These are the premieres that hit the theaters this May 24

Por Philipp Engel

“This is the West. When the legend becomes fact, publish the legend…” Without a doubt, one of the most famous, and lapidary, phrases in the history of cinema. It is uttered by a newspaper editor in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John Ford’s twilight western that, in its day, was perceived as the epitaph of the most cinematic of genres. In the wasteland of the musical biopic, a genre much less prone to masterpieces, Lacuesta has also chosen to print the legend. He says it right up front: this is not a movie about the Planets. That is to say, of course it is about the indie band of the 90s – there are the songs, even subtitled, like karaoke -, but it is not about being faithful to facts that are already murky, necessarily adulterated, but about aggrandizing the legend with a non-subsidiary, independent film that works on its own.

And boy does it do it. The prodigious montage, completely immersive, shakes us with its swings between present and past and drags us into the whirlwind of emotions of a band that risks everything with the recording of an album that will end up being the mythical A week in the engine of a bus (1998).

 The wall of sound built by the actors themselves (a sine qua non condition for the film to look, sound and feel authentic) does not detract from the original, one could even say that Daniel Ibañez’s voice improves Jota’s, while the Self-named Cristalino, a real find, personifies in genius mode the polydrug addiction characteristic of the indienoventera scene. The new Planets play up to fifteen songs, it is almost a concert film that reproduces, like no other, the vertigo, rage and euphoria of the live performance.

Second prize, which Lacuesta won with the help of Pol Rodríguez, confirms that the Girona native brings out the best in himself when he spiritually connects with Lorca’s Andalusia, as already happened with the diptych The Legend of Time (2006) / Entre dos Aguas ( 2018), and it happens again here, encapsulating the Granada character in what could well be his best film: an instant classic suitable for all generations, not just for punctilious Planets fans.

By Jordi Batlle Caminal

In 2015, George Miller resumed in Mad Max: Fury Road the saga that he had put on hold thirty years earlier, made up of three unforgettable titles. The challenge was considerable, similar to that of Spielberg when he filmed the fourth episode of Indiana Jones twenty years after the third, because in those long periods of interruption action cinema had been devoured by high technologies. Both the American and the Australian had abandoned their heroes in a pre-digital era and rediscovered them at the height of the computer effect, without which the public does not seem to listen to reason. How to incorporate your creatures into the new visual order without altering their identity? As wise as Spielberg, Miller used digital magic as a layer of paint on images that remained tremendously physical, visceral, mineral. And he gave us the (still today) best action movie of the 21st century.

Aware that that milestone was insurmountable, it seems that Miller has tried in this new installment (which is a prequel) to simply equal it. And it has achieved it: Furiosa is another colossal feat, although it will be less surprising due to its similarity to the previous film: the meeting between the heroine and the new hero played by Tom Burke (confrontation at the beginning, collaboration later) is nailed to that of the heroine herself and Tom Hardy’s Mad Max. 

The adventure is once again a frenetic chain of chases and battles in the desert, non-stop action subjected to planning, machete-montage and a dazzling sense of narration. Genuinely Madmaxian in its eccentricities (the flirtation with the peplum, for example: memorable the chariot with motorcycles instead of horses), Furiosa gladly leaves us in a trance, captives of a chemically pure irrational pleasure that comes from afar: this exalted cocktail of movement perpetual, speed, acrobatics and delirium were already practiced with mastery, more than a hundred years ago, by people like Mack Sennett.

By Salvador Llopart

More than stories, they are moments: eleven encounters with fear. The fear of living and its best alternative: the need to overcome it. Are you afraid? Good. Do it with fear. Eleven flashes that blind you in their lucidity, and an overall compassionate look at what we call being human. At times I have shed a tear of gratitude; especially with the final appearance of Juan Diego, perhaps in his last role, and the dance in love, testamentary, of two veterans like Emilio Gutiérrez Caba and Luisa Gavasa.

By S. Llopart

Adultery as the background of a crime, and the lives of two upper-class marriages shaken by the appearance of desire and lies. The actor Yvan Attal, protagonist and director of the film, provides the voice-over of a story that promises passion and ends up being as weak and forced as the psychology of the characters involved. Thus, the intrigue, driven by a simple twist of fate, remains the story of a ridiculous man. Well, two. The other is played by Guillaume Canet, another great of French cinema.

By Salvador Llopart

A sample of the worst French cinema, that which makes national clichés its breeding ground. In this case, a good cause, such as returning to the countryside, protecting the forest and animal life, is ruined by the anecdote that drives Forestier and Fourlon’s film, most false and forced. The same as always: urban planners confronted with the beatific simplicity of life in the countryside. The interpretations are brilliant, full of names. But the vulgarity of the whole ruins the brilliance of his work. As it progresses, the more you want it to end quickly.

By Jordi Batlle Caminal

Remake of a 2019 Danish film, The Last Summer describes, without raising moral judgments or seeking sympathy from the characters, the complicated romantic relationship between a lawyer specializing in the defense of adolescents and her minor stepson. Formally sober and somewhat rigid, it does not avoid exuding that common scent of a work designed to compete in festivals (it went to Cannes just a year ago: why do some films take so long to be released?).

Por Philipp Engel

In the path of the seventies revival celebrated by Ti West with his horror trilogy to a possessed girl. Very aesthetically successful, with good humor and better supporting roles, it also contains old gore and cancer jokes, which can hurt the sensitivity of the balanced viewer.