13 items from 2012
★★★★☆ Icíar Bollaín's 2010 film-within-a-film Even the Rain is a political drama set during the Bolivian Water Wars of 2000. A labour of love, by screenwriter Paul Laverty's own admission, having been ten years in the making, Laverty's own script went through several re-writes until the film went into production. It was entrusted not to director Ken Loach, but Bollaín, whom Laverty met whilst filming Loach's Land and Freedom (1995).
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- CineVue UK
The personal and the political are perfectly balanced and blended in Even the Rain (2010, Dogwoof, 15), a thematically rich and visually impressive drama that was one of the standout treats of this year's Viva! Spanish and Latin American film festival in Manchester.
Directed by Icíar Bollaín and scripted by regular Ken Loach collaborator Paul Laverty, this follows the (mis)fortunes of a film crew arriving in Bolivia, where they plan to shoot an anti-imperialist drama about Columbus's exploitation of the New World. Gael García Bernal and Luis Tosar are the idealistic director and budget-conscious producer who run into conflicts of interest when the locals, whom they are paying a pittance to appear as extras, become involved in an increasingly bitter uprising against the privatisation of water. Should the historical message of the movie take precedence over the contemporary »
- Mark Kermode
When James Cameron took a step on to technological terra incognito in 2009 with Avatar, he leaned on an old fascination for his storyline: indigenous peoples. That moment where hard eyes met uncomprehending ones, and see themselves reflected back, has still got it. It's in the nature of cameras to be pointed at the unknown, or at least point to where the unknown once was. No surprises then that cinema – from King Kong to Nanook of the North, classic westerns to mondo, Malick arthouse to Cameron powerhouse – has long been drawn to those threshold encounters where nothing is the same again.
The idea of a place's original inhabitants is a powerful one in uncertain times when countries and cultures look to fix a sense of their own identity, and the shifting »
- Phil Hoad
There's a thesis to be written about water in the cinema. Key texts would include Bad Day at Black Rock, Once Upon a Time in the West, Jean de Florette/ Manon des sources, and Chinatown. To these can be added Even the Rain and The Source, European-financed movies about impoverished citizens in respectively Bolivia and north Africa battling with the authorities over the provision of water to their communities. The better of the two is the gripping Even the Rain, scripted by Ken Loach's regular screenwriter Paul Laverty and directed by the Spanish actress Icíar Bollaín, author of a book about working with Loach. Intertwined are a real-life story of a battle to prevent the privatisation of water in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba in 2000 and the fictional production in the neighbourhood of a feature film about Christopher Columbus and his legacy. The makers of the movie-within-the-movie are themselves »
- Philip French
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What better way to remind us of some recent international history than assemble a brilliantly-acted, emotionally engaging testament to it? The release of Icíar Bollaín’s Even the Rain is timely not because it dredges up memories of the 2000 Cochabamba water protests in Bolivia, but because the dogged issue of utility privatisation is just now arising once again in the country. Bolivian President Evo Morales’ controversial nationalisation of a subsidiary power company has re-opened the 2000 discourse, and the serendipitous arrival of Bollain’s film consequently provides plenty of food for thought.
Lusi Tosar, who impressed as a vicious prison inmate in Cell 211, plays fastidious film producer Costa, travelling to Bolivia with his young, idealistic director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) to shoot a contentious picture about Christopher Columbus’ conquest. While recruiting local extras for their film, they become embroiled in the ongoing water conflict between the citizens and the state, »
- Shaun Munro
The Dictator (15)
Having run out of unsuspecting Americans to prank, Sacha Baron Cohen takes the conventional fish-out-of-water route this time, as his Arab tyrant comes to terms with western democracy. But if the story plays it safe, the comedy treads a risky line between lampooning Islamophobia and fuelling it. The high gag rate, animated performance and general broad-spectrum offensiveness help him get away with murder, and worse.
The Raid (18)
Throwing more punches than every other movie this year combined, this single-minded Indonesian martial arts epic doesn't let up until everyone in its baddy-infested apartment block, and the auditorium, is pummelled into submission. Pacifists, look away now.
2 Days In New York (15)
Welcome return for Delpy's chaotic, »
- Steve Rose
This smart fable stars Gael García Bernal as a heartthrob Herzog whose film crew starts to perpetuate the exploitation they hope to denounce
With Ken Loach's The Angels' Share bound for Cannes, here's a timely reminder of the film-maker's considerable influence. Regular Loach screenwriter Paul Laverty and director Icíar Bollaín (who acted in Land and Freedom) have constructed a smart, socially aware fable about a Spanish film crew – headed by Gael García Bernal as a kind of heartthrob Herzog – who arrive in Bolivia to shoot an epic about Columbus's entry into the New World, only to start blindly perpetuating the exploitation their own project seeks to denounce. As production gradually unravels amid protests over the privatisation of the region's water supply, some tense, pointed action ensues. Bollaín cranes her camera to highlight the real-world injustices developing beyond the on-location ego trips. There are striking performances from Luis Tosar as »
★★☆☆☆ For her latest project Even the Rain (2010), Spanish actress and director Icíar Bollaín has chosen to tackle the rather thorny issue of colonialism. Colonial guilt is certainly subject matter that British audiences can relate to, and it's a topic that requires a sensitive and intelligent hand. Bollaín's attempt is undeniably ambitious, opting not to tell the story in a historical framework but through a film production exploring Columbus' time in the Caribbean in the 1500s.
