Country Focus: Spain
Spanish cinema hits back with comedy (2)
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
02/03/2010 - Spring is synonymous with Spanish comedies (see news). In 2009, this genre saw significant growth, thanks to titles such as Brain Drain [trailer] and Spanish Movie [trailer] (see news), backed, not coincidentally, by Antena 3 and Telecinco respectively. Television networks recognised the rich potential of comedy (see news) and decided to exploit it, by using their most well-known faces and unrivalled promotional power.
Television has been gradually gaining ground in the film sector, and currently occupies an absolutely essential position in the Spanish industry (this is the only explanation for the panic every time there is talk of its withdrawal). And comedy is fertile ground, with its immediacy, closeness to the audience and the importance placed on the cast.
Many actors make the leap from television to cinema (including Javier Cámara, Guillermo Toledo, Miguel A. Silvestre, Blanca Portillo, Mario Casas, Hugo Silva, Amaia Salamanca), and many artists enjoy newfound celebrity on the small screen after a film career (for example Imanol Árias, Carmen Machi, Antonio Resines), alongside directors, producers and screenwriters with an original and unbiased view of cinema (Emilio Aragón, Daniel Écija, Garcia Velilla).
March and April will see the release of two perfect examples of this interchange. The first to hit screens will be Miguel Ángel Lamata’s Tensión Sexual No Resuelta [trailer] (“Unresolved Sexual Tension”, see news) on March 19. Its cast is full of TV actors and its producer is none other than Santiago Segura, who has made an art form of striking the balance between cinema and television. This comedy, which looks set to be a sure hit, will be distributed by Paramount.
This comedy season will be rounded off with the release of Que Se Mueran Los Feos (“Death To Ugly People”), the latest work by Nacho García Velilla (Chef’s Special [trailer]). This politically incorrect romantic comedy, produced by Mediometrini and Antena 3 and starring priceless duo Javier Cámara and Carmen Machi (see news), will be launched by Warner BROS on April 23.