UNIT 7
GRUPO 7
2012, 96 min, Spain, Dir: Alberto Rodríguez

In advance of the 1992 World Exhibition in Seville, four cops are asked to clear the streets of drug trafficking; among them are Angel (Mario Casas) and Rafael (Antonio de la Torre). But the streets they work hold both dangers and temptations, and the bribery, violence and intimidation these two men encounter on the job put them on very different paths. Strong lead performances and a nuanced script ground this stylish film noir/cop thriller, which is based on real-life incidents. UNIT 7 also benefits from outstanding cinematography, its gritty tones ramping up the intensity of the moral conflict (and some pretty spectacular chase sequences). Winner of the Goya for Best Cinematography. In Spanish with English subtitles.


THREE STEPS ABOVE HEAVEN
TRES METROS SOBRE EL CIELO
2010, 118 min, Spain, Dir: Fernando Gonzalez Molina

Based on Federico Moccia's cult novel and recalling the winningly improbable romances of ‘80s Brat Pack films, Barcelona teen Hache (Mario Casas), a brawny biker with a short fuse, and wealthy if sometimes rebellious Babi (Maria Valverde) meet cute at a traffic light and again shortly thereafter at a party. The couple's instant attraction is insatiable and genuine, but their romance is complicated by them being from very economically disparate sides of the tracks, and Hache's violent streak that keeps him constantly at odds with the law. With Alvaro Cervantes as Hache's goofy, fun-loving sidekick Pollo. Nominated for Best Screenplay at the Goya Awards 2011. In Spanish with English subtitles.


NEON FLESH
CARNE DE NEON
2010, 109 min, Spain, Dir: Paco Cabezas

An expansion of director Paco Cabezas' 2005 short of the same name, this excitingly brash, fantastically flashy crime comedy follows Barcelona street kid Ricky (Spanish star Mario Casas) who is eking out a touch-and-go living selling tissues, in the hopes of saving enough money to open a brothel for his incarcerated prostitute mother. Though he gets help from the cruelly hilarious pimp Angelito (Vicente Romero) and his junkie girlfriend (Macarena Gomez), Ricky is treading on dangerous ground with his plan - the prospective brothel would be encroaching on the territory of nasty neighborhood villain El Chino. "Well-crafted, high-testosterone entertainment." –Variety. In Spanish with English subtitles.


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