Taking a leaf out of RUS’ (list of the week) book, i’ve been thinking of a poll for this beautiful month of June, what a wonderful time of year it is here, the fresh greenery still, the lush growth, the warm sun (fingers crossed), the long days of summer. I did think of British films but that’s got an ongoing thread, and films by women, also covered by other threads, though possibly still worth a shot later?
METHOD AND SCORING
Anyway, just give your top 10 films from Spain and Portugal, two countries close to my heart. I thought one on Portugal alone would be tough, but that wonderful country deserves to be brought in from neglect- there is a thread here-, along with its bigger neighbour. You can do in preferential order or not; i thought it best not to simply score from 10 pts down to 1, which can lead to some terrible distortions (a film picked 9 times could be placed below one picked once). I’d also thought of 10 pts for being selected then a further 1-10 pts accordings to preferential placings (5 1/2 pts where no preference), giving between 11-20 pts each time. But that’s not perfect either. So i’ll be going by number of votes, and then differentiate final positions between those with equal votes according to preferential order placings. Are people happy with that? Sight and Sound go by number of votes not placings at all, and that’s fine with a large number of responses, we’ll probably need the extra placing mechanism.
1.Abraham Valley (Oliveira)
2.Spirit of the Beehive (Erice)
3.Aniki Bobo (Oliveira)
the top 3 well clear
4.The Flower of my Secret (Almodovar)
5.Cria Cuervos (Saura)
6.Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Medem)
7.Belle Epoque (Trueba)
9.Death of a Cyclist (Bardem)
10.Foreign Land (Salles, Thomas)
I was very tempted to allow myself a little cheat, as there are so many of a similar standard it was hard to have a cut-off. I thought Foreign Land, even if by a Brazilian director, could do with the promotion more than a few by Almodovar and Bunuel i also had in mind. For fairness, please keep to 10 (you can mention others of course separately). There may need to be clarification on what is Spanish or Portuguese, but i’m thinking the films should ideally at least be filmed and set in those countries, preferably with their subject matter and language, and certainly at least part funded (check on imdb if unsure of origin). I’m allowing Foreign Land as officially part Portuguese on imdb and as it’s in Portuguese with part Portuguese cast. I don’t want to be too prescriptive, eg Chimes at Midnight is officially Spanish, but feels very borderline/dubious for the purposes of this poll with its American director and British actors and setting. I’d rather promotion of more indigenous products. Please not Bunuel’s Mexican films or El Cid or the spaghetti westerns.
EDIT: Bunuel’s officially French films (see imdb for country) also excluded sorry
as this will go on through the month, before i tot up the scores, that gives time for people to catch up on some more films. I would love to see Amor de Perdicao by Oliveira which is here on auteurs, but it’s not available for viewing here.
I’ll think of more.
Sorry, i had started to realise this was gonna be difficult, films must be officially on imdb as at least part Portuguese or Spanish. Un Chien Andalou is classed as French.
Haven’t seen too many (non Brazilian) Portuguese films, so I’ll go with the ones that I have seen :
1.A Talking Picture (2003) Oliveira
2.Voyage To The End Of The World (1997) Oliveira
3.I’m Going Home (2001) Oliveira
4. The State Of Things (1982) (Germany-Portugal) Wim Wenders
5. Lisbon Story (1984) (Germany-Portugal) Wim Wenders
Spanish films, off the top of my head :
6. Viridiana (1961) (Spain-Mexico) Bunuel
7. Cria Cuervos (1975) Saura
8. High Heels (1991) Almodovar
9. Carmen (1983) Saura
10. The Orphanage (2007) Bayona
the 10 could easily consist of nothing but Saura-Almodovar titles.
Thanks a lot for that. Good to see Voyage to the Beginning of the World in there, it starts at my beloved Caminha.
I was thinking of picking Maria de Medeiros’ Captains of April not cos it’s a great film- though it’s certainly competent and well meaning- but cos it publicises the incredible events of 25 April 1974 with the (almost entirely) peaceful “carnation revolution” that overthrew the dreadful dictatorship and led to the independence of several countries from colonial rule.
