Spanish Films
Students' Corner

Spanish films have been making waves around the world for decades, though in the past couple of decades Spanish-language movies, filmmakers and actors have certainly made a place for themselves in the realm of international cinema. With our Spanish film screenings, we want to provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Spanish film and discover this unique and wonderful facet of Spain's diverse culture. Along with cultural insight, viewing Spanish-language films will also provide you with excellent listening and comprehension practice! Below you can read a bit about some of the famous Spanish films that may be showing at our school while you study Spanish with us:

Mar Adentro / The Sea Inside

Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
Starring: Javier Bardem, Belén Rueda, Lola Dueñas
Synopsis: This Spanish film tells the moving, true-life story of Ramón Sampedro who, after an accident as a young man that left him quadripeligic, fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. The movie follows not only his battle but also his relationships with others and his ability to inspire all around him to value the preciousness of life.

Todo Sobre Mi Madre / All About My Mother

Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Cecilia Roth, Penélope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Antonia San Juan, Candela Peña
Synopsis:Todo sobre mi madre tells the story of a single mother who watches her only son be hit by a car and die on his 17th birthday as he runs after an actress trying to get her autograph. She goes to Barcelona to find her son's father, a transvestite named Lola who never knew he had a son. Along the way she finds her loving yet wild friend Agrado, another transvestite; meets a young nun, Rosa, about to leave for San Salvador before finding out that she's pregnant by Lola; and even becomes the personal assistant of the actress whose autograph her son was seeking. She later helps care for Rosa, the nun, through her risky pregnancy. Like many of Almodóvar's film, the movie deals with complex issues such as existentialism, faith, AIDS and transvestitism.

El Laberinto del Fauno / Pan's Labyrinth

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi López, Ariadna Gil, Maribel Verdú, Álex Angulo
Synopsis: Set in Spain in the 1940's, towards the beginning of dictator Francisco Franco's reign, this film interweaves the real world with a fantasy world located in an overgrown labyrinth in which a faun creature lives. Ofelia, the main character, escapes to the enigmatic labyrinth to get away from her dismal real life, in which her stepfather, Captain Vidal, hunts down anyone who is not a Franco loyalist while her pregnant mother becomes more ill with each day. Along with the faun, the main character with whom Ofelia interacts, she also meets several strange creatures who help her through the trials of the abandoned labyrinth garden.

Los Lunes Al Sol / Mondays in the Sun

Directed by: Fernando León de Aranoa
Starring: Javier Bardem, Luis Tosar, José Ángel Egido, Nieve de Medina
Synopsis:Los lunes al sol is a Spanish film set in northern Spain telling the story of a group of men, once shipbuilders, who have been left jobless when the shipyards in which they work are closed. Each man handles the situation in a different way, though all have been affected. Now they spend their days drinking their lives away in a bar owned by a former shipbuilder. Along with Santa, the group's leader, characters include Lino, an aging family man trying to get jobs beyond his qualifications; Reina, who has found employment as a security guard; Amador, who spirals into alcoholism after being left by his wife; José, who is not only jealous of his wife's employment but also fears that she will leave him.

No sos vos, soy yo

Directed by: Juan Taratuto
Starring: Diego Peretti, Soledad Villamil, Cecilia Dopazo, Marcos Mundstock
Synopsis: This Spanish-Argentinian comedy-drama follows the lives of Javier and María, a couple living together in Argentina who decide to head to Miami in search of a better life. Maria leaves for Miami first, as she has US residency, but as Javier is getting ready to leave, Maria calls and tells him not to come and that she's met somebody else and is confused. His life in ruins and his heart broken, he eventually decides to get over her and try to meet someone new; that someone new comes in the form of a sweet veterinary clerk, Julia. Then Maria makes an appearance once again following the death of her father and pleads with Javier to love her again. However, he realizes that he has moved on and is ready to live again.

Hable con ella

Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, Rosario Flores
Synopsis: This Oscar- and Golden Globe- winning film follows two men, Benigno and Marco, who meet by chance at a concert and later at a hospital. Marco's girlfriend, Lydia, is a famous female bullfighter in a coma after being severely gored by a bull. Benigno is a nurse at the hospital, where he has fallen in love with a comatose patient, Alicia, a beautiful dance student. Marco leaves Spain when he learns that she Lydia had reunited with a former lover, later learning of her death from a newspaper. Meanwhile, Alicia is discovered to be pregnant and Benigno is accused of rape and sent to jail, where he tries to overdose on pills to end up in a coma, but instead dies. Alicia eventually wakes up shortly after the birth of her stillborn child and begins her rehabilitation. Meanwhile, Marco has rented Benigno's apartment and spots Alicia, who he remembers from the hospital, alive and well. The film ends with Marco attending a dance recital, where Alicia is seated two rows behind him. The film explores themes like communication difficulties, intimacy, infidelity, the strength of love, loneliness and secrecy.

Tacones lejanos

Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar
Starring: Victoria Abril, Marisa Paredes, Miguel Bosé
Synopsis: This Spanish film by Almodóvar follows the relationship between Becky del Páramo, a famous singer and self-involved mother, and her grown daughter, Rebeca, a news broadcaster who hasnt seen her mother since she was a child. The reunion of mother and daughter is tense and made even more so because Rebeca has married Manuel, a former lover of Becky, and befriended - and later sleeps with - Letal, a cross-dressing impersonator of Becky. When Manuel is murdered, the situation becomes even more complicated, though it's also the event that seems to bring Rebeca and Becky back together.


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