Friday, May 13, 2022

Top Films from Spain and Portugal

In compiling a list of the best films from Spain, Portugal, it became immediately clear that many essential films from the Iberian peninsula have had a decent amount of distribution. This is in stark contrast to films from Africa, Arab world and Hungary. Of course, Spanish and Portuguese films weren’t always as easily available. Until a decade ago, I hadn’t seen any films from Pere Portabella and only saw them after showcased a selection of his works. Meanwhile, the quest to legally see any films from Pedro Costa was almost a 4 year personal quest and that only ended in 2010. Plus, I had not seen any of Paulo Rocha’s films until 2020.

Top 15 films from Spain and Portugal:

1. Muerte de un ciclista (Death of a Cyclist, 1955, Spain, Juan Antonio Bardem)
2. El Verdugo (The Executioner, 1963, Spain, Luis García Berlanga)
3. La Caza (The Hunt, 1966, Spain, Carlos Saura)
4. Mudar de Vida (Change of Life, 1966, Portugal, Paulo Rocha)
5. Volver (2006, Spain, Pedro Almodóvar)
6. O Sangue (Blood, 1989, Portugal, Pedro Costa)
7. El Espíritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive, 1973, Spain, Victor Erice)
8. Viridiana (1961, Spain, Luis Buñuel)
9. La Mala Educación (Bad Education, 2004, Spain, Pedro Almodóvar)
10. O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, 2010, Portugal, Manoel de Oliveira)
11. Vitalina Varela (2019, Portugal, Pedro Costa)
12. Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About my Mother, 1999, Spain, Pedro Almodóvar)
13. Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto (Our Beloved Month of August, 2008, Portugal, Miguel Gomes)
14. Cuadecuc, vampir (1971, Spain, Pere Portebella)
15. Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, 2010-11, Portugal, Raúl Ruiz)

Honourable mentions (as per year of release)

Lucía y el Sexo (Sex and Lucía, 2001, Spain, Julio Medem)
Juventude em Marcha (Colossal Youth, 2006, Portugal, Pedro Costa)
Dans la ville de Sylvia (In the City of Sylvia, 2007, Spain, José Luis Guerín)
A Fábrica de Nada (The Nothing Factory, 2017, Portugal, Pedro Pinho)
Dolor y Gloria (Pain and Glory, 2019, Spain, Pedro Almodóvar)

Note: Top 15 list submitted for Wonders in the Dark poll.

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