll down to listen to Montiel's husky rendition of "Amado mío."] The forty-something hopeful eventually gets her chance at stardom, but it all turns out to be a flash in the pan. By then, following a whole array of formulaic romantic musical melodramas, Montiel's box-office allure had waned rather radically. She turned down roles in Spain's cine del destape -- post-Franco softcore comedies -- which eventually meant the demise of her movie career. Her last official star vehicle was Pedro Lazaga's comedy Cinco almohadas para una noche ("Five Cushions for One Night," 1974) -- though she would be seen in Eduardo Manzanos Brochero's That's Entertainment-like compilation feature Canciones de nuestra »
- Andre Soares
It's almost time!
Penelope Cruz, 38, was seen out and about yesterday in Madrid, Spain, casually dressed in jeans, a leather jacket and wedge sneakers. The actress is seven months pregnant with her second child from husband Javier Bardem and from the looks of it, she's been keeping her famous curves in check and has barely put on any weight.
Just this weekend, legendary Spanish filmmaker Juan Jose Bigas Luna -- who shot Cruz and Bardem to fame -- died from cancer at 67 years of age. In a heartfelt statement, the Oscar-winning actress said "When I was with him I felt time stood still. He was truly special."
"I don't know where to begin," Cruz's Oscar-winning husband added, and said he owes Bigas Luna "the woman I love," and "a career that I never dreamed I could have."
- Liat Kornowski
Penélope Cruz stepped out in Madrid, Spain, last night. The actress, who is seven months pregnant, looked stylish in a quilted leather jacket with jeans and wedge sneakers. Penélope is in her hometown after vacationing in Barbados with Javier Bardem and their son, Leo, last month. Penélope wore a bikini that showed off her baby bump on the trip, which came shortly after the news broke that she and Javier are expecting their second child. Penélope and Javier will welcome the baby this Summer, before their joint project The Counselor arrives in theaters in the Fall. That movie saw the married couple working with director Ridley Scott, but it isn't the first time Penelope and Javier made a picture together. In 1992, Penélope and Javier first met on the set of the film Jamon, Jamon. That film was Penélope's big break, and both she and Javier received the sad news over the weekend that its director, »
- Michelle Manning
Genre fans know Luna for his film Anguish, starring tiny terror Zelda Rubinstein and Michael Lerner. Luna’s extrememly meta Anguish intertwines a movie-within-a-movie. Viewers watch theatergoers watch another film called The Mommy, that features yet another film within it: the silent movie The Lost World.
In The Mommy, mother and son, John and Alice have a unique relationship that includes hypnosis and cutting out victims’ eyes. Alice can hear what John hears and control him telepathically, forcing him to do all sorts of atrocious things on a killing spree. The film preys upon viewers' public space paranoia, referencing classic genre films including Hitchcock’s The Birds and Psycho as well as Bunuel and Dali’s Un Chien Andalou.
Watch the trailer below. »
- Sara Castillo
Madrid - Acclaimed Spanish director, Josep Joan Bigas Luna, who discovered Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz and cast them opposite each other 20 years ago in Jamon, Jamon died over the weekend at age 67. Bigas Luna, who died of cancer, was recognized as having an unfailing eye for discovering fresh talent. He cast Bardem in 1990 in The Ages of Lulu, giving the future Oscar-winning actor his first break. "I don't know where to begin," Bardem said, adding that he owes Bigas Luna "the woman I love," and "a career that I never dreamed I could have.
- Pamela Rolfe
Acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Bigas Luna has died aged 67. The Catalan director had been battling leukemia.Like his peer Pedro Almodóvar, Luna was a key voice in the new wave of Spanish filmmaking that emerged under the shadow of General Franco's repressive regime. He started out as a student of conceptual art and design, taking an early interest in visual technologies that would play into a lifelong passion for painting and photography. Luna's filmmaking career began with low-budget flick Bilbao in 1978, a typically unrestrained, psychosexual drama, before 1981's Reborn - his only English-language film - pitched Dennis Hopper, a phony televangelist, into a relationship with a real faith healer. Anguish (1987) saw Luna turn out a Lynchian horror set in a movie theatre that would go on to achieve cult status.Arguably, his purple patch stretched across a loose trilogy that began with 1981's Jamón, Jamón. That was followed by Golden Balls and, »
Spanish film director whose 'Iberian passion' trilogy began with Jamon Jamon
For 39 years, under General Francisco Franco's repressive regime, it was almost impossible for Spain to create a vibrant film industry and for talented film-makers to express themselves freely. However, after the death of the Generalissimo in 1975, there was a burst of creativity, with Pedro Almodóvar paving the way for directors such as Bigas Luna, who has died of cancer aged 67.
After some years as a conceptual artist who experimented with new audio-visual media, Luna became known internationally for his "Iberian passion" feature film trilogy: Jamon Jamon (1992), Golden Balls (1993) and The Tit and the Moon (1994), which explored the darkest depths of eroticism and stereotypical Spanish machismo. The first film introduced Penélope Cruz to audiences and launched Javier Bardem as the embodiment of the Spanish stud. "I owe my career to Bigas Luna," Bardem said in 2001.
In the trilogy, Luna, »
- Ronald Bergan
Madrid — Spaniard Josep Joan Bigas Luna was lauded as a brilliant and "truly special" filmmaker a day after his death, with some of the highest praise coming from actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, two stars whose film careers he launched.
Bigas Luna, 67, died Saturday in northeast Spain after a long battle with cancer.
The filmmaker was regarded as having had an excellent eye for spotting talent and a knack for stimulating on-screen chemistry between actors. His 1992 film "Jamon, Jamon" received unanimous praise as "a classic" in the Spanish press on Sunday,
The director discovered Cruz and Bardem, who married in 2010, as well as a giving early boosts to a host of other now well-known film muses, including Leonor Watling, Angela Molina, Francesca Neri and Valeria Marini.
Many of the roles in his films were explosively steamy, even erotic. Yet they often explored with great insight aspects of modern Spain's quirkiness. »
It was typical of Bigas Luna, a larger-than-life bon vivant who soon became a one-man-brand, that when Spain followed up the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco with a splurge of tits-and-bums quickies, Bigas Luna’s second feature, 1978’s “Bilbao,” rolled off the new sexual liberties to portray a hen-pecked husband who kidnaps a prostitute to slake his sexual frustrations, hanging her from his ceiling like a religious martyr.
“Bilbao” initiated Bigas Luna’s long-term exploration of sexual and emotional inadequacy, set in the context of social repression. This inspired the 1990’s sexual awakening drama “The Ages of Lulu,” whose S & M orgy was cut by the British Board of Film Classification.
These obsessions also lends weight, however, to Bigas Luna’s finest film achievement, »
- John Hopewell
The Spanish director died at home in Riera de Gaia in the north-east of the country today, after a long battle with cancer, Spanish state broadcaster Rtve reported.
Luna, whose directing career began in 1976 with Tattoo, launched the careers of celebrity couple Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in his 1992 movie Jamon, Jamon, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and Jury Award at San Sebastian Film Festival.
Known for his erotically charged films, his Iberian Trilogy, which began with Jamon Jamon, also included Golden Balls and The Tit And The Moon. His film Second Origin was in pre-production a the time of his death. »
- Amber Wilkinson
16 items from 2013
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