“The zest of life” was the Coca-Cola slogan that once catapulted Roberto into an advertising career. But that was long ago. Nowadays, whenever this unemployed father contacts the company where he used to work his now-successful former colleagues feign absence. Nobody it seems has any time for the man that once invented Coca-Cola’s catchphrase. Desperate, Roberto is determined to at least pay a visit to the hotel where he once spent his honeymoon. But even this building has now disappeared and in its place excavations have unearthed a massive amphitheatre. A career-minded mayor and a thrilled museum director are excitedly looking forward to the grand opening of this gem of ancient history. But the members of the press present at the event all seem to be missing the point and Roberto is the only one who decides to take a closer look. In doing so, he takes a fall and finds himself caught unwittingly in a very precarious position. All of a sudden, it’s a matter of life and death and everybody takes an interest in him. Even Roberto is seduced into bargaining over the value of his life as a sensational event. La chispa de la vida is a biting satire about the machinations of today’s sensation-hungry media. –Berlinale
Álex de la Iglesia was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1965. He is a philosophy graduate from the University of Deusto who ended up working in the comic book field at a young age. He had a brief stint in television before finding work as production designer on Pablo Berger’s Mamá. This little seen short film focuses on a family forced to live in a basement after a nuclear war and features a little boy who wears a Batman costume.
Enrique Urbizu came calling for his production designer services in 1991 for Todo por la pasta (Anything For Bread) a Basque crime thriller which was nominated for 4 Goya Awards, and won 1 (best supporting actress). A good film to get De La Iglesia noticed.
He then met José Guerricaechevarria and together they made the short film, Mirindas Asesinas (1991), in which a boring man, whose mind is gradually degenerating, is on the verge of becoming a psychotic killer. The two men became fast friends and have worked together ever… read more
Alex De La iglesia i have always loved your cinema. This was the first time you have gotten me emotionally. I love how the film mixes, drama, satire, drak comedy and well done melodrama. It starts off tongue in cheek and maintains it to a certain degree until it sneaks up and you find yourself deeply immersed in the characters and film. Findng yourself overwhelmed to a certain degree.
Fantasia '12 Alex de la Iglesia turns his scathing voice towards modern media, television ethics and the selling of our souls for a quick buck with this modern satire with tonque firmly in cheek. An unemployed ad man has a fall at a media launch and steals the show when he winds up with a steel bar imbeded in his head. Jose Mota is aces as the humiliated but opportunistic victim as is his wife played by Salma Hayek.
A master’s hackwork and a slicked-up cartoon.