American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Series Compiled by: Gwen Deglise, Chris D, Dennis Bartok, with the assistance of Inocencio F. Arias
Special Thanks to: Pilar Torre / ICAA; Consul General of Los Angeles Inocencio F. Arias / CONSULATE GENERAL OF SPAIN; Jaime Lorenzo Garcia-Ormaechea / TRADE OFFICE - ICEX.

 

SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

 

 

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< March 15 - 24, 2007 >>>

Recent Spanish Cinema XIII

Featuring a Retrospective Tribute to director Vicente Aranda

 

Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

This is an Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

 

Presented in collaboration with the Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA) of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, EGEDEA and the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, ICEX and Consulate General of Spain in Los Angeles.

This year Spanish Cinema received the international recognition it deserves with the popular success of Guillermo del Toro’s PAN’S LABYRINTH and Pedro Almodovar’s VOLVER. But there are even more Spanish films out there to amaze you! Join us for the most exciting showcase of new Spanish films in town, including the revelation of this year, winner of the Goya for best new director and new actor, Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s astonishing drama DARKBLUEALMOSTBLACK; Agustin Diaz Yanes’s 17th century portrait of a reflective mercenary ALATRISTE starring Viggo Mortensen; CROSSING THE BORDER the beautiful directorial debut of TV actor Carlos Iglesias, Antonio Chavarrías’ neo noir CELIA’S LIVES. Not to forget that from the established filmmakers side, Fernando Colomo delivers one of his most delightful comedies with THE NEAR EAST; David Trueba returns with a wistful portrait of youth in Madrid with WELCOME HOME, and do not miss MY NAME IS JUANI, the latest from Bigas Luna. This selection of films offers performances from Spain’s favorites actors: Victoria Abril, Ariadna Gil, Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Javier Camara, Carlos Iglesias, Luis Tosar, Juan Echanove; plus newcomers Quim Gutiérrez and Javier Cifrian. Not to forget the presence of international figures such as Viggo Mortensen and Daniel Brühl.

 

Featuring a Retrospective Tribute to director Vicente Aranda

"Leave your inhibitions at the door" might be a good introduction to the erotic, subversive and savage cinema of director Vicente Aranda – a world where sexual identity can be slipped into like a new skin (CHANGE OF SEX, BILINGUAL LOVER); where women fight (and love) harder than men (LIBERTARIAS, FANNY "PELOPAJA"); where almost anything goes except forgiveness. Like Buñuel and his fellow-Catalan Bigas Luna, Aranda delights in the surreal and sacrilegious: a fashion model who takes on the apocalypse; a militant, libertarian nun. But anarchy, in Aranda’s eyes, comes with a stiff price – hearts are shattered, lives are ruined. A native of Barcelona, Aranda had no formal training in film when he "reinvented" himself as a director at the age of 38 with his first feature, aptly titles BRILLIANT FUTURE. He emerged as one of the central figures in the controversial New Spanish Cinema of the 1970’s, along with Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Carlos Saura, Bigas Luna and others. In 1976, he cast an unknown actress and game-show hostess named Victoria Abril as the transsexual heroine of CHANGE OF SEX, creating an overnight icon of Spanish Cinema; since then, he’s made many more features with Abril, including his latest film, the sumptuous medieval tale THE MAIDEN’S CONSPIRACY.

We are thrilled to welcome at the Egyptian Theatre director Vicente Aranda and other guests to be confirmed.

 

 

Thursday, March 15 - 7:30 PM
THE MAIDENS’ CONSPIRACY (TIRANTE EL BLANCO), 2006, 120 min. The Byzantine emperor asks the legendary brave knight Tirant for his help against the Turks. Thanks to his courage and military prowess, the Turks are defeated. But Tirant’s strength is not enough against the intrigues swirling about the Imperial Court. Director Vicente Aranda’s latest film is the sweeping adaptation of the famous novel, Tirant Lo Blanc. A major co-production staring Leonor Watling, Victoria Abril, Giancarlo Giannini, Ingrid Rubio, and as Tirant and Carmesina, newcomers Caspar Zafer and Esther Nubiola. Discussion following with director Vincente Aranda and actresses Esther Nubiola and Ingrid Rubio.
NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Friday, March 16 - 7:30 PM
DARKBLUEALMOSTBLACK (AZULOSCUROCASINEGRO), 2006, 115 min. The astonishing debut feature from director/writer Daniel Sanchez Arevalo quickly evolves into one of the most surprising and irresistibly moving Spanish dramas since (dare we say it?) Almodovar’s ALL ABOUT HER. A bitter young man works as a janitor and looks after his stroke-impaired father; meanwhile his older brother is in jail, where he falls in love with a female prisoner who is desperate to get pregnant. Except the older brother is impotent, so he asks the younger one to sleep with her in his stead. Meanwhile the janitor's slacker best friend discovers his own dad is visiting a male masseur and starts blackmailing his father. Brilliantly funny but emotionally honest all the way, the movie just gets better and better as it goes along. Starring Quim Gutierrez, Marta Etura, Antonio de la Torre, Eva Pallares. NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Friday, March 16 - 10:30 PM

