Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Common Wealth (Alex de la Iglesia, 2000)

Alex de la Iglesia is one of the directors whose entire body of work I'm attempting to see via Netflix. Being sick and having no Netflix at home, I decided to go out and rent Common Wealth, which is my fourth de la Iglesia film (after Accion Mutante, El Crimen Ferpecto, and Dance With the Devil). While it's no Crimen Ferpecto, it is a classic de la Iglesia, full of gore and suspense and comedy, often at the same time.

The plot is pretty common; Julia (Carmen Maura, one of my favorite Spanish actresses) is a real estate agent who finds 300 million pesetas in a dead man's apartment. The other tenants figure out she has the money, and terror and hilarity both ensue. The line between ridiculousness and real, horror film-style terror is often very blurred, as Julia is literally trapped in the building by the other tenants. The film's climax is the perfect example of this melding of genres, as (without giving anything away!) there is a chase scene that is both scary and slapstick-funny at the same time. de la Iglesia is one of the masters of black comedy, and of making the grotesque hilarious (something that is even more pronounced in Dance With the Devil). Carmen Maura is near-perfect as a real estate agent who takes and won't let go of what she should never have gotten. She's smart, sexy, and I really wanted her to prevail, no matter what bad things she does along the way. An Almodovar staple, it was refreshing to see Maura do something more extreme in every way.

I definitely recommend Common Wealth (aka La Comunidad) to anyone who enjoys laughing at what they shouldn't. It would also be perfect for an introduction into the twisted, hilarious world of Alex de la Iglesia.


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