Do Spanish comedies make you laugh out loud? If you’re a real fan of this Spanish genre, make a note of these five films on your “must see movies” list:
1. Plácido (1961). Director Luis García Berlanga and scriptwriter Rafael Azcona brought a breath of fresh air into the dark times of Franco’s dictatorship. Plácido is a homeless man who is invited by a wealthy Spanish family to spend Christmas Eve with them. The family do this in response to an actual campaign at the time, which had the slogan “Sit a poor person at your table”.
2. What’s a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1978) Possibly a bit dated from our current perspective, but it was revolutionary after Franco’s death. Women who for decades had been confined to the kitchen now suddenly found themselves being able to enjoy their long overdue, and often surprising, freedom.
3. Women on a Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). A classic. This movie launched Almodóvar’s career from national fame to worldwide recognition. Inspired by the heartbreaking French stage monologue The Human Voice, Almodóvar’s wit transformed it into two hours of unstoppable laughter.
4. The Day of the Beast (1995). Alex de la Iglesia was one of the most distinctive voices of the generation of filmmakers that flourished at the end of the 20th Century (including Amenábar, Juanma Bajo Ulloa and Icíar Bollaín). The Antichrist is about to be born in Madrid and a priest, a psychic and a heavy-metal singer are the only ones who can stop it.
5. Spanish Affair (2014). The second biggest box office hit ever in Spain (after Avatar). This is the story of an Andalusian guy and a Basque girl who fall in love. In order to please her parents he has to pretend to be from the Basque Country in northern Spain, and, in order to please his parents, she has to pretend that she’s from Andalusia in the south.
Enjoy Spanish Affair on 3rd October, 2015 (17.45) and 7th October, 2015 (18.00) at Edinburgh Filmhouse.