The 12th edition of Película-Pelikula, the Spanish Film Festival had a promising start when it opened with a cocktail reception over at the
|Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq delivers his speech as|
FDCP's Briccio Santos and Alejandra Lorente look on
Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq and the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Chairman Briccio Santos, through their speeches that night, reminded the guests once again of the special ties between Philippine and Spanish cinema. And this special bond between the two nations can be seen in the continued popularity of Película-Pelikula, despite it being the only foreign film festival in here that I know of that still charges for admission, albeit very cheaply compared to regular films.
Filipino actors Pen Medina, Ronnie Lazaro and Baron Geisler were among those who rubbed elbows with the Spanish community, members of the diplomatic corps and other invited guests by the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes during the cocktail reception.
|Alfonso Tagliaferri, Cristina Moricca, Nino Quartana, Emanuela Adesini,|
Massimiliano Moniaci, RAd, and Andrea Capranico
I was able to have a brief chat with Alejandra Lorente and I told her how I felt when I saw her film Aquel no era yo/That wasn’t Me during the press preview. She told me that even though she knows the film very well and had seen it many times, it is still hard for her to sit through it.
The opening film for this year was Blancanieves, a film by Pablo Berger which swept the most 27th Goya Awards by winning in 10 categories. The movie, a gothic melodrama retelling of the Snow White, is also a tribute to silent films. Set in the 1920’s
Snow White is Carmen (Macarena García), the daughter of a famous bullfighter (Daniel
Giménez Cacho). Upon her father’s death, young Carmencita (Sofía Oria) gets to
live with her wicked stepmother, Encarna (Maribel Verdú). But those who know
the Brothers Grimm fairy tale will know how the story will go from here.
When the stepmother wanted the grown up Carmen out of the picture, the poor girl ends up joining a band of touring bullfighting dwarves. The dwarves take in Carmen and train her to be a matador, thus enabling her to follow her late father’s footsteps. Carmen, in time becomes popular in bullfighting circles and this catches the attention of her stepmother. What was Carmen’s greatest moment inside the ring becomes tragic as she bites the apple given by her stepmother which is very much according to the fairy tale. But the biggest twist in this film is that the prince who appears to have awakened her from her slumber is not the same as the fairy tale.
What made this film standout for me are the striking looks of the characters. Not being able to utter any lines, the actors had to rely on their faces, especially their eyes, to do all of the acting. The stepmother, portrayed by Maribel Verdú, had the most captivating face among the whole cast.
The film also had a very lush score by Alfonso de Villalonga, featuring the distinct music of southern
Spain that also served to highlight the melodrama.
And while the film was produced recently, the shots were still reminiscent of
the silent film era and there weren’t any fancy shots or special effects that
took advantage of modern film making technology.