As you know, despite spending millions on marketing to get the word out, our arts industry, for easily understood commercial reasons, doesn’t effectively get the word out about whether their products are any good or not. So for the cost of an hour or so’s outsourced, offshored labour, Troppo steps into the breach courtesy of the rivers of gold from our Imaginary Economics sponsorship – which has been renewed for another ‘probationary’ period. Perhaps we should go one step further and see if anyone wants to suggest some times they intend to go to movies and we can join each other there.
Through five stories, the movie addresses sex and love. Paco and Ana are a married couple looking for reactivate the passion of their sexual relations. Jose Luis tries to recover the affections of his wife Paloma, who is on a wheelchair after an accident which has limited her mobility. Candelaria and Antonio are a married couple trying out all possible means to be parents. Álex tries to satisfy Natalia’s fantasies, while she starts to doubt if he finally will ask her in marriage. And finally, Sandra is a single woman searching for a man to fall in love. All of them love, fear, live and explore their diverse sexual paraphilias and the different sides of sexuality, trying to find the road to happiness.
In the summer of 1993, following the death of her parents, six-year-old Frida is forced from bustling Barcelona to the Catalan provinces to live with her aunt and uncle, her new legal guardians. Country life is a challenge: aside from the emotional upheaval, the nature that surrounds her is mysterious, if not dangerous. She also has a new little sister, of whom she must take care, and deal with new feelings such as jealousy. But it is the source of her parents’ passing that casts a shadow over how she is treated by the local community… Indeed, Frida’s life will never be the same.
Paesa, the shadowy, swindling real-life anti-hero, spent the 80s secretly purchasing weapons for the Spanish Government in their fight against the terrorist group ETA. When the scandal broke, Paesa was made a scapegoat and forced to leave Spain in fear for his life. In 1994, finally able to return albeit a ruined man, his chance for vengeance arrives on his doorstep in the form of a corrupt Police Chief seeking his aid to embezzle a fortune.
A tight-knit group of bank robbers made up of former army mates from Eastern Europe plan to break into the Swiss Credit Bank. A closed off group, who, in following the death of one of their own are forced to recruit a new member. The new recruit, professional thief Victor, is tasked with the most dangerous and vital job of all: breaking through the vault’s walls. As the pressure escalates, the group begins to fracture from within. On the other side of the law, a single-minded detective is hot on their trail and now has a small window to catch them before their most dangerous heist yet.
‘The Exile’ harks back decades to the ethical frontline of the Spanish Civil War, a time that still resonates in the Spanish consciousness today. A nationalist soldier, Teo, is transferred to a remote mountain outpost where the brutally cold climate and inhospitable surrounds reflect the demeanour of his station partner, Silverio. Tensions between the pair steadily escalate in the confined quarters, and the unforgiving environment takes a toll on their states of mind. But when Silverio discovers an unconscious, young Polish insurgent, Chloe, their already fragile relationship is stretched to breaking point. Once Chloe is nursed back to health, the decision on whether to turn her over to their superiors or keep her hidden and jeopardise their own lives is complicated by the feelings both men have developed for her.
Adrián Doria, has just been named Man of the Year for his work at a prestigious tech company. At the top of his game in both his professional and personal life, his life is thrown into chaos when he awakens after being struck in the head and finds his lover dead in the bathroom. To complicate matters, the hotel room is locked from the inside and there isn’t any way in or out of the room. Adrián turns to Spain’s best defence lawyer, Virginia Goodman, and the pair race against the clock in order to construct his defence. Reluctant to share the details of his affair, Goodman must carefully manipulate the truth out of Doria and their face-to-faces as they circle the truth make up some of the film’s truly memorable moments.
What could be better than winning the Nobel Prize for Literature? For Barcelona novelist Daniel Mantovani, everything, as it turns out. To become part of the establishment and someone whose work everyone can agree on, signals, for him, the end of his career. Opening with his hilariously ungracious speech as he accepts the award in Stockholm, the film jumps forward five years where we find the taciturn author turning down every award that comes his way. But when a curious offer appears, to accept the “Distinguished Citizen” award from the small Argentinian backwater of Salas, Mantovani’s birthplace, the writer senses a chance to reconnect with his roots and maybe even find inspiration in a town he hasn’t stepped foot in for over 40 years.
‘Uncertain Glory’ is the story of three anarchist students from Barcelona fighting in the war. It’s Spain, 1937. Lluís is a soldier, a loner who doesn’t believe in the war he’s fighting. While stationed at an inactive posting, he falls madly in love with Carlana, a swindling landowner whose only thirst is for power. Carlana tricks him and tramples on Lluis’ self-esteem, dragging him into a downward spiral of passion, betrayal and humiliation that will have devastating consequences for everyone involved.
A musical documentary about la Jota, the traditional dance and folk music. The director puts forward a new journey starting from the most basic and rooted to his land’s folk singing and traditional dance, to those who anticipate the future of this powerful music; in a visual journey where the scenery and the light will be the support of the story, intending to leave a vital, historical and unique document to future generations, that serves as a memory and reference for everyone who loves music.
Fifteen years after they were teenage sweethearts, Manuela and Olmo reunite for the one evening that they promised one another so many years ago. Olmo is now a writer and translator and Manuela is an actress. Their reunion was prompted by a letter Manuela found upon her return home – a letter that Olmo had written to her when they were high school sweethearts, which shakes the foundations of everything they feel—or believe they feel – now that they’ve passed the thirty-year mark. Over the course of a wintery night-time odyssey through Madrid, they take in drinks, a concert and an impromptu swing dance gig as they enjoy each other’s company and reflect on the contents of the letter.
Set against the pending visit of Pope Benedict XVI, anti-austerity protests and Madrid’s viscerally hot summer of 2011, two hard-boiled police inspectors – Luis Velarde and Javier Alfaro – are on the trail of a suspected serial killer. This impressively tense cat-and-mouser stands in a league of its own as a mesmerising study of characters, with detectives Alfaro and Verde finding they have more in common with their murderer than they’d like to admit. From the perspective of the investigation, the film changes to that of the killer as it enters its final, nail-biting stretch.
Michael Winterbottom’s postcard to Spain reunites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in the third chapter of the series The Trip. They pick up where they left off in The Trip to Italy and continue with semifictional, spouse-free raconteurial ramblings and a tour of some of the best restaurants in Spain for the UK’s Observer. Their hilarious travelogue and improvisational riffs on parenting and enduring middle age take place in spectacular locales such as Cantabria, the Basque region, Aragon, Rioja, Castile-La Mancha and Andalusia.