I’d like to see Saura’s film on fado- only seen glimpses. Have you seen it, a fellow Amalia fan?
No, I haven’t, but it is on my must see/get list.
ah and here’s an earlier one from 1948 starring Amalia herself
1. Pan’s Labyrinth (shot in Spain and is about Spain!)
2. Bad Education
3. Cria Cuervos
5. The Spirit of the Beehive
6. Talk to Her
7. The Devil’s Backbone (shot in Spain and is about Spain!)
8. The Orphanage
9. All About My Mother
10. The Flower of My Secret
Yeah i have no problem with those Del Toro films qualifying (Mark Kermode would be pleased with you), but what happened to your #4 or tenth choice?
i’ll post 5, if that doesnt work – dont count it
Pan’s Labyrinth – Del Toro
Tesis – Amenabar
The Devil’s Backbone – Del Toro
I’m going home – Oliviera
The Sea Inside – Amenabar
I think it’s fair that each vote will count as the main measure, but in the event of films tying for number of votes at the end, having less than 10 might be a disadvantage when separating them on a further points system. That may become a bit complicated, so i’m not sure, but i don’t want to disqualify votes if not the full ten (Sight and Sound don’t on the rare occasions that’s happened: Chris Marker chose only Vertigo, Scorsese only picked 5). The problem here is the 30 minute edit limit, but if you see and want to add more films before the end of June perhaps you can redo the list with a large note CHANGED SELECTION or similar so i don’t count the lIst twice.
I saw Mondays in the Sun a while back and liked it very, very much.
ah well, i’ve heard good things about it but still not seen it, though i think it may be on my rental list awaiting release. One Spanish director worth checking out is Julio Medem, with what might be described as earthy mysticism- as for example in Tierra, where the main character named Angel (played by Carmelo Gomez) is a crop bug eradicator, now what’s the official term, pest controller? So he turns up in what almost looks like a space suit in the baking plains and then there are strange relationships involving two women, one the lovely Emma Suarez as Angela. Lovers of the Arctic Circle is a touching film about childhood sweethearts Anna and Otto, coincidence and their destinies- involving Lapland as well as Spain…..
Now with ten:
1. Pan’s Labyrinth (shot in Spain and is about Spain!)
2. Bad Education
3. Cria Cuervos
4. The Spirit of the Beehive
5. Talk to Her
6. The Devil’s Backbone (shot in Spain and is about Spain!)
7. The Orphanage
8. All About My Mother
9. The Flower of My Secret
1. Vacas (Julio Medem)
2. Quince Tree Sun (Victor Erice)
3. Law of Desire (Pedro Almodovar)
4. Red Squirrel (Julio Medem)
5. Land and Freedom (Ken Loach)
No votes for Erice’s Dream of Light / Quince Tree Sun? Voted the best film of the 90s by one august panel only to vanish.
I have The Night of the Sunflowers in my hot little hands… and am about to watch it… but…
The Spirit of the Beehive
Under the Quince Tree Sun
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Adrian: probably falls victim to lack of visibility and distribution…
Quince Tree Sun is fantastic… Took me years to find a copy only to find the tape snapped…. and finally saw it at the BFI in london. Does anyone know if its getting a wider release anytime soon? Also has anyone seen “the south”
when Kenji and Grey Daisies make lists, those are something heading straight to “I WANT TO WATCH THIS” list.
1. Viridiana (Luis Buñuel)
2. Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice)
3. Doomed Love (Manoel de Oliveira)
4. Francisca (Manoel de Oliveira)
5. Las Hurdes (Luis Buñuel)
6. In the City of Sylvia (Jose Luis Guerin)
7. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)
8. I’m Going Home (Manoel de Oliveira)
9. Birdsong (Albert Serra)
10. The Stillness Before Bach (Pere Portabella)
ah, Robert that’s a very interesting list. Thanks Filmy Andy. Erm, a few lower on my list i could easily have substituted with others. Zambrano’s film Solas hasn’t been mentioned yet, nor Tristana, nor the Portuguese director Monteiro. From Grey Daisies’ list, La Cabina is a popular short, available on youtube. I was glad to see Honour of the Knights (Serra) on it (GD’s list), that’s a very interesting recent take on Don Quixote, and the whole idea of what constitutes an adventure. In the City of Sylvia is well worth seeing. There’s little dialogue but it reminded me of Eric Rohmer (who i think is unfairly criticised as too talky and uncinematic). I hope i can get to see The Stillness Before Bach.
