OCHO APELLIDOS VASCOS

Directed by: Emilio Martínez Lázaro

Comedy

2014

 

When ever I travel, try to read or see art from the place I am going to. It helps me understand the culture and tune into the local costumes, in general enhances my experience. Days before my trip to Basque Country saw this movie again.

Written with great sense of humor. Acted with the naturalness of great actors. Filmed in the beautiful scenery of Basque Country, which makes it really easy on the eye. All of it would have been enough to make this movie worth watching, but its merits go further. It deals with complex subjects like nationalism, terrorism and Spain regional differences, with a wise, loving and delicate sense of humor. Without being demeaning of the drama from this chapter of Spain’s history. Without being bias or taking sides, brings the subject to the table. Doesn’t judge, doesn’t point fingers. Doesn’t give lectures. Tells the dramatic story with respectful grace.

Highly recommended.

PS: the church that appears on the movie is Ermita de San Telmo

My First Recommendation Is…. Or, Can You Hear the Drums?

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(No spoilers here, so keep reading)

 

Sort of a disclaimer: Nothing I recommend here, is done as a literary expert of any kind, just as a book lover and an avid reader. I do it, not only because it seems is going to be therapeutic for me (yes it will) but because I want to share with you my love for them, and perhaps get you to read them to.

It was hard to choose a first book to recommend. It felt a bit, like playing favorites, but finally went with: “ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” by Mark Haddon, because it’s not only a book but an experience. Currently been shown in New York and London as a play, with enormous success and great reviews. My suggestion is to read the book first and then –if possible– go see the play, which will also leave you speechless.

What I loved particularly about this book –other than the obvious merit of Mark Haddon to get inside the mind and write it as an autistic teenager would– was it’s simplicity and elegance. It was refreshing. I really enjoyed the fact that the writer did not need violence, sex or tragedies, to keep me interested and entertained until the end.

It is a great book for teenagers too.