Premieres Today in Spanish Cinemas: A Perfect Day (2015) written and directed by Fernando León de Aranoa

apd_poster A Perfect Day is a 2015 Spanish drama film written and directed by Fernando León de Aranoa. It is based on the novel Dejarse Llover by Paula Farias. It was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. (Source Wikipedia)

Synopsis: A group of aid workers tries to remove a cadaver from a well in an armed conflict zone. The body was thrown into the well to contaminate the water and cut the water supply to the local population.But circumstances soon turn a simple task into an impossible mission. The workers cross the frenzied war landscape like guinea pigs in a maze, and there might be no way out. A war inside another war, in which the only enemy could be irrationality. The crisis they’re trying to solve is humanitarian, but they’re only human. Humor, drama, tenderness, routine, danger, hope: it all fits into a perfect day. This film’s only genre is life itself. Like a Russian doll, it’s a drama inside a comedy, inside a road movie, inside a war movie. (Sucre: West End Films)

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The Hollywood Reporter A Perfect Day: Cannes Review

Death on a Galician Shore (Trailer)

Perhaps it might be of your interest. The film is based on Domingo Villar’s novel Death on a Galician Shore (La playa de los ahogados), directed by Gerardo Herrero. It will be released in Spain on 9 October 2015.

OT: Viñademoya Tinto Roble 2014

  • 20150813_203833 Winery: Bodega Luzdivina Amigo. Cra. Villafranca 10, 24516 Parandones (León) España. For many generations the Amigo family were winegrowers but it was only in 2002 when they decided to produce their own wines from their own vineyards spread over 12 hectares distributed in small plots or leiros
  • Phone: +34 987 544 826
  • Winemaker:  Miguel Ángel Amigo
  • Website: www.bodegaluz.com 
  • Brand: Viñademoya Production: 80.000 bottles of 75 cl.
  • DO: Bierzo
  • Type: Young Red Wine aged 2 months in French oak 
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Alcohol: 13 %
  • Grape Variety: 100% Mencía 
  • Vineyards: The vines are located in an area called Viñademoya close to the winery and owned by the family. Vines are planted on vase and they are over 100 years old. This estate probably has the biggest area of pre-phylloxera vines in El Bierzo.
  • Soil Type: Rich in minerals and slate
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: Between 5.90 € and 6.20 € on the Internet.
  • My wine rating: 89/100 (A wine of very good to excellent quality) NEW!

Another outstanding wine from El Bierzo, with an excellent price/quality ratio.

Review: Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

HarperCollins Publishers, The Agatha Christie Signature Edition published 2001. First published in 1940. ISBN-10: 0007120710.

sad-cypress

Elinor Carlisle is brought before the judge accused of having poisoned Mary Gerrard. After a few minutes of silence, during which her lawyer fears that she could declare herself guilty, Elinor pleads not guilty. The story had begun about a year ago when Elinor received an anonymous letter warning her that someone was determined to take her place in the affections of her aunt Laura Welman. Mrs Welman suffered from reduced mobility due to a stroke and lived in her own house with the assistance of her housekeeper Mrs Bishop, a couple of nurses, nurses Hopkins and O’Brien, and under the care of Dr. Peter Lord, a young doctor. In addition, Mary Gerrard, the daughter of a lodge keeper, was in the habit to pay her a visit every day. Mary was extremely grateful to Mrs Welman for having paid her studies. Elinor, in turn, was planning to marry Roddy Welman, whom she knew since childhood. Roddy was the nephew of the late Mr Welman, the husband of her aunt. Both had assumed they were going to inherit her fortune, as they were her closest relatives. But one day, during a visit of Elinor and Roddy to their aunt, Roddy falls in love with Mary Gerrard and breaks her engagement to Elinor. As from that moment events take an unexpected turn. Mrs Welman dies intestate and Elinor, as next of kin, becomes her sole heir. Shortly after, Mary dies poisoned and Elinor seems to be the only person who has a motive, the opportunity and the means for having done so. Dr. Lord, who is attracted to Elinor, resorts to Hercule Poirot to unmask the real culprit in order to prove her innocence.

Sad Cypress has quite an original structure. The story is being told in three parts. The first one relates the facts that end up with the death by poisoning of Mary Gerrard and with the subsequent imprisonment of Elinor Carlisle considered the main suspect of the crime. The second revolves around the investigation carried by Poirot, mainly through his conversations with those involved in the plot. Finally, the third part takes place almost entirely in the courtroom. All these make it possible to maintain the attention of the reader and, in essence, the novel ends up being quite entertaining. Likewise its resolution turns out fairly convincing. Probably the biggest drawback of the story, in my view, has to do with the way in which Poirot arrives to solve the mystery. It has very much reminded me the way a magician pulls a rabbit out of his top hat. Maybe for this reason Sad Cypress is not ranked among Agatha Christie’s best novels.

