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Under the Stars

Director: Felix Viscarret

spain • 2007 • subtitled colour • dolby digital stereo 107 mins


The winner of two Goyas (Spanish Academy Awards) for Best Actor and Best New Director, Under the Stars is a poetic drama that more than consolidates the international reputation writer-director Felix Viscarret established with his short films. With an ace performance from Alberto San Juan, the film gently unpicks its themes of brotherhood, self-sacrifice and the search for love. Heartless wannabe jazz trumpeter Benny (San Juan) learns of the death of his father in his native village in the north. Reluctantly leaving his girlfriend in Madrid, he heads back to Navarre for the funeral and to find out about a land inheritance. His brother Lalo (Julian Villagran) is a recovering alcoholic who has found happiness in his sculptures and his fiancee Nines (Emma Suarez). When Benny meets Nines’ introverted daughter, the pair form an unlikely friendship. The film casts a wry eye on the oddball details of rural life and, as in his celebrated short films, Viscarret laces the drama with comedy and an edgy quirkiness.

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