PAPER CASTLES (Castillos de cartón), the new film directed by Salvador García Ruiz (shown just below) and written by Enrique Urbizu (from the novel by Almudena Grandes is so startlingly in-the-moment -- about youth, sex and art, among other topics -- that it quite literally sneaks up on you and may be over before you realize what it has accomplished. Taking place in a Spanish art academy, it looks over the student body very briefly before coming to rest on three individuals: María José (known affectionately as simply Jose and played by Adriana Ugarte, shown two photos down), Marcos (Nilo Mur, shown second photo from bottom) and Jaime (Biel Durán, shown just below).
These three connect one day -- flirting, talking, laughing -- over a table with other students and the two boys (roommates, along with a couple of other guys) bring Jose home with them, and more talk, laughter and finally sex ensues. This first lengthy scene in the film is so specifically rendered and so absolutely right in terms of moment-to-moment life regarding dialog, emotions, even the silly, crazy laughter than dogs the three that -- though the sex begins between Jose and Marcos but is finished by Jose and Jaime -- it is all so believable and honest that I suspect you will accept it without question.
|These kids love art -- they're good at it, too -- and eventually they come to love each other. How this happens and why (we don't really know the whole story until the end) makes up the hundred minutes of the filmmakers' tale, and it is such a good one, told with beauty, pace and nearly tactile emotion that it does not compare with any other "threesome" film I can recall. Not with the very good American film of that name by Andrew Fleming, not the interesting French movie Cold Showers, and not even the other "threesome" tale in the year's Spanish Cinema Now series, Mediterranean Food, which I'll cover later today.|
And we will remember them.