Festival celebrates Spanish cinema
April 4, 2011 —
A failed suicide attempt, a melted bed and a taxi driver with bleached hair and an appreciation of mambo music were part of the first 45 minutes of An Afternoon of Spanish Cinema.
Pedro Almodóvar’s “Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios,” which in English translates to, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” was the first film shown during the event Wednesday, March 30, in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
Zach Finta, Spanish senior and member of the panel discussion following the movie, said, that he was skeptical that anything in the movie could actually take place in 24 hours.
“In reality, all of this probably wouldn’t happen over the course of the day,” he said.
The second film shown, “La Historia Oficial,” or in English, “The Official Story,” tells the story of a mother’s search to discover where her adopted daughter originally came from.
It was the first Latin American film to receive an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Jamie Wendorf, one of the event’s main developers and emcee, later explained how the films were chosen. She said that Almodovar was “such a symbol of Spain” and that it made sense to choose his film.
Wendorf added that Gladys Hernandez, professor of modern foreign languages, picked “The Official Story” because “the movie helps to highlight cultural and historical events” in Central and South America.
Hernández, who teaches a class on contemporary Spanish cinema, said that the class helped orchestrate the event.
“These students are the best of the best, really,” she said, adding that the class worked as a team, and she is “so proud of them.”
Julie Luce, professional and technical writing senior, attended the event and stayed for the first film.
“I thought it was interesting, though I think I enjoyed the challenge of attempting to understand the language more than the plot,” she said. “But I think the students on the panel did a nice job of explaining the film’s themes and answering audience questions.”
Wendorf said that there are benefits of exposing students to cultures outside their own.
“I thought it was good to spread awareness of Spanish cinema because American cinema tends to dominate,” she said.