Best new Spanish Movies (2016) - Top Netflix & Cinema
Pedro Almodovar, Julio Medem, Alejandro Amenabar… just a few names to remind you of the greatness of Spanish cinema. But what had the past years to offer? We made a list of the best Spanish movies!
The Vore's Film staff selects the top best Spanish movies of 2016 in cinema or on DVD or Netfix. Are Alberto Rodríguez, Rodrigo Sorogoyen & David Trueba Spain's biggest directors? I had to admit to myself that I did not see many films from Spain before this article. Until now, that is. Spanish directors seemed conspicuous by their absence at recent important film festivals. How come? Sure, the country has been through better times economically, but isn’t malaise usually a source of inspiration? And what about Spain’s position as Europe’s stronghold of quality horror films?
Gwyneth Paltrow, Antonio Banderas & Imanol Arias
Ma ma, 33 Dias & 10.000 km
Best Spanish movies on Netflix or DVD in 2016
2010's best rated Spanish movies out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon).
La Noche Que Mi Madre Mato a Mi Padre (29-04-2016, 94 minutes)
Aging actress Isabella, a scriptwriter and two producers meet in a country house, in hopes of making a deal. But then the actress' ex-boyfriend Carlos and his new lover show up unexpectedly. A comedy of murder and betrayal in the veins of Agathie Cristie's best work is about to unravel..
After the somewhat disappointing 'Los amantes pasajeros', Almodóvar returns with a stylish and gripping new film. Title character Julietta is a middle-aged woman, seemingly happy (re-)married. She is about to move abroad with her husband, as she stumbles upon a friend of her long-lost daughter. What follows is a painful reconstruction... beautifully shot, colored and scored, Julietta marks a return to form by Spain's wunderkind.
We have seen the story about whether love can survive long distance before, but this time it has been told rather well. Director Carlos Marques-Marcet was in charge of editing It Felt like Love, a film covering the same topic, and he must have learned quite a bit from that. This film is equally subtle, and perhaps even more relatable. Sure, we have social media, Skype and other technological means of communication, but actual intimate contact remains key in a healthy relationship. This film about a couple in two apartments far away from each other shows us all the pitfalls of a long distance relationship in modern times.
The Spanish tradition of creating indie horror films is not over yet. Here is another Spanish ‘found footage’ horror film (REC!) about a group of five youngsters descending into a hidden cave. Of course everything goes terribly wrong. The concept doesn’t sound too exciting, but La Cueva got pretty raving reviews after it was viewed at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. And it is indeed rather interesting and shockingly realistic.
Speaking of quality Spanish horror films; Caníbal once again proves Spaniards are pretty good at making those. Caníbal is a stylish, minimalist take on the well-known cannibal theme. Carlos is a quiet and gentle tailor from Granada who kidnaps young, foreign women to take them to an isolated mountain cabin and eat them. He works discrete. Things start to get mixed up for him however when he falls in love with Nina, his last victim’s sister. Caníbal is beautifully shot and ultimately more atmosphere-driven than plot-driven.
A nice low budget flick which brings Richard Linklaters’ classic Before Sunrise to mind. A boy meets a girl in Madrid (no, not Stockholm), tells her he loves her which the girls finds hard to believe. What follows is a dialogue-driven story in real time, a long walk through a city at night, where the boy has to convince the girl. In the second part of the film, the morning after, it becomes painfully clear that both are seeking something entirely different. Stockholm offers nothing we haven’t seen before but is fresh and nicely naturalistic acted.
Vivir Es Fácil con los Ojos Cerrados (17-05-2014, 108 minutes)
Spain, 1966. Antonio is a teacher who uses Beatles-songs to teach his students English. When he finds out John Lennon is shooting a film in Almeria, he embarks on a road trip, planning on meeting his idol. Along the way he picks up a few colorful hitchhikers. Vivir Es Fácil con los Ojos Cerrados (‘Living is easy with eyes closed’, a phrase from Strawberry Fields) is a nice bitter sweet road movie. Enjoyable, even touching at some times, even though the film sometimes tries a little too hard to reanimate the sixties, as is often the case with period films.
Another charming low budget film, albeit in another fashion than Stockholm. Los Ilusos feels like modern nouvelle vague film. It’s shot in black and white, the acting is spontaneous and it deals with a couple of cinephile twenty-somethings from Madrid. The story revolves around two young aspiring filmmakers reflecting on love, life and cinema. Los Ilusos is a so called meta film: a film about film which has a nice nostalgic vibe to it.
Actually this film shouldn’t be on this list. It’s fairly horrible. But since it’s directed by Pedro Almodóvar, without any doubt Spain’s most prolific director, I think it has to be mentioned at least. Just to make sure you skip it. Because after 2011’s great gothic horror La Piel Que Habito, probably Almodóvars’ best effort since La Mala Educación (2004), it couldn’t disappoint more. This tedious and cliché-filled comedy deals with a dozen of people on a plane that is about to crash. Facing death, the passengers start sharing each other’s wildest fantasies. I’m not sure whether this movie had to be more or less vulgar in order to work. Let’s hope Almodóvar finds his old shape back with his next one.
Héctor Escandell & Vicente Torres (Los Crímenes del Día de Todos los Santos)
discovery, murder, historical, thriller,
Zama (??-??-2017, 120 minutes)
Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas & Juan Minujín
Lucrecia Martel (La Ciénaga )
animals, historical, war,
based on a novel, critically acclaimed,
New Spanish movies out now
Best recent & upcoming Spanish movies with release dates.
El espía de las mil caras by Alberto Rodríguez
Marta Etura, José Coronado & Eduard Fernández
Marshland, Unit 7 & After
Ma ma (11-09-2015, 111 minutes))
Upcoming film from Julio Medem, the acclaimed director of modern Spanish classics like Los Amentes del Circulo Polar (1998) and Lucía y el Sexo (2001), starring Penelope Cruz. Little is known about this one, but given the directors’ body of work so far, this one is something to look forward to. It was first scheduled for 2014, but it has been confirmed it will finally have a release in 2015.
The hugely prolific filmmaker Carlos Saura (44 films to his name) is responsible for quite a few Spanish art hous classics, like Cría cuervos (1976), but it has been a while since we have heard from him. His 2015 feature film 33 Days will be about ‘Pablo Picasso’s emotional turmoil working on the mural “Guernica” and his affair with artist Dora Maar’.
Another long-time Spanish film auteur is Agusti Villaronga who is still best known for his twisted and perverse eighties shocker In a Glass Cage. Now he is involved in a bigger production titled The King of Havana, a thriller set in Cuba. His 2010 submission for the Oscars, Black Bread, was not bad at all, so I have got good hopes for this one.