My rating: B (I really liked it)

Sad Cypress has been reviewed at Reactions to Reading (Bernadette) In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel (The Puzzle Doctor), Mysteries in Paradise (Kerrie), BooksPlease (Margaret), Clothes In Books (Moira Redmond),

HarperCollins publishers

Agatha Christie Official Website 

Notes On Sad Cypress

Un triste ciprés de Ágata Christie

un triste cipres Elinor Carlisle comparece ante el juez acusada de haber envenenado a Mary Gerrard. Después de unos minutos de silencio, durante los cuales su abogado teme que pudiera declararse culpable, Elinor se declara inocente. La historia había comenzado hace aproximadamente un año, cuando Elinor recibió una carta anónima advirtiéndole que alguien estaba decidido a ocupar su puesto en el afecto de su tía Laura Welman. La señora Welman sufría de movilidad reducida debido a un derrame cerebral y vivía en su propia casa con la ayuda de su ama de llaves la señora Bishop, un par de enfermeras, las enfermeras Hopkins y O’Brien, y bajo el cuidado del doctor Peter Lord, un joven médico. Además, Mary Gerrard, la hija del portero de la finca, tenía la costumbre de hacerle una visita todos los días. María estaba muy agradecida a la Sra Welman por haberle pagado sus estudios. Elinor, a su vez, tenía la intención de casarse con Roddy Welman, a quien conocía desde la infancia. Roddy era el sobrino del fallecido Sr. Welman, el marido de su tía. Ambos habían asumido que iban a heredar su fortuna, dado que eran sus parientes más cercanos. Pero un día, durante una visita de Elinor y Roddy a su tía, Roddy se enamora de Mary Gerrard y rompe su compromiso con Elinor. A partir de ese momento los acontecimientos toman un giro inesperado. La señora Welman muere intestada y Elinor, como pariente más próximo, se convierte en su única heredera. Poco después, Mary muere envenenada y Elinor parece ser la única persona que tiene un motivo, la oportunidad y los medios para haberlo hecho. El doctor Lord, que se siente atraído por Elinor, recurre a Hércules Poirot para desenmascarar al verdadero culpable con el fin de demostrar su inocencia.

Un triste ciprés tiene una estructura bastante original. La historia está contada en tres partes. La primera se refiere a los hechos que terminan con la muerte por envenenamiento de Mary Gerrard y con el posterior encarcelamiento de Elinor Carlisle considerada la principal sospechosa del crimen. La segunda gira en torno a la investigación realizada por Poirot, principalmente a través de sus conversaciones con los implicados en la trama. Por último, la tercera parte se desarrolla casi por completo en la sala del tribunal. Todo esto hace que sea posible mantener la atención del lector y, en esencia, la novela termina siendo bastante entretenida. Del mismo modo su resolución resulta bastante convincente. Probablemente, el mayor inconveniente de la historia, en mi opinión, tiene que ver con la forma en que Poirot llega a resolver el misterio. Me ha recordado mucho la forma en que un mago saca un conejo de su chistera. Tal vez por esta razón Un triste ciprés no se encuentra entre las mejores novelas de Agatha Christie.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó mucho)

Film Notes: Whiplash (2014) directed by Damien Chazelle

USA /106 minutes / color / Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions and Right of Way Films  Dir: Damien Chazelle Pro:Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, Michel Litvak, David Lancaster Scr: written by Damien Chazelle Cine: Sharone Meir Film Editor: Tom Cross Mus: Justin Hurwitz Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Damon Gupton Release Date (Spain) 16 January 2015. Spanish title: Whiplash

MV5BMTU4OTQ3MDUyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTA2MjU0MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_ Synopsis: Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory where he receives his training. Marked by the failure of his father literary career, driven by delusions of grandeur, Andrew has ambitions to become one of the greats.Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons), an instructor well known equally for his teaching talents and his terrifying methods, leads the best jazz ensemble of the Conservatory. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers him into his band. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection soon spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity.

Damien Chazelle on what is and isn’t ambiguous about Whiplash by Tasha Robinson

Begoña and I had the opportunity to see Whiplash last night. The film is based on  Damien Chazelle owns experiences in the Princeton High School Studio Band and centres in the relationship between an obsessive jazz student and his abusive instructor. The film lived up to my expectations. Although I fully agree with Richard Brody when he writes that ‘certainly, the movie isn’t “about” jazz; it’s “about” abuse of power’.

Whiplash premiered in competition in the US Dramatic Category at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 2014, as the festival’s opening film. Sony Pictures Worldwide acquired the international distribution rights. At the 87th Academy Awards, Whiplash won Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Supporting Actor for Simmons, and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. (Source: Wikipedia)

You can find below two completely different reviews:

Getting Jazz Right in the Movies by Richard Brody (The New Yorker)

The Hollywood Reporter review by Todd McCarthy