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SIDETRACKED
LAS OVEJAS NO PIERDEN EL TREN
2014, Film Factory, 103 min, Spain, Dir: Alvaro Fernandez Armero

The midlife crises of three Spanish couples provide the laughs in this gleeful ensemble comedy. Luisa (Inma Cuesta of THREE MANY WEDDINGS) and Alberto (Raúl Arévalo) move to the countryside, thinking it a better place to raise kids, though the change puts a damper on their sex life. Luisa’s sister (Candela Peña) and Alberto’s brother (Alberto San Juan) have their own relationship challenges - her obsessive pursuit scares men away, while his much-younger girlfriend is a little on the impulsive side. In Spanish with English subtitles.


MARSHLAND
LA ISLA MINIMA
2014, Outsider Pictures, 105 min, Spain, Dir: Alberto Rodriguez

Spain’s democracy was still on wobbly legs in 1980, particularly in the backwater of Andalusia where this tense crime drama is set. City policemen Juan (Javier Gutiérrez) and Pedro (Raúl Arévalo) are dispatched to the depressed rural area to investigate the disappearance of two sisters; the cops’ differing backgrounds – one a ruthless veteran, the other an idealistic rookie – lead to increasingly unsettling discoveries. Winner of 10 Goya Awards, including Best Film, Director, Lead Actor (Gutiérrez) and Cinematography (Alex Catalán’s aerial shots are truly dazzling). “This superbly crafted, richly textured thriller is one of the strongest Spanish films of the year.” - Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter. In Spanish with English subtitles.


COUSINHOOD
PRIMOS
2011, 98 min, Spain, Dir: Daniel Sanchez Arevalo

When Diego (Quim Gutierrez) is jilted at the altar, his cousins, playboy Julian (Raul Arevalo) and depressed, eyepatch-wearing Miguel (Adrian Lastra), convince him to join them on a trip to northern coastal Spain, where they think Diego can re-ignite the spark with ex-girlfriend Martina (Inma Cuesta). Upon arrival at Martina's pueblo, Diego finds his old flame now to be a single mother, complicating the mens' plans for a swift, simple reunion. A very funny and surprisingly edgy comedy about male insecurity and weakness (the Spanish title PRIMOS niftily translates as both "Cousins" and "Suckers") from filmmaker Daniel Sanchez Arevalo. In Spanish with English subtitles.


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