Monday, December 6, 2010

Icíar Bollaín's EVEN THE RAIN leads off FSLC's annual Spanish Cinema Now series

Because the film under consider-ation here -- EVEN THE RAIN from noted Spanish filmmaker (MataharisTake My Eyes, Flores de otro mundo) and actress (Land and Freedom) Icíar Bollaín -- has already been picked up for U.S. distribution, the press has been asked to refrain from doing any full-length review until theatrical release, which is scheduled for February 18. We're told that the "capsule" variety is OK, however, so here you go: Either now, at SCN, or upon its theatrical release, don't miss it.

The film will screen only twice during SCN -- Saturday, Dec. 11, at 6:15 and again December 15 at 1pm -- so try to catch this deeply-felt, cleverly-conceived movie-about-making-a-movie that is Spain's submission for this year's Best Foreign Language Film.  It's chances? Better than good, I think. To begin with, it's smart about movie-making (the Academy should appreciate that). It's progressive/liberal but with a keen eye for irony and self-deception: Note the poster copy (if you can make it out) above: Many want to change the world. Few want to change themselves.  Most important, it conflates filmmaking with politics, economics and social justice about as well as I've seen this sort of thing handled. While its flirting with sentimentality is never quite consummated (the screenwriter is Ken Loach-collaborator Paul Laverty), we're left with something feel-good that's also based on historical fact: the Bolivian water crisis of 2000. The situation conflates a move crew filming a Christopher Columbus tale of colonization just as that crisis comes to a boil.

Ms Bollaín has assembled a crack cast, every one of whom comes through beautifully: Gael García Bernal (shown two photos up), Luis Tosar, Karra Elejalde, Raúl Arévalo and particularly an unforgettable newcomer named Carlos Aduviri (above), as a native Bolivian who gets himself involved with both the movie and the water. I'll have more to say upon the film's theatrical release -- by which time we'll have further information regarding those finalists for Best Foreign Language Film.

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