CHANGE OF SEX (CAMBIO DE SEXO), 1976, 108 min. Dir. Vicente Aranda. Tired of being called the prettiest boy in class and bullied by his ultra-macho father, José María (Victoria Abril) runs off to Barcelona – where he/she is soon cruising the clubs as vivacious María José! Based on a true story (and co-starring real-life transsexual Bibi Andersen), the film triumphs as both surreal comedy and sympathetic drama; you may laugh, but there are no cheap jokes here. Director Vicente Aranda will introduce the screening. NOT ON DVD.

 

 

 

Saturday, March 17 - 5:00 PM THIS SCREENING HAS BEEN CANCELLED. It will not be presented as part of the series as was previously announced.

THE INVISIBLES (LOS INVISIBLES), 2007, approximately 90 min. The latest collection of short films directed by established filmmakers, compiled and produced by Javier Bardem and premiering at the Berlin Film Festival this year. Each filmmaker examines the world's neglected problems and the people suffering from them. Directors are Mariano Barroso (EXTASIS); Isabel Coixet (THE SECRET LIFE OF WORDS); Javier Corcuera (THE BACK OF THE WORLD); Fernando León de Aranoa (LOS LUNES AL SOL) and Wim Wenders (THE WINGS OF DESIRE). NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Saturday, March 17 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

ALATRISTE, 2006, 135 min. Dir. Agustin Diaz Yanes. Viggo Mortensen (THE LORD OF THE RINGS, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE) stars as the brooding, irresistible Captain Alatriste, 17th century soldier, mercenary and lover, in this superb adaptation of the historical novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte. The plot twists and turns like a dark river, covering 20 years from the wars in Flanders to France - and along the way Alatriste crosses paths with characters real and fictional including actress Maria de Castro (Ariadna Gil, PAN’S LABYRINTH), the Count-Duke of Olivares (Javier Camara), poet Francisco de Quevedo (Juan Echanove) and others. The mournful heart of the film remains Mortensen, though, who performs all of his dialogue in fluent Spanish (he lived in Venezuela and Argentina as a youth). Nominated for 14 Goya Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. 2007 Goya Winner of Best Script, Best Art Direction, Best Costume. Discussion in between the films with actors Unax Ugalde and Viggo Mortensen (ALATRISTE) and actress Ingrid Rubio (SALVADOR). NOT ON DVD.

SALVADOR, 2006, 134 min. Dir. Manuel Huerga. The film retraces the last twelve hours of Salvador Puig Antich (Daniel Brühl), the last political prisoner executed by garrote during the Franco regime, as he receives visits from family and friends. From a student protestor, Salvador becomes an active militant in the resistance movement, but gets caught and condemned to death after a series of bank robberies. A superb performance by German actor Daniel Brühl (GOOD BYE LENIN!). A haunting film. NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Sunday, March 18 - 5:00 PM

