Irish Film Institute -South From Granada (Al sur de Granada)

South From Granada (Al sur de Granada)

Director: Fernando Colomo

(2002. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 111 mins.)

Director Fernando Colomo’s latest film is a lightweight but breezily effective adaptation of a classic Brit-in-Spain memoir by Gerald Brenan. A member of the Bloomsbury set, Brenan retreated to a remote area in Andalucia during the 1920s in the hope of finding his literary muse. In the film, Brenan (Matthew Goode) stumbles into a mountain village, where he buys a house and quickly becomes an integral part of the local society. He befriends Paco (Guillermo Toledo), who advises him to pursue Juliana (Veronica Sanchez), his beautiful young housekeeper. Juliana teaches Brenan a few things about sensuality that his Victorian upbringing didn’t cover. But when his literary friends arrive on a visit from London, they don’t find Brenan’s rustic lifestyle so romantic and reveal themselves as uptight and arrogant compared with the passionate locals. Colombo’s film doesn’t question such stereotyping, but it’s very good on the petty intrigues and affairs of village life. It also looks absolutely gorgeous, with ace cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine making very creative use of the extremes of light and shade which characterise the region.
¡VIVA!10th SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL Torremolinos 73

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