Spanish cinema’s great celebration kicks off in Malaga
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
23/04/2012 - An entertaining ensemble film set in the casino world (Winning Streak [trailer] by Eduard Cortés) and a worrying psychological thriller with only four characters (La senda by Miguel Ángel Toledo) last Saturday, April 21, kicked off the 15th Malaga Spanish Film Festival, in the Official Competition and ZonaZine main fiction sections.
Audiences might find it difficult to relate to the characters in Winning Streak with such a cool mise en scène, but the film has its qualities: inspiring performances, stunning photography, the frenetic pace of its montage, and its well-measured length. The film might not make its mark in cinema history in Spain, let alone worldwide, but its stellar cast of Lluis Homar, Daniel Brühl, and Miguel Ángel Silvestre who at least in Spain are very popular, could make it a happy success at the box office.
In the film, Cortés clearly attempts to seduce his audience with continuous music, a fast-paced story, and thoughtful aesthetics. Today, when Spanish films need more than ever to resonate with the public, these are great traits. Whether they will be enough is another matter.
Much more modest however is the directorial debut of Toledo. He wrote the screenplay for La senda with the more famous Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, with whom he has often worked in the past. Screened in the ZonaZine section of the festival for more risky films, La senda is an example of a production on a tight budget: four characters, a house, a lot of snow, and great doses of suspense, with Gustavo Salmerón as the main character gradually descending into madness.
(Translated from Spanish)