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Dogwoof have given us this brand new and exclusive clip for their new movie, Even the Rain which hits UK cinemas this Friday 18th May. It’s directed by Icíar Bollaín, written by Paul Laverty and stars Luis Tosar, Gael García Bernal, Juan Carlos Aduviri and Karra Elejalde. Below the clip, I’ve also placed the trailer which gives you more of an idea of the story of the movie and the look and feel. I actually got to spend a month just outside Cochabamba in Bolivia (where the movie is shot) back in 2002 while working at an orphanage so am very much looking forward to watching the movie to see this beautiful country captured on film (other than seeing it on the Top Gear special!).
Obsessive idealist Sebastián has sworn to direct a film about one of the world’s most iconic figures, Christopher Columbus. He is determined to »
- David Sztypuljak
(Our review from the Berlin Film Festival re-posted as Even The Rain is finally released in UK cinemas this weekend).
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Tambian la Iluvia (Even the Rain) may be directed by the Goya-winning Iciar Bollain, but it is really a passion project for its writer Paul Laverty, whose fascination with Latin American history has shaped much of his work – which notably includes Ken Loach’s Carla’s Song. Laverty and star Luis Tosar were on hand to introduce the film as it screened in the Panorama section here and presented something quite self-consciously polemical in its approach as (like Alex Cox’s superior Walker) it likens events in recent history to those of the colonial past, with emphasis on the exploitation of local people in the pursuit of resources and wealth.
Tosar plays Costa, a movie producer who has moved production of a Christopher Columbus epic to »
- Robert Beames
Elena Anaya, Antonio Banderas, The Skin I Live In No Rest For The Wicked Tops, Pedro Almodóvar Empty-Handed: Goyas 2012 Winners Best Film La Piel que habito / The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar * No habrá paz para los malvados / No Rest for the Wicked, Enrique Urbizu La Voz dormida / The Sleeping Voice, Benito Zambrano Blackthorn. Sin destino / Blackthorn, Mateo Gil Best Foreign Film in the Spanish Language Boleto al paraíso (Cuba), Gerardo Chijona Miss Bala (Mexico), Gerardo Naranjo * Un cuento chino / Chinese Take-Away (Argentina), Sebastián Borensztein Violeta se fue a los cielos (Chile), Andrés Wood Best European Film Jane Eyre (United Kingdom), Cary Fukunaga Melancholia (Germany / Denmark / France), Lars von Trier * The Artist (France), Michel Hazanavicius Carnage (France), Roman Polanski Best Director Pedro Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In Benito Zambrano, The Sleeping Voice * Enrique Urbizu, No Rest for the Wicked Mateo Gil, Blackthorn Best New Director Paula Ortiz, De tu ventana a la mía »
- Steve Montgomery
Gael García Bernal is keeping himself busy. According to Variety, García Bernal is attached to star in the futuristic Zorro reboot Zorro Reborn for 20th Century Fox. He's also to be featured opposite Will Ferrell and Diego Luna in Matt Piedmont's comedy Casa de mi Padre, and in Nicole Kassell's A Little Bit of Heaven, with Kate Hudson and Peter Dinklage. And that's not all: García Bernal is reportedly planning on making a documentary about immigration, and is attached to star as Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran in Jonathan Jakubowicz's Hands of Stone, opposite Al Pacino and Ryan Kwanten. Now, Variety explains that Zorro Reborn will be quite different from the Zorro of Tyrone Power, Frank Langella, Antonio Banderas, or Guy Williams. (Or George Hamilton, for that matter.) For starters, Zorro Reborn will not be set in Old California, then a part of Mexico. Nor will Zorro be a light-hearted sword fighter. »
- Zac Gille
The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) and the other nominations for the 2012 Goya Awards (Premios Goyas) have been announced. The 26th Annual Goya Awards (Premios Goyas), presented by the Academia de las Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas de España (Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences), is “Spain’s main national film awards, considered by many in Spain, and internationally, to be the Spanish equivalent of the American Academy Awards.” The awards will be handed out on February 19, 2012 in Madrid, Spain.
The full listing of the 2012 Goya Awards (Premios Goyas) nominations is below.
13 items from 2012
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