I am currently in Barcelona (for pleasure not business) but walking around this wonderfully vibrant city has made me question just how strong the Spain movie scene has been all these years. I walk by multiplexes and they don’t have any local films playing, but there are ads for Spanish-productions set to premiere on Netflix. With all that said, I was trying hard to come up with 10 Spain-financed films that would be deemed “classics,” except for all the Almodovars of course, but was struggling to come up with many. What gives? Has Spanish cinema just been ignored by the arthouse? Did Cannes’ decision to focus on Almodovar and nothing else for the better part of 3 decades hamper the rest of the talent in this country?
As mentioned, let’s forget Almodovar’s classics for a second (“Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown,” “All About My Mother,” “Hable Con Ella,” “The Skin I Live In”) and focus on the rest. In no particular order:
“The Spirit of the Beehive,” “Open Your Eyes,” “Pan's Labyrinth,” “Viridiana,” “The Exterminating Angel,” “Cell 211,” “The Others,” “The Orphanage,” and “The Executioner.”