Monday, December 13, 2010
Manuel Vázquez Gallego, the leading based-on-life character in Óscar Aibar's new film EL GRAN VÁSQUEZ, as a scamp. Although he's a fine -- and quite popular -- cartoonist, he's also a thief, liar, con man and, oh, take your pick of several other not-so-hot descriptions. But as he is also funny, clever and even occasionally endearing, you kinda like the guy, nasty piece of crap that he sometimes is. And because he is played by that consummate Spanish thespian Santiago Segura, after awhile you're really just putty in this talented actor's hands. He'll make you love his charac-ter, despite the fact that Vázquez's actions are often plain awful.
Mercè Llorens), as she receives the many benefits of a Vázquez hotel "con."
Hector Vidales), during which father offers son helpful life lessons that are very nearly as funny as they are cynical and bleak.
Álex Angulo (below, center), finally gets his comeuppance, the moment is so perfectly filled with every tiny bit of information that has built up along the way that its payoff is extraordinarily precise, funny and satisfying.
Paper Birds, this one jumps ahead to the end of its main character's days -- with a scene that proves equally funny and moving, showing how very little has really changed in this man. Considering that they are working within the realm of mainstream movie biography, Señores Aibar and Segura have given us a very satisfying film.
Walter Reade: this Thursday, Dec. 16, at 4pm. As of now, no US distribution is in the works, but maybe we can hope for eventual DVD or VOD release.
You can click here to see the entire Spanish Cinema Now program.