THE BILINGUAL LOVER (EL AMANTE BILINGUE), 1993, 93 min. Dir. Vicente Aranda. Juan (Imanol Arias), the impoverished son of a Chinese magician, discovers that his aristocratic Catalan wife (Ornella Muti) has been cheating on him. Spiraling into despair, Juan is disfigured by a Molotov Cocktail – and reborn as a mesmerizing, one-eyed ladies’ man named "Faneca." A hilarious, sexually-charged satire on obsessive love, language, revolution and class barriers, this is pure Aranda from start to finish. Director Vicente Aranda will introduce the screening. NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Sunday, March 18 - 7:30 PM
CROSSING THE BORDER (UN FRANCO 14 PESETAS), 105 min. A powerful directorial debut by television actor Carlos Iglesias on a rarely depicted theme in Spanish Cinema: the migration to other European countries to find a job, the stark reality facing so many Spaniards in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Leaving their families behind, Martín (Carlos Iglesias) with his friend Marcos, tries his luck in Switzerland. Arriving in the picturesque Swiss village, they are confronted by the mysterious habits of the locals. As their families joins them, they again have to assimilate. A touching and powerful film.
NOT ON DVD.
THE NEAR EAST (EL PROXIMO ORIENTE), 2006, 95 min. In the best example yet of his style, director Fernando Colomo returns with a genuine and lovely social comedy about Islam and multiculturalism. Good hearted butcher Cain (Javier Cifrian) takes responsibility for his brother Abel’s born out of wedlock child by marrying pregnant Aisha, the daughter of Bangladeshi restaurant owners Shakir and Samaah. "The busy script leaps with agility from one such screwball situation to the next, fluid editing keeps up the momentum." Jonathan Holland, Variety
NOT ON DVD. Discussion in between films with actress Nieve de Medina (CROSSING THE BORDER).

 

 


Wednesday, March 21 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

LOVERS (AMANTES), 1991, 105 min. One of director Vicente Aranda’s biggest international successes and a ferocious summary of his favorite themes, starring the unbeatable trio of Victoria Abril, Jorge Sanz and Maribel Verdú as a doomed romantic triangle. Abril’s Luisa is one of the strongest femme fatales to ever hit the screen: her graphic sex scenes with Sanz are an amazing display of power and domination. "The ease and speed with which this perfect future collapses is the sardonic subtext of Mr. Aranda's dark, romantic melodrama, which is said to be based on a true story and is certainly one that could never have been made as a movie in Franco's day… The film's manner is dispassionate. Mr. Aranda observes everything in detail, the sexual acrobatics as well as the melodrama that ends the story, but without appearing to comment on the events or to burden them with larger meanings. LOVERS is a sophisticated, highly accomplished work." – Vincent Canby, New York Times NOT ON DVD.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS (LIBERTARIAS), 1996, 130 min. Director Vicente Aranda’s juicy, highly entertaining drama of three women fighting for equality during the Spanish Civil War. A young nun (Ariadna Gil) is forcibly recruited into the Red Brigade by two tough-talking soldiers (Victoria Abril and Ana Belen) – they quickly discover that war is not only chaos, but an oppressively macho business. Abril is terrific as the anarchist/spiritualist Floren, possessed by inner voices and firmly convinced that Jesus was a woman. "…therein lies LIBERTARIAS’ true triumph: Aranda's willingness to let his characters retain their own belief systems, even in the face of larger considerations. It's anarchy in action, perfectly expressing those ideals the real Free Women gave their lives for -- and endowing his film with an extra moral weight undreamt of in the philosophies of most North American action movies." – Gemma Files, Eye Weekly

 

 

 

Thursday, March 22 - 7:30 PM

Soccer Double Feature:

THE RAILROAD ALL STARS (ESTRELLAS DE LA LINEA) 2006, 94 min. Director Chema Rodriguez’s in-your-face documentary follows the feisty Railroad All Stars, a totally female soccer team formed in 2004 from inhabitants of one of Guatemala’s worst ghettos. As if the odds were not stacked high enough against them, the women are also prostitutes, and they have organized their team to draw attention to their ongoing exploitation by a hypocritical macho society that routinely beats, robs and even murders them. Their introduction into the world of soccer, as they begin to play other local teams, causes an uproar. Middle class society wants them banned, but the girls also find occasional support from sometimes surprising quarters, including a few of the media representatives covering their story. Winner of the 2006 Sebastian Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. NOT ON DVD.

THE GREAT MATCH (AL GRAN FINAL), 2006, 88 min. Dir. Gerardo Olivares. This stunning comedy set in Mongolia, Niger and the Amazon, follows the extraordinary effort of three indigenous groups to see the 2002 final soccer World Cup between Germany and Brazil. In the vast meadow of Mongolia's Altai Mountains, a group of riders returns to the family tent with their eagles in order to watch the game but first they need to connect their TV to the power line. In Niger's Tenere desert, Tuareg Hassan leaves his caravan of camels and joins a truckload of people, convincing them to reroute to an "iron tree" to connect his TV in time for the start of the game. The funniest of all, soccer-shirt wearing tribal hunter Xama is trying to set up a TV set and an ancient dynamo in his compound in the Brazilian jungle. National Geographic lovers and soccer fans will unite in this delicious movie. NOT ON DVD.

