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New discovery of Recent Spanish Cinema XVI in Hollywood

By Ron Gilbert
I must applaud Christopher Columbus who was commissioned by the Spanish Crown of Queen Isabella and discovered America in 1492. .Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo officially set foot in California is 1542 and for over 400 years we have had the pleasure of the influence of Spain. In the current film program of Recent Spanish Cinema XVI at the historic Egyptian Theatre Hollywood which is the home of the American Cinematheque we are again exploring the filmmaker talent from Spain
We are traveling through hundreds of years of history in these films and wind up at the present day in October 2010.
Fortunately for me I was privileged to meet some of the talented actors and directors who are presenting us with these elaborate gifts
The opening night film “Even the Rain” (Tambien LA Lluvia) directed by Icia Bollain
packed the house with an SRO crowd. I wished that Icia and actor Gael Garcia Bernal
were there to see Spain’s official Oscar entry and the response of the audience. The film starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Luis Tosar as filmmakers on location in Bolivia during the water crisis of 2000 is a film within-a-film which draws comparisons between the filmmakers and the Bolivian government and the parallels the effect on locals in reference to their situations at hand. The story is based on the 1492 Christopher Columbus Spanish crew exploiting the natives. Definitely will make the list as a contender for the best foreign film Oscar.
Lope, is an inside track of the passionate life of Lope de Vega, the Spanish playwright adding very possible situations and Alberto Amman’s portrayal of Lope de Vega is outstanding as the playwright/poet in Spain's theater in the 16th century.
I had the pleasure to discuss the film with actors Miguel Angel Munoz (Tomas de Perrenot) and Antonia del la Torre (Juan de Vega) who shared their experiences of a happy group of actors who were able to push the envelop along with Luis and Alberto under the talented direction of Andrucha Waddington who has come a long way from commercials and music videos.

Luis Tosar who is remembered by American audiences for his performance” as Montoya in the film version of “Miami Vice” is appearing in the films, “Even the Rain” (Tambien LA Lluvia) and “Cell 211” (Celda 211).This very talented actor has a range from A-Z. .n Even the Rain he goes from a bad guy to a guy with a big heart. In Lope, he portrays a priest and in Cell 211 he is riveting as Bad Mother (Malamadre)
Paper Birds (Pajaros De Papel) director Emilio Aragon shared his stories about this very touching tale of a struggling vaudeville troupe trying to survive after post Civil War Spain and General Franco. He based his tragic comedy on his influences of that period using Imanol Arias and Lluís Homar as a comedy duo in a vaudeville troupe .

Eduardo Noriega presented the film” For the Good of Others” (El Mal Ajeno)
His name has been on our lips since his performance in “Open Your Eyes” which was remade into Vanilla Sky which I never saw because no one could replace Eduardo in my eyes. His career has included films with Oscar nominated director Guillermo Del Toro and many others and has this ability to touch us emotionally in all his roles. In this film he does it again under the direction of Oskar Santos.
“Cell 211” (Celda 211) with leading actor Alberto Ammann(Juan Olivar) is also in Lope as the famous Lope de Vega. In this film which won 8 Goya Awards, he is a prison guard who is left stranded in a prison cell when he is injured during a riot. When he awakens he pretends to be a prisoner and develops a dialogue with Luis Tosar (Badass), and the two begin a partnership, as Juan pretends to be an inmate. Negotiations go smoothly until the rioters take three ETA (the militant Basque separatist organization) prisoners hostage. When this hits the news, it triggers a stream of prison riots throughout the country as well as demonstrations in the Basque Country. Juan quickly realizes that he is on his own as the situation becomes more politicized and the government gets involved, afraid of potential ramifications in the Basque community. As the drama heightens, unexpected shifts in character both within and without the prison occur.
In Alvaro Pastor’s and Antonio Naharro’s YO, TAMBIEN, with award winners Lola Duenas and Pablo Pineda

Alberto Rodriguez’s AFTER and the talented Blanca Romero, who received a nomination for Best New Actress at the 2010 Goyas.
Director Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s ensemble cast in GORDOS, a comedy with 7 nominations at the 2010 Goyas, and best supporting actor Raul Arevalo
LA VIDA EMPIEZA HOY with the hilarious Rosa Maria Sarda as an unconventional teacher of a senior citizen sex education class
Presented in collaboration with the Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA) of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and EGEDA - Filmotech. With the support of Embassy of Spain in Washington, Spain USA Foundation, Consulate General of Spain in Los Angeles, Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles, Promocion Madrid(Madrid City Council) and E.L.M.A. (European Languages and Movies inAmerica). Sponsored by Lladro, Codorniu, Bodegas Terras Gauda y Vina Zaco.

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