Speaking of Spanish, which has come up in a couple posts this week, I LOVE the Castilian pronunciation one hears in the films of Pedro Almodovar. My favorite of his films is "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" which is very silly and sublimely funny. Highly recommended. Of course, I'm predisposed to love any film wherein peseta is pronounced "petheta." I love that little lispy thingie on the "s" sounds. Cute. Here, too, Carmen Maura has an intriguing method for serving gazpacho, the yummy Spanish tomato soup, served cold.
One 1967 film set in Spain is (though I think it's in Seville rather than in Barthelona) is The Bobo, starring Peter Sellers.
Peter's wife, Britt Ekland, stars as the ingenue and she has the most fabulous, groovy sixties wardrobe along with Maseratis to match. The film has a rather unexpected ending which leaves you thinking either Sellers' character is brilliant or a simpleton - either way, what he wants out of life is not something he will compromise on, regardless what extraordinary opportunities come his way. I think the surprise ending makes this film much more memorable than most, and while it wasn't side-splittingly funny as some of Sellers' films are, there is still plenty to chuckle over, and as usual, he brings an elegance and grace to what could easily have been a ridiculous character and nothing more. I suppose that is something I love about his acting - he always donned a persona with conviction, never morally judging the characters he played.
I must mention one riveting scene in this film features a flamenco dance performed by a sweaty, intense woman. In a strange way, she's ugly as she strains through a grueling zapateado (that's that rapid-heel slamming dance so common in flamenco) but it is a magnificent vision. I think that scene alone is worth seeing the entire film.
And speaking of Peter Sellers, I saw the 1967 original Casino Royale a few weeks ago, and it was corny as shit (corn being one of the Elfin Foods™ which the intestinal elves magically re-assemble). What has derailed my fragile psyche time and again in the past few weeks has frequently been the cornball motif Burt Bacharach composed and which that dastardly Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass performed - I just can't get it out of my head and in a not-good way. Yeuch! Anyway, I must say that despite oozing a complex gravy of camp/groovy/spoof, this wasn't enough for me to enjoy it very much - I thought it was particularly bad, and I have pretty low standards, so that is just sad. I will say that Ursula Andress was a vision of loveliness as ever, so the film's not a complete, er, bust, but nor do I recommend it. Proceed at your own risk with this puppy, 'cause that dog won't hunt.