 

Friday, March 23 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:
WELCOME HOME (BIENVENIDO A CASA), 2006, 118 min. Director/writer David Trueba returns with this wry, wistful look at the unpredictable changes of being young, in love and employed in modern Madrid. Alejo Sauras stars as Samuel, a novice newspaper photographer who’s just moved in with his long-time girlfriend, Eva (Pilar Lopez de Ayala, JUANA LA LOCA). But will their romance survive being in such close quarters (even if they have separate bedrooms)? The supporting cast features some of Spain’s finest actors including Ariadna Gil (PAN’S LABYRINTH), Juan Echanove and Jorge Sanz (BELLE EPOQUE). NOT ON DVD.

MY NAME IS JUANI (SOY LA JUANI), 2006, 92 min. Director Bigas Luna’s newest effort focuses on Veronica Echegui as the effervescent and irrepressible Juani, a girl from the provinces sick of her slacker father, apathetic mother and the appallingly poor specimens who serve as prospects for boyfriends. When her best friend, Vani (Laya Marti) is beaten up by her guy (Gorka Lasaosa) and Juani finds her own nearly-simian beau Jonah (Dani Martin) is being unfaithful, the two head for Madrid to find their fortunes. While Vani has the modest ambition of getting breast enhancement, Juani has serious aspirations to becoming an actress, and we witness as she undergoes a series of tragi-comic trials and tribulations. NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Saturday, March 24 - 5:00 PM
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT LOLA (LO QUE SE DE LOLA), 2006, 112 min. Director Javier Rebollo’s touching study of two lonely souls is suffused with a gentle, melancholy humor. Wallflower Frenchman Leon (Michael Abiteboul) lives a life of quiet desperation with his bedridden mother, resigned to his emotionally barren life. When his mother dies, he begins to notice his next door neighbor, Lola (Lola Duenas), a vivacious Spanish woman who occasionally appears on his local amateur porn channel. Before long, he becomes captivated, charting her every movement and watching over her adoringly from afar. He watches as her partying ways and her love life gradually give way to solitary drinking. Although his obsession with Lola borders on the pathological, Leon never does anything inappropriate – on the contrary - and we are kept in suspense waiting to see if he will ever get the courage to make real contact. Rebollo’s film explores with brilliant simplicity the phenomenon of how people in a big city – people surrounded by millions of other people – can be dying inside from emotional starvation, unable to make the simple gesture of reaching out. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2006 London Film Festival. NOT ON DVD.

 

 

Saturday, March 24 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:
CELIA’S LIVES (LAS VIDAS DE CELIA), 2006, 101 min. Director Antonio Chavarrias’ mystery unfolds like an intricate patchwork quilt, showing the effects of a teenage girl’s murder on the family of the dead girl’s best friend, Angela (Aida Folch). Angela’s big sister Celia (Najwa Nimri) has had other disheartening news as well, and it becomes clear that not only she, but her moody husband, Agustin (Daniel Gimenez Cacho, ARO TOLBUKHIN) have their own secrets to hide. Reliable Luis Tosar is the dogged police detective who patiently canvases the neighborhood trying to unravel the ever more confusing puzzle. It is a testament to Chavarrias (who also wrote the script) and his terrific ensemble cast that the audience is kept guessing on just who did what till the very end – nobody here, including Tosar’s cop Miguel, is a perfect person, and the absolutes of the law are continually subverted by the traitorous emotions of all concerned. "Cunningly-structured noir CELIA’S LIVES is helmer Antonio Chavarrias' finest work to date… rings psychologically true throughout…" – Jonathan Holland, Variety NOT ON DVD.

THE NIGHT OF THE SUNFLOWERS (LA NOCHE DE LOS GIRASOLES), 2006, 123 min. This dark, engrossing thriller from director/writer Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo has overtones of 21 GRAMS and IRREVERSIBLE with its intersecting storylines and moments of startling violence. The mystery begins with the rape/murder of a young woman in a field of sunflowers ... We meet a number of people who seem to have no connection to each other or the crime -- and then slowly, chapter by chapter, their lives start to interlock in inexorable ways. With Carmelo Gomez (DIAS CONTADOS). "Atmospherics are top notch, with lensing creating a claustrophobic air more normally associated with the mean streets of New York than with old Castile. Threaded through the action is a bitter view of rural Spanish life rarely matched since Mario Camus' '80's brutal backwoods classic THE HOLY INNOCENTS." – Jonathan Holland, Variety NOT ON DVD.