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Old 12th April 2006, 06:16 PM   #1
Ben
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Default What are your favourite books and films on Spain?

The question is prompted by the re-re-launch of our books and films selection.
My answers are almost certainly:

Book - Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell
Film - Lucia y el Sexo (for Formentera and Paz Vega )

How about you?
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Old 12th April 2006, 07:32 PM   #2
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Having seen a mere dozen or at most 15 Spanish films, my view may change but top of the pile to date and by a long way is Nueve Reinas. Link is to my usual DVD rental place http://www.lovefilm.com/view_dvd.php...&se_type=title

Books... only read one but the high selling The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was enjoyable.

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Old 13th April 2006, 04:40 AM   #3
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I;ve only seen one spanish film(in salamanca) and it had subtitles, but it was very odd.

Malas Temporadas, it seems like they ran out of money and the story just ends..
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Old 13th April 2006, 09:37 AM   #4
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Not sure about favourite book - I haven't read that many Spanish books. I've started El Quijote a couple of times (like most people, I expect) and really enjoyed Los Santos Inocentes de Miguel Delibes.
As for films - one that I always enjoy is El Milagro de P. Tinto. I also really enjoyed Nueve Reinas, Intacto, La Lista de Espera, Tesis and Abre los Ojos. I guess it all depends on my mood as to what I prefer at the time. I just wish we had more opportunity to see Spanish films here (UK). We get the occasional ones (mainly Almodóvar and Amenábar), but nothing like the quantity of Bollywood films. Our local multiplex always has a featured Bollywood movie. I just wish they did a similar thing with other foreign (ie non-Hollywood) films (Spanish, European or whatever). hey ho
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Old 13th April 2006, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Books

I realise that this bit of the forum is really only for Spanish books, however three English books written about Spanish life etc which I have read recently which I became engrossed in and really liked were, two Chris Stewart books, Driving Over Lemons and A Parrott In The Pepper Tree, and a book by Polly Evans called It's Not About The Tapas. All a good read and hugely enjoyable. Someone gave me Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens recently, translated into Spanish and I keep having a go at that, but to be honest its a bit of a heavy read and I need something smaller and more entertaining.
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Old 13th April 2006, 11:43 AM   #6
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I got La Luz Fantástica (The Light Fantastic) by Terry Pratchett from Grant and Cutler in London. Fairly light. Also got Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal (but I think I got that one in Madrid). Having seen the movie (in English of course) the book was easier to read (haven't read any of the harry potters in English).
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Old 13th April 2006, 10:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpsuckerpig
I realise that this bit of the forum is really only for Spanish books,...
Don't worry, it's definitely about English books too. I prefered the first Chris Stewart book, Driving over Lemons', to the second, and definitely second the recommendation of Brenan's 'South from Granada'.
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Old 14th April 2006, 12:58 AM   #8
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Hola my favourite books are Death in the afternoon and Driving over lemons. I can't remember the number of times i have tried to read Don Quijote. On films The Motorcycle Diaries not spanish but was the first film i watch in spanish in spain so hope counts thanks
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Old 14th April 2006, 08:22 AM   #9
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Lucia y el Sexo was memorable, but my favourite films would be Tesis and La Luz Prodigiosa. And books? The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Ibanez) was fantastic, anything by Manuel Vazquez Montalban is worth reading, while the poetry and short stories of Jorge Luis Borges are a good challenge. (sorry, no accents)
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Old 14th April 2006, 08:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark.n
I can't remember the number of times i have tried to read Don Quijote.
Am I the only one that has ever made it to the end of DQ? (In English of course ) Edit: I have to admit, it was hard work....
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Old 14th April 2006, 08:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben
Am I the only one that has ever made it to the end of DQ? (In English of course ) Edit: I have to admit, it was hard work....
No, I read it (in English also). I loved it. Pure escapism, like living in Spain was for me ....
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Old 14th April 2006, 09:33 PM   #12
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well some English books that I really enjoyed were "Barcelona" by Robert Hughes and the biography "Gaudi" by Gijs Van Hensbergen.

The biography of Franco by Paul Preston is also a great way into recent Spanish history and not as heavy going as it may sound.

For books in spanish, but not necessarily from Spain, I have just read "Mi pais inventado" by Isabel Allende and would highly recommend her books, particularly if you are learning spanish as they are fairly easy to read.

For great Spanish films, I would also mention "Y tu mama tambien" and if you are a Penelope Cruz fan - "Belle Epoque".
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Old 16th April 2006, 02:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guapo

For great Spanish films, I would also mention "Y tu mama tambien" and if you are a Penelope Cruz fan - "Belle Epoque".
Si, Y tu Mama Tambien es buena, pero es de Mexico ....
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Old 2nd May 2006, 10:01 PM   #14
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I've read shorter excerpts of DQ in English, (and of course seen many film and television incarnations) but hope to tackle it for real someday soon.

