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Silencio en la nieve (2011)
Excellent Spanish war-time murder mystery in the Russian front
The discovery of dead horses and a Spanish soldier's corpse under a frozen lake in the Russian front(with their heads visible over the ice, like in Guy Maddin's "My Winnipeg") triggers an investigation lead by a former Spanish police inspector, now serving in the German army.
"Silencio en la nieve" tells a fictional story based on a real scenario: the presence of Spanish citizens in the German army during the WWII under the name "División azul". Albeit most of this soldiers were of extremely right-wing ideals, others were adventure junkies or even left-winged persons sent to the Russian front in order to help their politically imprisoned relatives.
Curiously there are only brief hints about that in Gerardo Herrero's excellent movie, which doesn't judge or excuse the character's ideals. This is practically an untold story in the annals of Spanish film history (nobody wants to film the exploits of military men who sided with Hitler), but we will have to wait for a war film about this subject (Spanish movie industry has no money for that, Gerardo Herrero dixit), because "Silencio en la nieve" is a murder mystery, and a well crafted one. The acting is superb, specially Carmelo Gómez. On a technical level, some of the special effects needed more budget (a couple of explosions seemed very CGI to me), but these problems are usual in Spanish cinema, and they are approached professionally here.
Eventually, viewers should consider "Silencio en la nieve" for what it is: well done, although not original, thriller yarn, using a fresh and never seen background. Highly recommended!
All the time complaining about the lack of commercial movies in the Spanish industry, and when a nice effort comes trough, everybody is bashing it!! Now, it's true that the movie has his share of flaws: The story feels disjointed, but in the second part it takes more time to develop it; There's a well known actress playing a man ( which is something obvious). But the main reasons of complain seem to be two: The action sequences: The intention of the filmmakers was to make them look raw and cruel, not stylish and hollywoodesque. This is not Kill Bill, or Lord of the rings. The story takes place in a real time in history, and i'm sure that the sword-fighting wasn't like in the middle earth.
And Viggo: I think he's great in the role. Yes, the voice, the pronunciation of the "s", is strange. But the stance, the expression, the looks, and the physical work in general is pure gold.
Final conclusion: This isn't a great movie, but a good and solid commercial one, a movie that needed to be made ( and to be watched and discussed). A movie that, finally, we Spanish people need to support. Don't let the envy blinds you, and take out your own impressions.
Mistake with Ramon Barco
That is not a commentary about any film but an author. In your database you have a mistake related to the authority of a documentary film directed by the Spanish Javier Aguirre. That film is a vanguard film where music and colors have the main role. The film is mainly a musical composition , composed originally for the film by Ramon Barce. So, for this reason, I want to send you this mail. Espectro suite is not a documentary written by Ramon Barco, but Ramon Barce (Madrid,1928). He is one of the best composers in Spain and that film was the only one in his career. I'm working in this film for a International Congress, and if you need more information please send us.
Another great polar from Audiard
Theory says that a good movie should be understood even if you don't know the language in which it's spoken. Well, my notions of french are so-so, but I followed pretty well the plot of the movie, thanks to the great performances and visceral emotions described in it. I'll try to propose watching the movie in my french class. I can only hope that Audiard movies grew bigger and bigger in ambition and craftsmanship, in a time where good crime movies are barely seen in and out Hollywood. Great film, and great title. I'll never grow tired of recite it (in french, of course). Now i'll try to see "Fingers", the James Toback film in which "De battre mon coeur s'est arreté" is based.
The "Men behind the sun" of porn movies
Yes, i'm the first reviewing this movie, a movie that will test your courage and guts like anything you may have seen before. The story is the typical porn excuse: a visit of the electricist and a porn casting. The "actors" are two dudes full of drugs, at least one of them, and possibly the bravest people you can find out there. But the one who steals the show and your appetite for life is Carmen de Mairena, a cross between Marujita Diaz and the same Marujita after 13 rounds with Lennox Lewis, a travesty that will change your perception of sex and girls. Since i have seen this movie, i like every girl with no exceptions: it doesn't matter how ugly and ill they are... at least they are not Carmen de Mairena.
Final conclusion: If you have trouble with your amorous life because your levels of exigence, watch this movie. Better than going to the psychiatry, believe me.
Dare mo shiranai (2004)
Living in the adult's world
"Nobody knows" deals with several interesting subjects, being the obvious parental responsibility (or lack of), isolation in general, the incapability of thinking on other human beings necessities... But what I liked (or disliked) most was the idea of children being not children. Kids live irresponsible lives by nature, filling their lives with toys, games, sports, etc. In "Nobody knows" Akira try to taste the glimpses of a normal life (having friends, playing baseball, arcades), but he can't, because he's got to carry with the responsibilities of an adult. Some call this film "slow", but only settles the appropriate mood for the story's sake. This is not a fast paced movie, but the time in it goes very fast (the shooting lasted one whole year, and you can notice that in the characters). There aren't easy answers in "Nobody knows", like in the best social cinema. And Koreeda's film falls completely in that category.
...between "2046" and "In the mood for love" is a lot of time. There was high expectation on this film, and it was considered a letdown to many because his similarity with the latter. I consider "2046" a good film, but the impression would have been much better if it had been released a year after "In the mood...". "Chungking express" and "Fallen angels" have strong points in common, but they were made practically one after the other. But four years... well, probably Mr Wai had good reasons to delay the shooting and the editing (i heard that there were changes on the story and tone of the movie).
Anyway, this is an excellent film for everyone, specially if you have lived experiences like the ones portrayed in it.