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Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
Corren los años 40. Una modesta compañía de cineastas españoles abandona la España de Franco trasladándose a la Alemania de Hitler, para realizar una película coproducida entre ambos países. Se trata de un musical de ritmos andaluces protagonizado por la actriz Macarena Granada y dirigido por Blas Fontiveros. El contraste de ideologías entre españoles y alemanes es bastante marcado, y ello no tarda en hacerse notar... Written by
Miguel Ángel Díaz González
OK, I've never been a great fan of Penelope Cruz, but I was going to take my Spanish exams two weeks before I watched this film and I thought it would be good practice. I was pleasantly surprised! The movie takes place in 1938 and shows the story of a Spanish film crew, one that is funded by Franco, which is invited by Goebels to Germany to make a Spanish and a German version of the film "La Nina De Tus Ojos" (freely translated into something like "The Girl Of Your Dreams"). And when they arrive at the studios of UFA, the mayhem begins! First of all, I would like to note that this is a great production. It's obvious that plenty of money were thrown into it, a thing that is obvious in some scenes. There are some scenes that are very funny and some characters in general make you laugh from the moment they appear on screen. Personally I will never forget that dog in the beginning! You will know when you'll see it.
Trueba's directing is very good. Although I had heard his name before, I hadn't had the chance to watch some other movie of his before this one. I will try to in the future. He managed to keep the whole thing running, never making the viewer get bored at a single moment. And well, at those moments when the plot had started getting a bit slow, he threw in Penelope Cruz's breasts! What I didn't like was the political statements this movie tried to make. They seemed completely out of place and most of them were childish. First of all, all those arguments about the Jews that Cruz's character made hardly had anything to do with what was going on at the moment and they seemed as if they were forced. In fact, I can't understand why the Jewish character was there. He is the only one among the gypsies that were brought to the studio, or at least they don't show us any more. But the Germans didn't place Jews and gypsies in the same concentration camps! Anyway... Some times it just felt as if the producers hoped that they could sell this film to Hollywood (I hope you understand the connection). And of course the way they portrayed Goebels was way too cartoonish. Of course I know this is a comedy and Goebels had indeed some very ridiculous things going on about him and, yes, he did sleep with many actresses but well, they show him way too silly most of the times...
But if you set aside the moments where the story tries to make itself look really serious, this is a good and very enjoyable film. In fact, sometimes you will be surprised by the skill Trueba shows here. Spanish cinema has been giving us many gems in the last few years and I hope it will continue this way!
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