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¡Viva! Win a pass to all the films

Nicola Mostyn looks forward to Cornerhouse’s fourteenth Spanish and Latin American Film Festival and offers up an enticing prize

Published on March 5th 2008.

¡Viva! Win a pass to all the films

Get ready for ten days of dynamic Spanish cinema – from March 6 to 16 ¡Viva! will be commandeering Cornerhouse.

This annual festival of Spanish language films will bring premieres, blockbusters, documentaries and shorts from Latin America and Spain to the cinema over ten days. In typically vibrant ¡Viva! style, the festival kicks off with the ¡Viva! Gala screening and party on Thu March 6, with the premiere of Bajo las estrellas (Under the Stars) introduced by the film’s director Felix Viscarret.

Bajo las estrellas focuses on Benito Lacunza (Alberto San Juan), a self centred trumpet player who returns to his home town from the bright lights of Madrid when his father is about to die. At first intending to visit only briefly, at the urge of his girlfriend, to secure his inheritance, Benito finds himself drawn into events surrounding his recovering alcoholic sculptor brother, Lalo (Julián Villagrán), his brother’s fiancé, Nines (Emma Suárez) and her taciturn daughter Ainara (Violeta Rodríguez).

Alberto San Juan is wonderfully charismatic in the role of Benito, managing a neat balance of swagger and sensitivity. The film explores complex issues in a simple fashion with engaging use of flashbacks and there are some great moments of humour and optimism amidst the darker themes. Bajo las estrelles particularly shines in depicting the touching relationship between Benito and his brother, both men intense in their own way, but differing in that one bloody-mindedly throws off the blows life deals him, while the other is slowly dragged down by them – a moving depiction of loyalty and love.

And there are plenty more fantastic films on offer during the festival’s run. Highlights from ¡Viva! include Deficit, the directorial debut from Mexican actor Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) (Fri 14, 8.40pm and Sun 16, 4.05pm) and the second film directed by Antonio Banderas, Summer Rain. (Sun 9, 3.45pm and Tue 11, 4.05pm).

Also showing is Parpados Azules, an award winning alternative romance of two lonely people in a big city. (Sat 8, 8.10pm, Tue 11, 8.40pm).

Look out for El Orfanato (The Orphanage) the new film from Guillermo del Toro, writer and director of Pan’s Labyrinth, a supernatural tale of a woman who finds dark secrets in the orphanage where she spent her childhood. And if spooky does it for you, check out [REC], the second highest earning Spanish film of 2007 which promises a jumpy mix of Blair Witch and rabid zombies, a hard combination to resist.

The festival also includes documentaries, such as Cocalero, the story of Evo Morales’ 2005 campaign for the Bolivian presidency (Sun 9, 6.05pm, Mon 10, 8.45pm) and Los punos de la nation, (Fri 7, 1.40pm) about the rise of boxer Roberto Duran.

With such a packed programme, including 24 UK premieres and five programmes of Spanish and Latin American shorts, even those who aren’t familiar with Spanish cinema can’t fail to find something they like.

¡Viva!, March 6 to 16, Cornerhouse, Oxford Street, M 1 5NH. www.vivafilmfestival.com Matinees £4.60 (£3.30 concs), Evenings: £6 full/ £4 (concs). Season Pass, 8 ¡Viva! films for £34 full/£26 concessions.

To be in with a chance of winning the pass to see 8 different films out of the 60 showing at the festival please fill in the form below, a winner will be chosen on Friday.

Matinees: £4.60 full/ £3.30 concessions
Evenings: £6.00 full/ £4.00 concessions.

This competition has now closed. Congratulations to our winner Lucy Lloyd.

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Thank you for your interest, but this competition closed to further entries on November 11th 2009.

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