Spanish Film Festival

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Spanish Film Festival
Photograph: Supplied
Kiki Love to Love star Natalia de Molina

A Spanish remake of an Australian comedy will open this year’s big fiesta of cinema

Have you seen the 2014 Australian comedy The Little Death? No? Pity. Josh Lawson’s film is a daring, adult sex comedy exploring what happens when various suburban Aussies start to act on their fetishes. Back then, Time Out wrote that the film “deftly weaves together surreal scenarios into a constantly surprising package”. But moviegoers stayed at home – most likely because the words “erotic” and “Australian comedy” just don’t sit comfortably in the same sentence together.

So it’s no shock to us that the movie has been remade, very successfully, in Spain. Director Paco Léon has worked out the kinks, so to speak, of Lawson’s film and with Kiki, Love to Love managed to unseat Batman vs Superman from the top of the Spanish box office. The film has garnered comparison to the work of Pedro Almodóvar, and will be the opening night film of the 20th Spanish Film Festival. The film’s star, Natalia de Molina (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed), will be visiting Australia as festival guest.

Closing night film, meanwhile, will be The Trip to Spain – the third ‘trip’ movie, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden play themselves on assignment, driving through Spain, eating at its best restaurants and exchanging improvised banter.

Iberian superstar Penélope Cruz stars in The Queen of Spain. The sequel to 1998’s The Girl of Your Dreams, it’s a comedic drama about a 1950s Hollywood star who returns to her native Spain to shoot a film. Thriller fans will go for The Fury of a Patient Man. The debut film directed by actor Raúl Arévalo is a Western-influenced revenge tale about a jewel heist – it won Best Film at the Goyas this year.

Summer of 1993 is a coming-of-age story about a six-year-old orphan who goes to live with her uncle, while The Bar is an offbeat comedy thriller about a group of strangers trapped in a Madrid bar during a siege situation.

Music is in focus in Flight of the Guitar: Dreaming of Paco de Lucia. The great guitarist died in 2014 – this documentary is about the building of La Maestro, the only guitar De Lucia ever designed, and its journey around the world to be played by other top guitarists. Sara Baras, All Her Voices follows the world-famous flamenco dancer during the creation of her recent show Voces and will brings the torrid emotions of flamenco dancing to vivid life on the big screen.   

Another thriller, May God Save Us, has been compared to David Fincher’s Seven, and concerns two police inspectors on the trail of a serial killer in Madrid in 2011. Roberto Àlamo gives an acclaimed performance as one of the cops. Fans of Maribel Verdú (Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mamá También) will be keen to see The Tip of the Iceberg, which has her playing an executive investigating a corporate tragedy.

Screenings will take place at Palace Cinemas and festival tickets are on sale now.

By: Nick Dent

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