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SPECIAL SCREENINGS

De la Iglesia's 'Colegas' Looks at Three Youths Adrift in Madrid

February 09, 1988|KEVIN THOMAS | Times Staff Writer

Accompanying a revival at the Los Feliz Theater of Spanish director Eloy de la Iglesia's audacious "El Diputado" ("The Deputy"), a satirical yet compassionate view of the interlocking of sex and politics, is his latest and equally observant film, "Colegas" ("Pals").

Set against a vast and drab government housing project in Madrid, "Colegas" focuses on three youths--a brother (Antonio Gonzales) and sister (Rosario Gonzales) and their friend (Jose Luis Manzano), who gets the sister pregnant. In this crisis they find themselves adrift in an indifferent and even hostile society without skills with which to support themselves. De La Iglesia is similar to the gloriously iconoclastic Pedro Almodovar in his sympathies and social concerns, but his style is in the powerful tradition of Italian Neo-Realism.

"Colegas," which screens today through Thursday, is an engaging urban epic that could be set just as easily in any modern city in the world. The film's young actors are exceptionally appealing in their vulnerability and essential decency.

Playing as part of the Black Talkies on Parade festival at the Four Star today at 1:30 p.m. is a 1946 featurette directed by Bud Pollard, "Tall, Tan and Terrific," which has a negligible gangster plot designed to link together musical interludes and comic turns by guest star Mantan Moreland. The title refers to beautiful singer Francine Everett, once Mrs. Rex Ingram.

Pollard's far more important film, "The Black King" (1932), screens Thursday afternoon.

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