The Spanish Film Festival is back…and it’s bigger and better than ever. With a record number of films on offer, it can be hard to choose which ones to see. But fear not, The Plus Ones have done the decision making for you.
If the launch party was anything to go by, then it’s safe to say that the festival is an event that can’t be missed. With Spanish tapas and wine on hand, the festival’s host, Palace Cinemas, did a fantastic job at making the whole experience feel incredibly glamorous.
However, the film for the night, Wild Tales (Damian Szifron, 2014) didn’t live up to my expectations. It is made up of six individual shorts that explore the theme of vengeance. Unfortunately, the first short closely resembled the recent Germanwings Air tragedy, and although it was meant to be comedic, given current events, it was hard to identify the funny side. This sadly set the tone for the rest of the film, and by the third or fourth short, I felt drained. As stand alone short films they would have been excellent. The fact they were cobbled together took away the individual merit of each of them.
As with all film festivals, there are many pools of wonderful movies to dive into and explore – these are my top five picks:
- Spanish Affair (Emilio Martínez-Lázaro, 2014) This is the most successful box-office hit in Spain’s history—can’t wait to find out why? This will be screened at the opening night event.
- El Nińo (Daniel Monzón, 2014) A fast paced action-thriller ensuring heart-rates are kept at full speed. For fans of Cell 211, this film comes highly recommended.
- Marshland (Alberto Rodríguez, 2014) The trailer left me wanting more, so I cant imagine what the film will be like! This crime-drama centres itself on the disappearance of two teenage sisters and is said to resemble HBO’s True Detective.
- Traces of Sandalwood (María Ripoll, 2014) This film combines Bollywood with Barcelona—an interesting combination if I do say so myself. Variety magazine describe it as a “genuine crowd pleaser”—so this may be the top choice for the indecisive types out there.
- Instructions Not Included (Eugenio Derbez, 2013) Filmed in Mexico, this is the most successful Spanish-language film in the U.S. This one is a comedy and a little more light hearted than my other picks. Also, if you don’t like subtitles then this one is for you—it’s mostly in English.
The Spanish Film Festival runs from 22 April- 10 May at Palace Cinemas Como, Palace Cinemas Westgarth, and Kino Cinemas. Tickets are on sale now.
Ruby Frost is a PR student who has a thing or two to say about the latest and greatest. Twitter: @frost_ruby
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Asha Holmes Publicity.