1. All about My Mother (Almodóvar)
2. Bad Education (Almodóvar)
3. Death of a Cyclist (Bardem)
4. El Bola (Manas)
5. Jarmón, Jarmón (Luna)
6. O Fantasma (Rodigues)
7. Spirit of the Beehive (Erice)
8. The Devil’s Backbone (del Toro)
9. The Machinist (B. Anderson)
10. The Orphanage (Bayona)
1. The Diabolical Dr. Z (Jesus Franco; 1966)
2. Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice; 1973)
3. Cannibal Man (Eloy de la Iglesia; 1972)
4. Tombs of the Blind Dead (Amando de Ossorio; 1971)
5. Who Can Kill a Child? (Narciso Ibáñez Serrador; 1976)
6. The Awful Dr. Orlof (Jesus Franco; 1962)
7. Tristana (Luis Bunuel; 1970)
8. Viridiana (Luis Bunuel; 1961)
9. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodovar; 1988)
10. The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro; 2001)
What about Golden Balls (Luna, 1993)?
Oh god does David Beckham have to get everywhere? Sarah, i’ll take that as a vote, more would be welcome too. You have a very beautiful and noble name which brings to my mind that great country Portugal itself.
There is an over representation of Spanish films on this thread so I will just post my favorite Portuguese films.
Abraham’s Valley (Manoel de Oliveira) – I guess this is the movie that all non-unconditional fans of Oliveira love, myself included. Probably the Portuguese movie I have seen the most.
Patio das Cantigas (Francisco Ribeiro)- Okay, so this is REALLY the portuguese movie I have seen the most. It is impossible to grow up there and not have seen this at least twenty times. It is for sure among the most beloved movies in Portugal. If you are curious to see what a Portuguese Lubistch would be, this is it.
O Sangue (Pedro Costa)- Pedro Costa’s debut and my favorite. He was not a critic’s darling at the time and this movie is very different from his later ones. No neo-realistic stuff here.
A’ Flor do Mar (Cesar Monteiro)- Beautiful poetic film. It has the most gorgeous photography of Algarve (south of Portugal) I have ever seen.
Vai e Vem (Cesar Monteiro)- His last movie and what a farewell. I find it absolutely hilarious.
Corte de Cabelo (Joaquim Sapinho) – The movie of my adolescence. A fresh new look at urban life in Lisbon. Too bad it did not spark a movement because most of the young talented portuguese filmmakers (Costa, Villaverde) are still too engaged with social issues.
Mutantes (Teresa Villaverde) – Beautiful movie that shows the live of some outcasts roaming through Lisbon. It has a very intense ending that somehow put me off a bit but it is still an amazing movie.
Belarmino (Fernando Lopes) -Iconic Portuguese documentary about a former box champion which barely scrapes by. It is infused with neo-realism all over but Belarmino’s story is so representative of the hardship people endure around that time in Portugal that I find it very touching.
Os Verdes Anos (Paulo Rocha) – A classic from the same time as Belarmino. It had a tremendous impact in portuguese cinema because it was one of the first modern films to be made there. The soundtrack of Carlos Paredes is even better than the movie.
Aniki Bobo (Manoel de Oliveira) – The first neo-realistic film ever made (1942), it is a very tender look at the life of youngsters in Porto downtown. A true classic.
Thank you so much, Andre, for so many viewing ideas, that i’ll look into further and hopefully get to see. Just a pity Portuguese films have been rarely available in the UK. You’ve picked the Oliveira films i especially love and it was Abraham Valley that more than anything led me to try to move to North Portugal, and visiting the beautiful Douro was a dream come true. The beautiful elegant actress Leonor Silveira should be known throughout the world. I’ve only just come from a Portuguese tapas bar.