Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, ... See full summary »
Olatz López Garmendia
Life story of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. Film explores Ramón's relationships with two women: Julia, a lawyer who supports his cause, and Rosa, a local woman who wants to convince him that life is worth living. Through the gift of his love, these two women are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wish to die, Ramón taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value and preciousness of life. Though he could not move himself, he had an uncanny ability to move others. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Selected by the Spanish Cinematographic Academy to represent Spain in the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 2004 Oscars. See more »
Relax. You're feeling calmer and calmer. Now imagine a movie screen, opening before you. On it, imagine your favorite place. Concentrate on your breathing, allowing your whole body to relax, to feel at peace. Keep it going. Just let it come and go... come and go... Now you are there. Notice the details: the colors, the textures, the light, the temperature. Feel the temperature. Let this tranquil scene unfold before you. The sensation of peace is infinite.
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Almodovar has always single handed the flag for Spanish cinema for years now, out of nowhere came Amenabar reinventing genres and injecting some new blood to the otherwise malfunctioning Spanish industry, now in a big gamble he switches from psychological terror to social drama, well the big ones would be, are audiences ready to embrace the swing and more important can he hold the flag? This is the story of Ramon Sampedro, a sailor that in his twenties was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident at the sea and his fight with the Spanish government for the right to end his life. The story has the traces of an afternoon made for TV melodrama and the only way this is going to work is through words and honest performances and they both come in spades. Mateo Gil and Amenabar co-write in a way where the audience is not meant to be lead blind to a death end but they are encouraged to make up their own minds in the process and that is a brilliant stroke, this is not a movie pro death but a movie in favour of the ultimate illusions of our time LIBERTY. There is a few laughs spare a long the way, like when the church comes home in a wheel chair to deconstruct Sampedro beliefs but is mostly a valley of tears through out, punches coming from all fronts even when you think you are safe his father that to that point didn't make any sense comes up with the most moving line of the entire movie. It is a heartbreaking experience specially when Sampedro seems more full of life than most the people wandering the streets and everyone around him tries to convince him of the wonders of life even those who are helping him to die but when you strip a man of his dreams The film is almost exclusively built on close ups bringing a claustrophobic feeling that makes the audience more sympathetic with Sampedro. That's for the actors a huge challenge that must construct their whole performances with their eyes and the eyes don't lie. Bardem was not granted his second Oscar nomination, probably in favour of Eastwood, but in my opinion he was the only one who could have shadowed Jammie Fox. This role reminds me of the great Gregory Peck in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD where the acting looked effortless and I reckon Bardem has reached that status where the line of what is acting and what is real has become completely blur. I was never fond of his early work but since Almodovar's LIVE FLESH he is on a roll, LOS LUNES AL SOL, THE DANCER UPSTAIRS and the Oscar nominated BEFORE THE NIGHT FALLS made him an international star and although he and Banderas come from the same Almodovar background is fascinating to see how different paths they took and how Bardem has now become a real reference for Spanish cinema in the whole world. A golden globe, 14 Goyas, jury prize at Venice and probably an Oscar with permission from THE CHORUS BOYS, Amenabar directs, co-write, edits and puts music to a high caliber drama, he has pull it off what about some Science Fiction now? Whose life is it anyway?****.
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