I do tend to rent numerous Spanish-made, Spanish language (Latin America etc.) and bi-lingual films from Netflix these days.
My recent list of Picks & Pans include:

Picks

Todo Sobre mi madre / About My Mother (1999)
(Spanish w/English subtitles)
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Cecila Roth, Penelope Cruz
Set in: Madrid / Barcelona
A woman in crises after the accidental death of her teenage son, returns to the scene of her secret past in Barcelona to find the boy's father.

Before Night Falls, (2000)
(bi-lingual w/ Spanish and English subtitles)
Director: Julian Schnabel
Starring: Javier Bardem
Set in: Cuba / New York City
Depicts the life Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas and his trials
for living openly as a homosexual under Castro's regime.

Hijo de la novia / Son of the Bride (2001)
(Spanish w/ English subtitles)
Director: Juan Jose Campanella
Starring: Ricardo Darin, Hector Altreo, & Norma Aleandro
Set in: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
A divorced restaurant owner in Buenos Aires has a mid-life meltdown:
Trying to live up to his father's image, guilty over his mother with Alzheimer's disease, raising a daughter, and fighting off those who want to run him out of business.

Maria, llena eres de gracia / Maria, Full of Grace (2004)
(bilingual w/ English & Spanish subtitiles)
Director: Joshua Martson
Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno
Set in: Columbia & New Jersey (US)
A pregnant Colombian teenager becomes a drug mule to make some desperately needed money for her family.

A Day Without A Mexican (2004)
(English w/ Spanish and Spanish subtitiles)
Director: Sergio Arau
Starring: a cast of (mostly) unknowns
Set in: California/USA
One day California wakes up and not a single Latino is left in the state. They have all inexplicably dissappeared, chaos, economic hardship,tragedy, and comedy quickly ensue: Shot as a "Mock-u-Mentary"
Particularly relevent as the US Immigration laws come under tough scrutiny and the "Day Without An Immigrant" protests heat up across the United States.


Pans
Entre Tinieblax / Dark Habits (1983)
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Julieta Serrano &Cristina Pascua
Set in: Madrid (I think)
*Seriously horrible. Like a carwreck: so bad, I couldn't look away. You know the kind of film that - the worse it is, the more cult status it must enjoy?
I think the US/ Whoopi Goldberg musical "Sister Act" was loosely based on the plot of this film.

Otro lado de la cama / The Other Side of the Bed (2002)

(Spanish / English subtititles)
Director: Emilio Martinez Lazaro
Starring: Paz Vega, Ernesto Alterio, Guillermo Toledo, Natalia Verbeke...
Set in: Somewhere in Spain - Barcelona? I'm not sure...
Paula is having an affair with Javier. Pedro tries to find who is the secret lover of Paula. Meanwhile, while comforting Pedro, Sonia has one night stand with him and Javier thinks she is cheating him with her lesbian friend Lucia.
* I KNOW this was a very popular film in Spain -- but the pop music/musical genre just does nothing for me, personally. Plus I thought it was a fairly tired plotline. Still a few scenes DID make me smile. Anybody know how the sequel did?



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Old 2nd May 2006, 10:39 PM   #15
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Were reading part of DQ for the next few weeks and watching the video in class, since our AP exam is over....

I hope it will be interesting
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Old 3rd May 2006, 08:42 AM   #16
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Is no-one reading DQ in Spanish? It's like reading Shakespearean English, but still enjoyable (though needs more concentration than my normal bedtime reading fare).
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Old 4th May 2006, 03:55 AM   #17
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I;m reading part of it in spanish, well now I am not so sure... We got a bio on cervantes(sp?) and a packet where we havce to research conditions in medievil history..

Sweet..
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Old 5th May 2006, 03:52 AM   #18
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Ben,

I just picked up a copy of Motorcycle Diaries, the book version. I will hopefully get to start it this weekend...Have you read the book?

Greg
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Old 5th May 2006, 06:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubix
Ben,

I just picked up a copy of Motorcycle Diaries, the book version. I will hopefully get to start it this weekend...Have you read the book?

Greg
In English I'm afraid... great book though!
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Old 6th May 2006, 01:31 PM   #20
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Default Don Quixote etc.

I'd recommend listening to this BBC radio programme on Don Quixote although I found the English pronunciation of "Quixote" irritating (as in the English "quixotic", "kwiks-ot-ik"):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/...20060316.shtml

Film favourites? Nothing surpasses Almodovar's Hable con Ella (Talk to Her). The soundtrack is perfect and Javier Camara as Benigno is just a brilliant performance. Like most Spanish films, particularly Almodovar's, there is a surreal aspect and this just adds to the genius of the film. Love this film and you will [or already do] love Spain.

Andrew
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