From cinema auteur Julio Medem, director of Sex & Lucia, we present 4 of his most celebrated films, featuring the finest of Spanish acting and showcasing his perennial themes of love, political strife and eroticism.
Cast: Emma Suarez (Oscar: The Colour of Destiny), Ana Torrent (The Other Boleyn Girl), Karra Elejalde (Timecrimes)
Medem’s first film, Vacas, follows the fortunes of two Basque families in the unstable and bloody years between the Third Carlist War of 1875 and the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The film portrays how one single act of cowardice shapes the lives of the next three generations of the Mendiluze and Iriguibel families.
WINNER: Cinema Writers’ Circle 1993 – Best Original Screenplay
WINNER: Goya Awards 1993 Best New Director
WINNER: British Film Institute Awards 1993 Sutherland Trophy (Most Original and Imaginative First Film)
“Vacas is an astonishingly accomplished and complex debut work.” Kamera.co.uk
“(A) startlingly original picture” Timeout.com
“Intricate, multi-layered and visually inventive, this is immensely rewarding stuff, rightly lauded as one of the most impressive debuts of the nineties.” Film4
CHAOTIC ANA (2007)
Cast: Manuela Vellés (Camino, Love In Difficult Times), Charlotte Rampling (The Duchess, Babylon A.D.), Bebe Rebolledo, Asier Newman and Nicolas Cazalé.
Ana (Manuela Vellés) is a beautiful, free spirited nymph who has only ever known the natural world of her home on Ibiza. To support herself, the vivacious 18-year-old sells paintings which she infuses with her innocent and naïve passion for life. One day, Justine (Charlotte Rampling) a cosmopolitan patron of the arts invites Ana to explore her talents further by moving to Madrid, where she will live amongst a group of young artists that Justine sponsors. But what Ana discovers is a maelstrom of profound love and unbearable pain as the world beyond her island home forces her evolution from ethereal teenage girl into womanhood.
“A lyrical and formally audacious work from Spanish auteur, Julio Medem” Time out “Fascinating and pleasantly hallucinogenic.” Screen Daily
LA ARDILLA ROJA (1993)
Cast: Emma Suarez (Oscar: The Colour of Destiny), Nancho Novo, Maria Barranco (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down), Karra Elejalde (Timecrimes)
Fading rock star Jota (Nancho Novo) is on the brink of suicide. Standing on a bridge ready to jump, he sees a biker crash and, arriving at the scene first, finds Lisa (Emma Suarez) physically uninjured but with no memory and no ID. When help arrives, Jota improvises and pretends Lisa is his girlfriend, soon whisking her away from hospital to a remote campsite. There, the attraction between Jota and Lisa grows but, as events take a dark turn, it’s clear that Jota has taken on more than he can handle. Will the truth come out? And what is Lisa hiding?
WINNER: Cannes Film Festival 1993 Best Foreign Film
WINNER: Bogota Film Festival 1994 Best Film
WINNER: Turia Awards 1994 Best Spanish Film, Best Actress, Best New Filmmaker
“utterly compelling and entirely persuasive” Time Out “A taut, sexy thriller” Film4
Cast: Carmelo Gomez (Cosas Insignificantes), Emma Suarez (Oscar: The Colour of Destiny), Karra Elejalde (Timecrimes)
Angel (Carmelo Gomez) is an exterminator come to eradicate a breed of pests which has been affecting local winemakers. The bleak landscape he finds there is wrought by lightning bolts which split trees and fry sheep. Angel encounters two very different women - a shy, neglected housewife Angela and her husband’s mistress, Mari, a youthful temptress. Haunted by his alter ego and torn between the women, Angel struggles to find himself in this superb meditation on life, love and the universe.
WINNER: Valdivia International Film Festival 1999 Audience Award NOMINATED: Cannes Film Festival 1996 Golden Palm
NOMINATED: Brussels International Film Festival 1997 Crystal Star
“A sumptuously attired cosmic love story… knockout cinematography” Variety “A beautiful, bewitching film” Film4