'The hole', 'The infinite trench' and 'O que arde', the Spanish films for the Oscars

'La tinchera infinita' by Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga, 'El hoyo' by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia and 'O Que Arde' by Oliver Laxe ', choose to represent Spain in the 93rd. Hollywood Awards Edition

Spanish cinema viewed from its three corners. That could be a quick definition for the set of films that will compete for the honor, and even the glory, of being the candidate for the international film category at the Oscar ceremony to be held, COVID through, on April 25. 'Lo que arde' , by Oliver Laxe , 'La tinchera infinita' , by Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi and José Mari Goenaga , and 'El hoyo' , by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, are the ones chosen by the academics and, in their own way , fairly summarize Spanish cinema and, if applicable, the whole of Spain. Or almost.

From the outset, the most significant thing is that there are three productions, let's say, peripheral. Despite the fact that, in its classic meaning, Spain is Madrid and Madrid is Spain (or vice versa), there are movies elsewhere. It is, in order, a Galician production and two Basque ones. But also, and hence the clarity of what was chosen, each one of them represents a field of production. Laxe's film, which won an award in the ' Un certain regard' section at Cannes, embodies the most unconditional and truly independent cinema. Or author only in its canonical designation. That of the trio of directors is placed in that intermediate space between the reflection and the public that was traditionally called the middle class, increasingly thinner, of cinema. And the third is without complexes genre cinema that has lived its moment of glory on digital platforms. On Netflix, to be precise.

'What burns' or, in original, 'Or that burns', can boast of having been the true revelation of the year. In the last edition of the Goya, the photography of Mauro Hercé and the revelation actress, the irreplaceable and visceral Benedicta Sánchez, deserved the mentions, who, definitely, only needs to reach Hollywood. The film tells the story of a mother and a son, but also of an empty Spain. Of that and of the always on fire roads of issues such as guilt and forgiveness. It is fair and even heroic, therefore, that a film so tiny in its ways and gigantic in its aspirations, indeed, aspires to everything.

The case of 'La tinchera infinita ' is the case of a Spanish film that talks about what Spanish cinema always means (fake). Again, the Civil War, but from a point of view as rigorously new as it is bleak. The film tells the story of a man and a woman who, in reality, are a thousand. The characters played with a rare and genuine brilliance by Antonio de la Torre and Belén Cuesta make their own the lives of those who, between 1936 and 1969, the year of Franco's amnesty, lived literally buried, the moles. Structured in chapters, 'The infinite trench' lives all of it pending not so much of what is seen or shown as of the other. What matters is the eventuality of turning something as intimate as the darkest of solitudes into a shared experience. What counts is the fear, the panic to be discovered, the terror of the absurd that permeates every gesture, the emptiness that can do everything.

And finally, the most international of them all. ' The hole' has achieved its audience from the rigor of perfect metaphors. The newcomer Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia gets a proposal that makes his impregnable kingdom out of the obvious. All of it is settled on a terrain very close to parody; as metonymically accurate as it is acidic. The result is one of those films that bless discoveries. And the wonders. So wise, sad and revealing that the same refers to the cabin, Mercero, which Rompenieves, Bong Joon-ho (not forgetting Cube Vincenzo Natali). She, like ' Parasites ', to cite the most obvious example, stops to analyze inequality as the main evil that now consumes us. There's no more. No less. So clear that it barely reached Netflix it became world number 1.

I said, three ways to summarize the Spanish cinema of the year before the pandemic.

Javier Rey, star of the series ' Fariña ' and whose romantic drama ' El verano que vivimos ' and the thriller ' La casa del caracol' are pending premiere, was in charge of announcing the three shortlisted films in a ceremony held on Tuesday in which he was accompanied by the president of the Academy Mariano Barroso and the notary Federico Gayaralde Niño.

It will not be until November 3 when the Film Academy will announce which of these three films will be the title that will finally represent Spain at the Hollywood Academy Awards.

Last year the chosen one was ' Pain and Glory' , by Pedro Almodóvar, which was among the five nominees for the award for the best international film at the Oscars, although finally the statuette went to ' Parasites ', from the South Korean Bong Joon-ho.

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