"Venus" (★★★), good cinema of genre(s) and other premieres of the week

These are the movie premieres that hit the screens starting this December 2:.

Thomas Osborne
Thomas Osborne
02 December 2022 Friday 09:53
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"Venus" (★★★), good cinema of genre(s) and other premieres of the week

These are the movie premieres that hit the screens starting this December 2:

By Jordi Batlle Caminal

In November of last year, Jaume Balagueró premiered Way Down, a traditional perfect heist film tinged with sophisticated comedy in which he demonstrated his good narrative pulse, his talent as a director suitable for popular consumer cinema, treading ground that was not for him. great, because his thing has always been, since his first short in 1994 (Alicia) and his first feature in 1999 (El sense nom), fantastic cinema, specifically horror cinema, which is what he now returns to, a year after the parenthesis of Way down, on Venus, his new film, produced by Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang.

Venus presents two singularities. In the first place, it is undoubtedly a horror film, but crossed with another well-classified genre, the gangster and drug-trafficking thriller. In this it is similar to Robert Rodriguez's (and Tarantino's) From Dusk Till Dawn, whose first part was a canonical thriller until, halfway through, it opened up spectacularly to the gore epic.

Here, the protagonist escapes from the nightclub where she works with loot, is persecuted, injured and takes refuge at her sister's house, with whom she does not get along and who lives in a suburban building that will prove to be as diabolical as the famous Dakota from Rosemary's Baby, with a few fearsome neighbors (the sect is headed by a great lady, Magüi Mira, as memorable as Ruth Gordon in Polanski's classic). Balagueró and his co-writer Fernando Navarro cunningly mix the two genres, they advance the plot by tying up the incidents and the multiple characters with an iron hand.

Every ten minutes there is something on Venus that causes interest not to decline, but to rise, for example the appearance of the fortune teller who locates the building with her magical gifts, a magnificently grotesque scene. The other singularity is that this is Balagueró's wildest film, the most hyperbolic and delirious. And festive: the outcome, with the heroine recycled into a kind of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (revenant and warrior), is a top of the healthiest crazy cinema. If this madness seduces, it is because those who have given birth to it are people of faith: faith in the cinema of genre(s), in popular cinema, in the enthusiastic and unprejudiced spectator...

By Lluís Bonet Mojica

An ambitious debut in the direction of feature films by Mikel Gurrea, from San Sebastian with close ties to Catalonia, where he currently resides. His experience with an old couple has sponsored the realization of Suro, a very real fiction about two Barcelonans, a young pregnant woman and a young man, both architects, who now want to move to rural areas to try to fulfill their desires to make cork (“suro” in Catalan) using trees.

It is an activity carried out by illegal workers exploited by the locals. In reality, exploitation is widespread, but it has different levels, because either "three tons a day" are obtained or the accounts do not come out. In addition, there is a risk that the north wind will fuel the risk of fire. Awarded at the San Sebastian Festival for this film, Mikel Gurrea explained that in the summer of 2010 he also accepted his partner's offer to collect cork in the north of Girona.

“I discovered a world very rich in textures and sounds that also seemed very cinematic to me. I came from some owners but I wasn't, I spoke Catalan but I'm not, I was going to leave that job but the seasonal workers were going to continue year after year”.

His film is a fiction based on reality, filmed with almost documentary characteristics at times and which helps him to delve into different fields of a testimonial cinema, of great social depth and which collects the rubbish of a rather murky society, prone to cheated. In this scenario the relationship of the leading couple develops, sometimes in full collision and possessing somewhat different worlds, which is what usually happens when permanence requires concessions that are not always authentic. Mikel Gurrea believes that "moving from the city to the nearby countryside has become common since the pandemic." With very few professional actors on camera, the performances of Pol López and Vicky Luengo provide very remarkable performances with exciting situations.

By J. Batlle

A portrait of Elizabeth of Bavaria focused on several months of her life between 1877 and 1878; an Isabel tired of her existence in the palace, depressed and with impulsive and unpredictable behaviors. Kreutzer has made the empress a contemporary figure, turning his back on the academicism of historical cinema with constant anachronisms: objects, gestures, a visibly modern tractor, rock songs performed with classical instruments or the presence of Louis Le Prince filming motion pictures in 1878. , ten years before he made his invention public.

We are obviously at the antipodes of the fotonovela or fairy tale postcards of the Sissi trilogy starring Romy Schneider, although those sweets in Agfacolor were funnier than The Rebel Empress.

By Ll. nice

Born in Dublin in 1939 and resident in Spain since 1978, the historian and biographer Ian Gibson comes to the conclusion that "nobody tells the truth", and is included in a literary, historical and political aspect that traces the half-truths of transit through the life and culture of García Lorca, Luis Buñuel and Dalí. With the collaboration of the veteran and admired filmmaker Carlos Saura or the film expert and writer Román Gubern, this documentary shows how Gibson tries to repeat Buñuel's trip (1900-1983) to Las Hurdes, where in 1933 he filmed Las Hurdes, land without bread .

Gibson appears before the camera on various occasions and, of course, includes priceless quotes from Dalí, such as this one: “Only fools tell the truth”. His conclusion: everyone, himself, can lie. But the testimonies and memories of him are valuable.

By J. Batlle

This film extensively mocks haute cuisine and megalomaniac chefs bent on recreating paradise on earth with a humble olive. Fiennes is the caricature of a god of the kitchen who summons select pairs of citizens to offer them a four and a half hour tasting menu that they will never forget.

The comedy record forks into a thriller seasoned with terror, like a version of La gran comilona by Dario Argento. The problem with The Menu is that, once the ingenious and malevolent premise has been established, everything turns on the same axis, bringing few surprises and no new ideas. On a similar plot basis, Peter Strickland's latest film, Fluxgourmet , seen at the last Sitges festival, achieves better results.

By J. Batlle

We already know about Wirkola's deadly weapons since he presented us with Nazi Zombies, a bloody parody of which he later filmed a sequel. And if in his previous feature film, El viaje, he came to propose a disheveled mixture of Fargo and Straw Dogs, now, in Silent Night, he offers us a hybrid of Die Hard and Home Alone, films explicitly quoted in the dialogues.

It has a nice character where a drunk and disenchanted Santa Claus appears, like Willis' John McClane, in the worst place and the worst time: a mansion whose inhabitants have just been kidnapped by a group of unscrupulous savages. It will be a Christmas Eve spattered with blood, violence and wild gags. Incomprehensibly, Wirkola closes the function with a song to the Christmas spirit.