I wrote three pieces about the fest, and here they are:
The Spanish Civil War is a good war for movies. Its ideological split between fascists on the one hand and liberals and communists on the other was a warm-up for World War II. It was a global conflict and a trial run for the Cold War, too, in the sense that republicans and leftists from around the world — notably from the United States and the Soviet Union, but from many other parts of the world as well — converged on a country to try and tilt its fortunes their way. Setting a movie in the Spanish Civil War allows storytellers to engage with the fundamental issues of those conflicts without having to address their specific baggage. Also, Spanish architecture and landscapes (perhaps I should say Mediterranean, since many Spanish Civil War movies were filmed in Italy or other similar locales) offer a distinct backdrop from the grayer, grimmer palettes usually seen in WWII and Cold War flicks.
I’ve watched a lot of Spanish Civil War movies, and I thought I’d briefly run through the ones I can remember:
One of my movie reviews from the Austin Film Festival was excerpted on another site. Look at the top of this page for a line attributed to Flickchart — that’s me!
More importantly, fans of England, cats, rural walks, and melancholy should check out the best blog I don’t write for, tom-cox.com. Tom is a modern-day James Harriot, or a self-aware Karl Pilkington. Late last year he quit his newspaper job and is making a go of it as a book-writer and blogger. The way he writes about mornings makes me, a hardened night owl, want to turn in at 7PM so I can experience them, too. Tom finds new things to say about cats, one of the most written-about animals on the internet or anywhere, and tracks the habits of the squirrels, badgers, sheep, and rabbits that populate his corner of southwestern England, which is quite a large corner to judge from the number of distinct 10-mile walks he’s taken across the moors and along the coasts. I donate to the site and follow all of his Twitter accounts (most of his cats have their own.) Anywhere is a good place to start, but I especially enjoyed this entry.