Petra

Jaime Rosales, Spain, 2018

It looks lovely, this film. Interesting shot composition and the camera keeps panning away from the protagonists in the scene into the green, green countryside (and it’s set around Girona, so the landscape is beautiful). People walk in and out of shot, the focus changes…

It’s also got an interesting structure, divided up into chapters that don’t always happen in chronological order, but rather when we need to know what happened to the character.

So I really liked the film while watching it last night, its slow, reflective, quiet tone. But thinking about it, it’s an overly serious family drama, a monotonal film with uninteresting and one-dimensional characters who apparently only have tragedy in their lives: two suicides, a murder, a regular death, possible incest that has resulted in a child, unknown parentage, plus a bit of dark Spanish dictatorial history to colour the background but wasn’t really explored. Yet despite all this, there were hardly any tears nor shouting! All very emotionally restrained.

This film was in Spanish with some (subtitled) Catalan – the first scene of which completely confused my brain! But language comprehension was about 85%! I’m definitely improving.

Kubrick at the CCCB

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Riina and I spent nearly 3 hours at this exhibition on Saturday! It’s excellent, so comprehensive and an achievement to make an exhibition about films so engrossing in itself.

I discovered that Kubrick started off with photography, then learnt how to make films on the job. Lucky for us, he was learning his craft at a time when it was still young and plastic, so he could experiment and create his own cinematic language.

I also found out that it was Kirk Douglas who hired Kubrick for Spartacus, read some letters complaining about Lolita (morally degenerate!), saw a model of the war room in Dr Strangelove, and heard Kubrick speak! His voice was surprising to me – much softer and more laid back than I had imagined.

Excellent exhibitions like this are the reason I moved to, and can’t leave, Barcelona. Fab.

 

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