April 20, 2008 |
It's not often a film should be praised for its lack of originality, but "The Orphanage" is a satisfying horror movie in large part because it is also a veritable compendium of horror-movie conventions. This Spanish-language haunted-house chiller, somewhat lost amid the crush of December award contenders and out on DVD from New Line Home Video this week, has little to do with the teen cut-'em-ups and J-horror rip-offs dominating today's marketplace.
December 17, 2004 |
Alejandro Amenabar's deeply moving "The Sea Inside" transcends what by rights should have been a bummer of a story to become one of the most profound and uplifting dramas of the year. Based on the true story of Ramon Sampedro, a Spanish quadriplegic who for 30 years fought for the right to assisted suicide, the film focuses on Ramon's passion for life -- which was not, in his case, at odds with his wish to die.
December 28, 2007 |
A handful of kids play a game of "statues" in the misty garden of a grand, somewhat lugubrious house on Spain's northern coast. The house is a small orphanage run by nuns, and the little girl who's "it" is named Laura. She's about 7, clearly the leader of the group, and is about to be adopted by a family. She turns her back to the other children and counts to three as they sneak up behind her and try to tag her. When she swings around, they freeze.
December 27, 2007 |
"The Orphanage" made its illustrious debut at the Cannes Film Festival this year and, as its deeply unsettling story of mothers, children and ghosts unfolded on the screen, Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona heard a noise in the dark that gave him a panic. "I heard people laughing," Bayona recalled with a moan. Then he shook his head and smiled: "Then we realized it was nervous laughter. They were so scared they were laughing at themselves. Then we knew it was OK."
December 3, 2004 |
Four years ago, after Javier Bardem walked off with a host of best actor awards and became the first Spaniard to be nominated for an Oscar in that category, Hollywood came calling. His unforgettable turn as a gay Cuban writer coping with political suppression and AIDS in Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls" propelled the sleepy-eyed sex symbol from "zero to 100 miles per hour," as he puts it -- virtually overnight.
November 14, 2004 |
Nov. 19 Bear Cub Drama TLA Releasing With: Jose Luis Garcia-Perez, David Castillo, Arno Chevrier, Mario Arias, Empar Ferrer The idea: A gay dentist scales back his lifestyle when he finds himself raising his 9-year-old nephew. Writers: Miguel Albaladejo, Salvador Garcia Director: Miguel Albaladejo * So? Papa bear's got a brand new charge.