Month: January 2015

Concepción Arenal’s 195th Birthday – Google

Concepción Arenal’s 195th Birthday

Spanish activist and writer Concepción Arenal once said, “Open schools and prisons will be closed.” A staunch advocate for women’s rights and devoted to helping those marginalized in society, Arenal is remembered in Spain as a pioneer of the feminist movement and for being the first women to attend a university in her homeland.

Read more about Concepción Arenal at Wikipedia.

I Like Going to the Cinema

In Spain most films are shown dubbed, but there are some cinemas that show films in their original language with Spanish subtitles. If you are planning to be in Madrid some time, look for the marking “VO”, “VOS” or “VOSE” (original version with Spanish subtitles) beside the showing. My favourite cinemas in Madrid are:

Unfortunately Cine Renoir Cuatro Caminos, closed on 30 september 2013.

I’ve Just Realised I forgot to see Winter Sleep (2014) directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

I’m really looking forward to watching Winter Sleep (2014), a Turkish drama film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The story is set in Anatolia and examines the significant divide between the rich and poor as well as the powerful and powerless in Turkey. At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the film won the Palme d’Or and the FIPRESCI Prize. The film was selected as the Turkish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated

Synopsis: Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce. In winter as the snow begins to fall, the hotel turns into a shelter but also an inescapable place that fuels their animosities… (Source: Festival de Cannes)

The Hollywood Reporter

Film Notes: Leviathan (2014) directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

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

RU / 141 minutes / color / Non-Stop Production with the support of the Russian Ministry of Culture Cinema Fund, RuArts Foundation Dir: Andrei Zvyagintsev Pro: Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergei Melkumov Scr: Oleg Negin, Andrei Zvyagintsev Cine: Mikhail Krichman Mus: Philip Glass Cast: Aleksei Serebryakov (Kolia), Elena Lyadova (Lilya), Vladimir Vdovichenkov (Dimitri, the lawyer friend), Roman Madyanov (Vadim, the mayor), Sergey Pokhadaev (Roma) Release Date in Spain (theatres) 1 January, 2015.

Synopsis: Leviathan is a modern day retelling of the Biblical story of Job set in contemporary Russia. Kolia (AlexeÏ Serebriakov) lives in a small town near the Barents Sea, in North Russia. He has his own auto-repair shop. His shop stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya (Elena Liadova) and his son from a previous marriage Roma (SergueÏ Pokhodaev). Vadim Sergeyich (Roman Madianov), the Mayor of the town, wants to take away his business, his house and his land. First he tries buying off Kolia but Kolia isn’t interested in money, he doesn’t want to lose everything he has: not only the land, but also all the beauty that has surrounded him from the day of his birth. As Vadim Sergeyich starts being more aggressive, Kolia asks his best friend Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), a lawyer from Moscow, to help him, unaware that this would change his life forever. (Source: Cannes Festival)

Leviathan was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Zvyagintsev and Negin won the award for Best Screenplay. It has also won the Golden Peacock at the 45th International Film Festival of India, the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards and the Best Direction, Best Leading Actress, Best Film Editing and Best Supporting Actor categories at the 13th Golden Eagle Award. Finally, it has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category in the 87th Academy Award.

I really wanted to see Leviathan, see my previous post here. With this film I’ve seen almost all the candidates in the category of Best Foreign Film in the next edition of the Academy Awards. The good news is that Timbuktu (2014) is scheduled to premiere in Spain next 6 of February. Therefore, I may be in position of having seen all films candidates in this category.

Begoña and I went to see this film yesterday. I’ve little to add to all the favourable reviews that Leviathan has received, see the enclosed comments. However, for my taste, it falls short to reach the category of masterpiece that some critics grant to this film. Despite being a superb film and well above average. My favourite film is still Tangerines, but I have little doubt that Leviathan may end up being the Oscar winner this year. I also consider that Ida is a superior film. But that is just a matter of taste. In any case, so far, all the candidates are worth seeing.

Palace films

The Guardian review

The Hollywood Reporter

Review by Roger Ebert

Notas de cine: Leviatán (2014) dirigida por Andrei Zvyagintsev

Sinopsis: Leviatán es una versión moderna de la historia bíblica de Job situada en la Rusia contemporánea. Kolia (Alexei Serebriakov) vine en un prequeño pueblo a orillas del mar de Barents, al norte de Rusia. Tiene un taller de mecánica al lado de su casa, en donde vive con su joven esposa Lilya (Elena Liadova) y su hijo Roma (Serguei Pokhodaev) fruto de una unión anterior. Vadim Sergeyich (Roman Madianov), el alcalde de la ciudad, quiere quitarle su negocio, su casa y su tierra. Primero intenta sobornar a Kolia pero a Kolia no le interesa el dinero, no quiere perder todo lo que tiene: no sólo la tierra, sino también toda la belleza que le ha rodeado desde el día de su nacimiento. Cuando Vadim Sergeyich empieza a ser más agresivo, Kolia le pide ayuda a su mejor amigo Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), un abogado de Moscú, sin saber que esto le va a cambiar su vida para siempre. (Fuente: Cannes Festival)

Leviatán fue seleccionada para competir por la Palma de Oro en la sección principal de la competición en el Festival de Cine de Cannes 2014. Zvyagintsev y Negin ganaron el premio al mejor guión. También ha ganado el Golden Peacock en el 45ª Festival Internacional de Cine de la India, el premio a la mejor película de habla no inglesa en la 72ª edición de los Globos de Oro y los premios a la mejor dirección, mejor actriz protagonista, mejor montaje y mejor actor de reparto en la 13ª edición de los Premios Golden Eagle. Finalmente, está nominada en la categoría a la mejor película en lengua extranjera en la 87ª edición de los premios Óscar, otorgados por la Academia de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas de Estados Unidos.

