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Old 12th April 2006, 07:16 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, 08:32 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, 05:40 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, 10:37 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 1st February 2007, 04:43 PM   #5
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Oh yeah that book was amazing!!!!
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Old 13th April 2006, 11:22 AM   #6
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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, 12:43 PM   #7
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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, 11:22 PM   #8
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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, 01:58 AM   #9
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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, 09:22 AM   #10
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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, 09:34 AM   #11
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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, 09:40 AM   #12
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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 5th June 2006, 08:39 PM   #13
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I just finished a Quijote class last semester...in Spanish..both volumes. Not exactly the most exciting book, but I am proud to sad that I accomplished that.

I enjoyed the play "Historia de una escalera" by Vallejo. If anyone watches Aquí no hay quien viva you will be able to relate.

"Todos nacemos vascos" is also funny and gives you a look at Basque humor.

Although I have yet to read it, I heard ¨La sombra del viento¨ is a good one too.

Last edited by neskadebilbao; 7th June 2006 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 14th April 2006, 10:33 PM   #14
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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, 03:30 AM   #15
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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, 11:01 PM   #16
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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 3rd June 2006, 11:02 PM   #17
Edith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guapo
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.
True! I have read all of Isabel Allende's books in Spanish, including her children's books and the autobiography you mentioned. A couple of months ago I read 'Ciudad de los prodigios' by Eduardo Mendoza, and it proved to be a much tougher read. Right now I am reading 'La guerra del fin del mundo' by Mario Vargas Llosa.

Favorite book about Spain: Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Favorite Spanish movie: Mar adentro

I have also read Iberia by James Michener but I didn't really like the book because he spent too much time writing about how much he liked bullfights. Just like Hemingway.

Last edited by Edith; 3rd June 2006 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 4th June 2006, 10:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edith
Favorite book about Spain: Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
Mine too, top of the list!
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Old 24th January 2007, 11:39 AM   #19
José Miguel
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Default PENINSULAR WAR

Sobre la guerra que los españoles llaman "de la Independencia" y los británicos "Peninsular War" ha aparecido el libro "La Guerra de la Independencia vista por los británicos (1808-1814)" que contiene muchos y variados testimonios sobre las gentes y tierras que vieron los militares británicos que lucharon en España contra Napoleón.
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Old 27th August 2007, 06:38 PM   #20
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Default libros y películas

I agree with Ben about the George Orwell book. Reading it made me want to find out more about the civil war and I am now reading (slowly!)
"Una historia de la guerra civil que no va a gustar a nadie" by Juan Eslava Galan ( Planeta).
It is a sensitive account of the political machinations but also looks at the effects on real people´s lives - for example- una receta para tortilla de patatas sin patatas y sin huevos y porque en los cines de la infancia del autor se comían tantas pipas.....

Films- Nueve Reinas of course and have heard good things about "el laberinto del fauno" but my screen is too small to make me want to watch it on DVD. An Andalusian film worth looking out for is " Atún y chocolate ", set around Barbate ( indie romantic comedy is my best description- tuna and hashish!)

I will have to see Manolete when it comes out ( Adrien Brody y the ubiquitous Pen ) even if it is just because it was shot on location here in El Puerto de Santa Maria and Cadiz ,Sanlúcar amongst other places.

Last edited by cliftonjan; 27th August 2007 at 06:53 PM. Reason: made a mistake
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