Sunday, February 17, 2013

Film Club: Goyas 2013

Tonight is the Goyas, Spain's foremost film awards ceremony. Given that we love foreign language films, we thought we'd take you through a few of the must-see Spanish language nominees from across the globe as well as a look at the nominees for Best European Film.

Best Spanish Language Foreign Film

The Goya Award is a small bronze bust of
Spanish painter Francisco de Goya, seen above.
7 Boxes (7 Cajas) - Paraguay

This Paraguayan film about a driver who receives a mysterious job offer to transport 7 boxes with unknown contents across a market has received positive reviews. Paraguay has a very small film industry, so its great success in the country as well as South America and the rest of the world has been quite exciting for Paraguayans.

After Lucia (Después de Lucía- Mexico

Having already won the Un Certain Regard accolade at the Cannes Film Festival, the Mexican film After Lucia was also put forward as Mexico's entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar but has not made the shortlist.

The film looks at the relationship between a father and daughter as they move to Mexico City following the loss of the girl's mother. The girl, Alejandra, is subsequently bullied in her new school.

Clandestine Childhood (Infancia clandestina) - Argentina

This Argentine drama follows the story of a married couple in the Montonerosa leftist urban guerilla group. It is told from the perspective of their son as they take part in Argentina's Dirty War.

Clandestine Childhood was also entered for the Oscars but failed to make the shortlist.

Juan of the Dead (Juan de los Muertos) - Cuba

Not to be confused with the British zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, Juan of the Dead is the tale of an entrepreneurial loser who sets up his own zombie killing business after a breakout of the living dead in Cuba.

Best European Film

Orcas are beautiful, but they are
called killer whales for a reason.
Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os) - France, Belgium

As you would have seen when we covered the BAFTAs, Rust and Bone is the story of a Belgian man who gains custody of his relatively unfamiliar son and moves to France, where he falls in love with a killer whale trainer who ends up having an accident at work.

In the House (Dans la Maison) - France

In the House is based on the Spanish play The Boy in the Last Row. It tells the story of a teenager who charms his way into the house of a classmate and writes about his experiences for school assignments. His teacher rediscovers his love of his work due to the boy's talent, not knowing that the intriguing yet troubling stories are of real events.

Untouchable (Intouchables) - France

Despite our recommendation, Untouchable did not win the foreign language category in the BAFTAs. The film retells the story of an unlikely friendship between a rich, paralysed white man and an unemployed black man who becomes his caregiver.

Shame - United Kingdom

It's always interesting to consider an English language film as a "foreign" film and even more interesting given the controversial subject matter of Shame. The film covers the life of a sex addict and is packed full of explicit sexual scenes, drug use and other things you wouldn't want to watch with your mother.

The film has received many accolades and we expect it will do better outside of the UK, in places with a less prudish attitude towards sex and pornography.

With awards season in full swing, the Césars in France and the Academy Awards are in exactly one week's time. We'll be keeping a close eye on all the winners and respectful losers in the world of cinema.