Monthly Archives: December 2013

(Unas de) Mis Favoritas Peliculas en Espanol – Some of my Favorite Movies in Spanish

Bienvenidos a my first bilingual blog post (Spanglish more accurately). Antes de nada, perdoname – estoy bien floja y no voy a poner bien los acentos porque mi spellcheck no es biligue.

Hay muchas peliculas buenisimas de todos los paises de Latino America y para mi ha sido un gran placer conocer la gente y la tierra y la historia de los hispanohablantes por su cinema. Aqui comparto una peliculas que me encantan. Seguro que me faltan muchas! Favor de poner sus recomendaciones y comentarios abajor – gracias!

Yes, I have a minor in Latin American studies, listened to a lot of Manu Chao in college, studied in Cuba and now live here in LA where I go to an unusual number of Latin American film screenings with my USC alum cinephile boyfriend. You should be able to deduce all of that from this blog in general and, especially, this list of movies. I have undoubtedly left out some great ones – please put your recommendations and comments below!

Happy watching! Que las disfrutes….

Thrillers, intrigue and terror

  • Abre tus Ojos – The movie upon which Vanilla Sky was based. The original is quite wild so you can only imagine the state of my head several years later when there was Penelope Cruz speaking English giving me intense deja vu and Tom Cruise running around…?!?! Americans – you need to learn to deal with subtitles. Stick with the original.
  • El Secreto de Sus Ojos – Buenisima. Gano un Oscar! Ya…vete a verla!
  • The Devil’s Backbone – Guillermo Del Toro – te quiero mucho, especialmente despues de este evento. And yes, that is German in photo #3 getting a signature from his idol.
  • Pan’s Labyrinth – Mas Guillermo. Bien trippy.
  • Bajo la Sal – You like CSI? This is better.
  • El Traspatio – A nice transition to this next section since it is terrifying, but all too real – based on the countless murders of women in Ciudad Juarez.

Raise Your Social Consciousness

These are the movies where an audience member raises his or her hand and says: “Why doesn’t anyone show the positive side of our culture?” In fact, that happened at the Miss Bala panel at USC. The amazing lead actress said: “This is is real. This is how Mexico is right now.” Sooo….when you’re in the mood to be depressed but more enlightened…

  • El Norte – La primera pelicula en espanol que vi en toda mi vida. Mi maestro del sexto grado nos enseno la peliculas – tuvimos que tener permiso de nuestros padres. La recuerdo mas que cualquier otra cosa que paso en el sexto grado. Me di cuenta de que yo no sabia nada de las historias de los mexicanos que habian llegado a vivir en mi pueblo.
  • The Maid – So familiar. Chilean, but could be Mexican – so aptly captures a very particular dynamic in the homes of Latin America.
  • Sin Nombre – Did you know that thousands of Central Americans illegally cross the border into Mexico? And that terrible, terrible things befall them? A beautiful and heart-renching film.
  • Miss Bala – The Mexican Oscars are called the Ariels.
  • Maria Full of Grace – Columbian drug trafficking. Ya viste Traffic? Y Blow? Pues, mejor que veas esta pelicula.
  • Even the Rain – A recent episode of Bolivian history I didn’t know. You will notice that Gael Garcia Bernal films are all over this list. Well, he brings it – what can I say? This is just another great film with him!
  • A Day Without Mexicans – Humor is the best social commentary. If I had a book club, I would just have us watch stuff like this.

To warm the cockles of your heart

  • Viva Cuba – una historia increible de una amistad entre dos ninos que recorren toda Cuba
  • No Se Acepta Devoluciones (Instructions Not Included) – #1 best Spanglish jokes. A Mexican party boy suddenly finds himself a father of a half-American baby girl – trust me: You do not know where this movie will take you. You will laugh. You will cry. Me encanta esta pelicula porque trata del intercambio de cultura entre los estados unidos y Mexico y como poco a poco empezamos a entendernos (o no).
  • Bajo La Misma Luna – All of these movies have some element of immigration now that I think about it…
  • A Better Life – Te quiero Demian Bichir.
  • Real Women Have Curves – A great film with a great star (American Ferrera) based on a great play by Josefina Lopez – Angeleno friends, you should get over to the theater she founded – Casa 0101 and see her latest play – Trio Los Machos wherever you can…

High-brow and Indie-ness

Great news – there are some good movies with basically no dialogue!

  • Suite Habana – An ode to the city – con esta peli La Habana te va a robar el corazon
  • Soy Cuba – Sort of the same thing…except surreal and Soviet. No me crees? A ver…


Pura Diversion/Pure Pleasure

Guaranteed good time, nuff said.

  • Casi Divas
  • Saving Private Perez – 10x mas chistoso que “Casa de mi Padre”
  • Rudos y Cursi
  • Un Cuento Chino (Chinese Take-out)
  • Chico y Rita
  • Nosotros Los Nobles – El DF que yo conozco. Estaba muriendo de risa.

Un Toquecito de History

  • Arráncame La Vida
  • Cabeza de Vaca – Not fun per se…a bit like eating your vegetables, but more accurate that whatever Columbus films are around.
  • In the Time of the Butterflies – A powerful story of a family living under the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic
  • The Mission

?Como se dice “50 Shades of Gray?”
It’s cool how you’re pretending like you’ll see any of the high-quality films above, you sex-crazy people…Pues, ya vas con tus peliculas sexi y/o romanticas.

  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • Y Tu Mama Tambien
  • City of God
  • Mancora
  • Pedro Almodovar films – don’t necessarily belong in this section. Try one, if you like it, pues, you have many more to enjoy…


Filed under Cuba, Los Angeles, Mexico