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8/10
Best Spanish surreal comedy since Calabuch
29 May 2006
Well, this is certainly one of those movies that seize your attention from minute one and keep you there all through the show. It's in the best tradition of Spanish surreal humor (like Luis Garcia Berlanga's "Calabuch") but, unlike that one, is far more caustic with 80's Spanish reality and social elements. In fact, what is said about 80's Spain could also be a good description of many other societies of those years but, obviously, you would have to change the village priest or the Civil Guard or the Mayor (which, in one of the most far-fetched, yet brilliant utterances in the movie, is claimed to be "necessary, while we villains are contingent" - take a look at a dictionary to get that one) for equivalent figures in your own society. On the other hand, some of the characters in the movie are definitely peculiar and purposely surrealistic. For instance, the Argentinean guy who claim to be a writer but, each time he starts writing a new book it turns out to be a plagiarized copy of some Faulkner or Chekhov work. The Belgian group of tourists that visit the village with the very curious but determined purpose of hearing the Priest while celebrating mess because the man is so very skillful and wonderful in elevating the holy host towards the heavens. The public meeting ordered by the Mayor in front of the city hall in order to remember "what everybody was doing on June 24, 1947" and have a little flashback experience (obviously, the Belgian group disappears immediately since they weren't at the village a that time). Some others are pretty down-to-earth and perfectly recognizable, like the hackneyed bunch of American university youngsters with their sans-souci attitude and naive approach to everything that happens in the village. To cut a rather long story short, this movie is a whole new cinematic experience and in the good sense too. Highly recommendable.
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La hora chanante (2002–2006)
7/10
Best doggone TV show in current Spanish TV
29 May 2006
Hard to talk about, just have a peep and enjoy. Real fluency in Spanish required. Don't put your brain off while watching the show or you'll miss the best part of it. Caution: extremely ironic, mordant, and undoubtedly caustic. It just looks simple-minded, but make no mistake: you'll laugh a lot, but you'll smile most of the time. But don't worry, you don't have to look smart, just enjoy it. Unfortunately, if you want to watch it you'll have to pay, it's only aired thru paying channels. But, what the hell, it's more than worth it. You have yokel-talk, hot air and nonsense but its absurdity is utterly delicious, because it's there to make you think and, above all, to allow you to laugh at yourself and get a kick out of it. Cleansing, no doubt.
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