‘La vida padre’, Spanish comedy to smile, despite being September

Detail of the poster for ‘La vida padre’.

It is rather a white humor film, which again uses the theme of regional idiosyncrasies to make us have a good time.

At this point in September our good intentions of the new school year are about to go the way of a Russian dissident and jump out the window. If there is still in some of you the determination of a Ukrainian to fulfill them, congratulations, but I am sorry to tell you that today’s premieres are not the prize you deserve (at least you will not suffer new works by the lead Jean Luc Godard).

‘La vida padre’ is not a biography about the life of the new Carlos III, but rather a failed Spanish comedy, branch of Basque humor, with Karra Elejalde acting as a transcript of his character in ‘Ocho surnames vascos’ (2014) and hogging all the attention as the amnesiac missing father who returns to the life of his son, who has become a successful cook.

But no one expects ‘The son of the bride 2.0’ (2004), although there is also a family restaurant, a son with emotional dysfunction obsessed with his restaurant, a parent with problems in his head and an elusive girl, played by Megan Montaner. It is rather a film with white humor, which again uses the theme of regional idiosyncrasies to make us have a good time, but without taking full advantage of a story that is half-expressed.

The following is an American horror with little bite (it’s about vampires, I’ve fallen for the bad joke). In ‘The Invitation’ a forlorn girl goes to meet her only remaining relatives in England, and she is unpleasantly surprised that they are much more sinister than anticipated (and they are not the Windsors).

A fairy tale turned into a vampire nightmare. But neither in the first part are we talking about the Brothers Grimm nor in the second part are we dealing with Bram Stoker. It is rather a failed attempt to mix the story of ‘Princess by surprise’ (2001), with the aesthetics of the ‘Twilight’ saga (2008), transforming the ending into the conclusion of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (1999). You will not be very scared, but you will have the sinister moral that the desperate search for a family can end very badly.

When the family economy is unbalanced if we buy a melon, the time has come to look back at miracles. That’s what the documentary ‘Lourdes’ does, which isn’t exactly a report on “Street Travelers”. For believers, this work does not reveal anything that we do not know (that faith moves mountains), and for non-believers it will be the cinematographic equivalent of the sacred hearts that move their eyes in Chinese shop windows.

This personalized story in a few examples of patients who go in search of something more than their healing, has an ethnographic interest for some and salvific for others, but what is unquestionable is the beauty of its images. If you allow my own note, for seven years I was a nurse in Lourdes (they even gave me a medal) and there I learned that the real miracle is to see thousands of people sacrificing vacations and money to go to assist people who not only need help, but ask for it. That is rare in a world where we always have to appear strong and where fragility comes at a high price.

In ‘La casa entre los cactus’ Ariadna Gil returns to a leading role, in a somewhat intriguing film about a strange family that grows up away from society, because the parents want to protect their daughters from something, which is the mystery and film engine. The unwanted arrival of a guest disturbs the apparent peace and will bring out all the poison that secrets contain.

Off camera, French director Jean Luc Godard, one of the totems of the seventh art, has died. A member of the Nouvelle vague, which intellectualized and renewed cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, he made films that marked HIS era, such as ‘At the End of the Escape’ (1960) or ‘La Chinoise’ (1967). So far the official biography. The reality is that with his heavy and light cinema (sorry for the oxymoron), he is one of those who has done the most to combat insomnia in recent decades. His films have remained anchored in another time, decontextualized, so attached to the reality of that ideologized world that it distances him dramatically from our liquid reality today. A good old-fashioned filmmaker.

Have a movie week.

‘La vida padre’, Spanish comedy to smile, despite being September