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Foreign Comedy - Spain - Torremolinos 73 English version

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Javier C?mara, Candela Pe?a, Tom Jacobsen
Written and directed by Pablo Berger
Spanish, English subtitles
Facets Multi Media 2006
93 minutes

During Francisco Franco's ultra right-wing dictatorship, Alfredo, an encyclopaedia salesman desperate to earn some money so his wife can finally have the baby she so desperately wants, decides to accept his boss' invitation and dedicates himself to make audiovisual material for something called the Human Reproduction Encyclopaedia, an outfit based in Denmark. With his wife Carmen as his co-star, Alfredo devotes himself to making home "educational movies" of them copulating. This is the premise of Torremolinos 73, a brilliant comedy by Pablo Berger.

Torremolinos 73 is a great farce by first-time writer and director Pablo Berger whose more than twenty years of expertise with short films, video clips, studies and teaching at Cambridge and Princeton serve him well. This adult comedy follows Alfredo as he discovers his vocation as a film maker and Carmen as she fulfills her deepest erotic fantasies while you roar with laughter as you watch this loving and charming couple turn into Danish porn stars.

Pablo Berger also has fun mocking the moral double standard moral of that time as we watch Alfredo's struggle to impregnate his wife and also give birth to his life's work, a Bergman inspired art house film titled Torremolinos 73. This creates an interesting and funny movie within a movie that mirrors the fantasy versus reality struggle of Alfredo and Carmen's life and the Bergman inspired porn movie they are making.

The star of Torremolinos 73, Javier Cámara, was until now best known for a long list of television and cinematographic successes - How can we forget his Benigno in Almodovar's Talk to Her? (1992). Here we see him giving life to Alfredo with all the talent for character depth that real comedy requires wile keeping the tone and rhythm of this highly complicated genre.

Candela Peña co-stars as Carmen, Alfredo's game wife, and it is her blend of submissiveness and naïve naughtiness that makes the character and the movie or movies work. Add to this a solid supporting cast, and impeccable artistic direction (the very seventies décor and music deserves to be acknowledged), and you get an exquisitely irreverent, very human and, most important of all, absolutely amusing and brilliant comedy

Dr Mario Humberto Zamora Del Cueto PhD.



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