During the summer months, various spaces in Barcelona host outdoor film screenings, providing the perfect plan for enjoying the cooler evenings while watching great movies, both new and old. Here's a selection of what's being shown this year
For the ninth year in a row, Poble Espanyol (in the Picnic Space) hosts the Mecal Air outdoor short-film festival, where they show the best shorts from the latest edition of Mecal Pro, the Barcelona International Festival of Short Films and Animation. This year the programme is a double one, part cinematographic and part gastronomic. Each week there's a different theme that serves as a common thread in the session of short films as well as the food on offer, with barbecue as one of the big starts of the run.
Paul Verhoeven. USA, 1992. Original language, Spanish subtitles. 127'.
The film with that most famous of leg crossings in history, this thriller from Paul Verhoeven was to stand out among the throng of movies of the genre in cinemas in the early 1990s by filling it with eroticism that made Sharon Stone an icon of the silver screen. Michael Douglas would succumb to her charms while investigating her for suspicion of murder.
Xavier Dolan. Canada, 2014. Original language, Spanish subtitles. 139'.
With 'Mommy', Xavier Dolan, one of the most prominent contemporary directors today, destroys family archetypes showing an imperfect mother and a son with issues who fight to be together and who love each other, despite the harsh reality they live in. A difficult and complex story built on the foundation of a mix of various formats that make 'Mommy' stand out as a film to be reckoned with.
Céline Sciamma. Francia, 2014. Original language, Spanish subtitles. 113'.
French speakers, this one's for you. 'Girlhood' tells the story of the life of teenage Marieme, who wants to free herself from her oppressive family and school environments by joining a gang of rebellious girls who break all the rules. This is, above all, a story of personal discovery, learning, independence and all that it means to be a young black girl. Following her acclaimed film 'Tomboy', Céline Sciamma brings this promising movie to the screens starring teens and French suburbs, where there's still a bit of tenderness to be found.
Kenji Mizoguchi. Japan, 1956. Original language, subtitles in English and Catalan. 85'.
Five months before his death, Kenji Mizoguchi saw the premiere of his last film, 'Street of Shame', a brave and empathetic approach to the world of prostitution that shuns paternalisms. Whether it's to earn money to support their kids or families or whether it's a way of life, the prostitutes at the Dreamland brothel deal with their profession as best they can. Mizoguchi sketches a portrait that gives voice to the sex workers and takes their point of view into account, so that this portrait goes beyond treating them as mere sex objects.
François Truffaut. France, 1968. Original language, Catalan subtitles. 107'.
Another film in the Gandules cycle for French speakers or Catalan readers. Jeanne Moreau stars in 'The Bride Wore Black' as one of the most fascinating violent and dangerous women in the history of cinema. A story of revenge that mixes the classic sobriety of Truffaut with the disturbing suspence of Hitchcock, who the French film-maker admired. A thriller where the wedding march turns into a funeral march, and which inspired Tarantino when he was creating 'Kill Bill'.