Tenía muchas ganas de ver Leviatán, ver mi post anterior aquí. Con esta película he visto casi todos las candidatas en la categoría de mejor película extranjera en la próxima edición de los premios de la Academia. La buena noticia es que Timbuktu (2014) se estrenará en España el próximo 6 de febrero. Por lo tanto, puedo estar en posición de haber visto todas las películas candidatas en esta categoría.

Begoña y yo fuimos a ver esta película ayer. Tengo poco que añadir a todas las críticas favorables que Leviatán ha recibido, ver los comentarios adjuntos. Sin embargo, para mi gusto, se queda corta para llegar a la categoría de obra maestra que algunos críticos otorgan a esta película. A pesar de ser una película excelente y muy por encima de la media. Mi película favorita es todavía Tangerines, pero no tengo duda de que Leviathan puede terminar siendo la ganadora del Oscar de este año. También considero que Ida es una película superior. Pero eso es sólo una cuestión de gustos. En todo caso, hasta el momento, todas las candidatas son dignas de ver.

Film Notes: The Imitation Game (2014) directed by Morten Tyldum

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

UK – USA / 114 minutes / color / A Weinstein Co. (in U.S.)/StudioCanal (in U.K.) release and presentation of A Black Bear Pictures/Bristol Automotive production. (International sales: FilmNation Entertainment, Los Angeles.) Dir: Morten Tyldum Pro: Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzma Scr: Graham Moore Story: based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges Cine: Óscar Faura Mus: Alexandre Desplat Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke), Matthew Goode (Hugh Alexander), Mark Strong (Maj. Gen. Stewart Menzies), Charles Dance (Cdr. Alastair Denniston), Allen Leech (John Cairncross), Matthew Beard (Peter Hilton) Rory Kinnear  (Detective Nock), Alex Lawther (Young Turing), Jack Bannon (Christopher Morcom), Victoria Wicks (Dorothy Clarke), David Charkham (William Kemp Lowther Clarke), Tuppence Middleton (Helen), James Northcote (Jack Good), Steven Waddington (Supt Smith) Release Date in Spain (theatres) 1 January, 2015.

Based on the real life story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who is credited with cracking the German Enigma code, The Imitation Game portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British Establishment, but his work and legacy live on. The Imitation Game  stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek, Into Darkness, TV’s Sherlock) as Turing and Keira Knightley (Atonement) as close friend and fellow code breaker Joan Clarke, alongside a top notch cast including Matthew Goode (A Single Man), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Gosford Park, TV’s Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (In Fear, TV’s Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard (An Education). (Source: Studio Canal)

Synopsis: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save millions of lives. (Source:  The Imitation Game, Production Notes The Weinstein Company)

My understanding is that the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, served to inspire the film, but there are a number of inaccuracies as have been pointed out in several places; like for example in Fact-Checking the Film: ‘The Imitation Game’. I can accept that in a film, as in any other work of art, facts don’t need to completely conform with reality; but perhaps, in this case, it would have been preferable a more rigorous historical approach with fewer dramatic licenses. In any case, Begoña and I went to see this film a couple of weeks ago. I found it quite entertaining, the story was pretty much unknown to me and I understand that the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch is superb. I missed a more detailed account of Turing’s work, there is no doubt he succeeded at the end, but who trusted him and why?  All in all, a thought-provoking film that is worth seeing.

Further reading:

Glasgow Film Theatre Programme Note: The Imitation Game

What’s Missing from “The Imitation Game” by Dan Rockmore

Notas de cine: Descifrando Enigma dirigida por Morten Tyldum

Sinposis: Durante el invierno de 1952, las autoridades británicas entraron en el hogar del matemático, analista y héroe de guerra Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), con la intención de investigar la denuncia de un robo. Acabaron arrestando a Turing acusándole de “indecencia grave”, un cargo que le supondría una devastadora condena por, lo que en aquel entonces se consideraba una ofensa criminal, ser homosexual. Los oficiales no tenían ni idea de que en realidad estaban incriminando al pionero de la informática actual. Liderando a un heterogéneo grupo de académicos, lingüistas, campeones de ajedrez y oficiales de inteligencia, se le conoce por haber descifrado el código de la inquebrantable máquina Enigma de los alemanes durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Un retrato intenso e inolvidable de un hombre brillante y complicado, The Imitation Game (Descifrando enigma) sigue a un genio que bajo gran presión ayudó a acortar la guerra y, consecuentemente, salvar miles de vidas.

Tengo entendido es el libro Alan Turing: The Enigma escrito por Andrew Hodges, sirvió de base para inspirar la película, pero hay una serie de inexactitudes como se ha señalado en varios lugares; como por ejemplo en Cometieron seis errores: los fallos garrafales del biopic de Turing. Puedo aceptar que en una película, como en cualquier otra obra de arte, los hechos no necesitan ajustarse completamente a la realidad; pero quizás, en este caso, hubiera sido preferible un enfoque histórico más riguroso con menos licencias dramáticas. En cualquier caso, Begoña y yo fuimos a ver esta película hace un par de semanas. Me pareció bastante entretenida, la historia era prácticamente desconocida para mí y entiendo que la actuación de Benedict Cumberbatch es magnífica. Echo de menos una explicación más detallada del trabajo de Turing, no hay duda de que tuvo éxito al final, pero ¿quién confió en él y por qué? En definitiva, una película que nos ayuda a reflexionar y que vale la pena ver.

Ficha de la película