Transformers 3

As pointless as that green triangle chocolate you get in a tin of Quality Street.


Smart, funny and fully formed, these Bridesmaids are everything the Sex and the City girls aren't.

An Ode to Neville

A song tribute to Neville Longbottom, Hogwart's hottest bad-ass mofo wizard.


Craig Viveiros' debut feature is a gripping but predictable prison drama.

BFI Spanish Season

A look at the BFI's post-Franco Spanish cinema season, featuring sex, drugs, Pedro Almodóvar, and Antonio Banderas in a police uniform.

Kung Fu Panda 2

A kick in the balls to other money-grabbing sequels, this is a laugh-out-loud fest of purest awesome.

The Hangover: Part II

It's hard to believe that Mel Gibson was considered too racist to be in this film.

X-Men: First Class

Bold, brilliant and effortlessly cool. First Class? X-Men: Kick-Ass more like.

Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides

Has everything a blockbuster needs: beards, swords, and Penélope Cruz. In a hat.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2

A loosely tied string of sketches, Diary of Wimpy Kid 2 is forgettable fun for the whole family.

BlogalongaBond: OHMSS

On Her Majesty's Secret Service teaches you how to ski like George Lazenby, everyone's fifth favourite Bond.


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Tag:bfi spanish season

With the BFI's season of Spanish cinema after Franco in full swing, it was only a matter of time before Pedro Almodóvar turned his hand to religion. 

Released in 1984, Dark Habits is Almodóvar's third film and - if the puntastic title wasn't a big enough clue - it's about nuns. An unconventional comedy about a group of subversive sisters? It's perfect for Pedro, a firm believer in Luis Buñuel's anti-religious commentary, but Dark Habits is less harsh than you might expect.

Yolanda (Labyrinth of Passion's Cristina Sanchez Pascual) is a pop singer with a taste for hard drugs. When her boyfriend overdoses, the cops come looking for her. So she pulls a Whoopi Goldberg and hides out in a convent. But this is far from Sister Act, brother. These are some seriously whacked out nuns.

Yes, even more rock and roll than Maggie Smith.

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The BFI's Spanish season (Good Morning Freedom! Spanish Cinema After Franco) jumps forward to the late 1980s with Fernando Colomo's Going Down in Morocco - one of the season's post-Franco Spanish movies that isn't by Pedro Almodóvar.

A woman steps off a ferry on her way back from Morocco. She is glamourous, decked out in a colourful dress and hat. She stops, checks her bosom is amply positioned, and strolls onto shore. Then the police turn up and she runs for the nearest toilet to remove the drugs she's got stashed between her legs.

That's the life of an indie dealer in 1980s Spain, if you believe Going Down in Morocco (Bajarse en Moro). And there's every reason to do so. People line the streets of Madrid selling Iron Maiden cassette tapes and U2 key rings (alongside clean syringes) and they joke about the upcoming 1992 Olympics - it's all very much a product of its time.

With a similar feel to Almodóvar's output of the period, Bajarse en Moro is a knockabout urban comedy that consolidated the Comedia Madrileña genre. With Franco gone for over a decade, young directors in Madrid had a host of energetic actors, a wealth of social changes to consider and the freedom to capture it all on video. It was only natural for them to look at the situations facing society's youth through humour. And drugs. Mostly at the same time.

Anyway, back to the woman with hash up her fanny.

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The BFI's Spanish season (Good Morning Freedom! Spanish Cinema After Franco) continues this weekend with another Pedro Almodóvar movie – a reminder of his significance in the movement of Spanish cinema after Franco.

Almodóvar's fourth film, What Have I Done to Deserve This? (or ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto?) sees a shift away from his earlier madcap moviemaking towards the dark domestic comedy of his later work. Following put-upon housewife Gloria as she struggles to keep the family (and herself) together, it’s partly a critique of society's patriarchal structures that were at their height under Franco.

Trying to make ends meet, Gloria befriends her neighbour, a prostitute called Cristal. “I don’t want you hanging around her,” demands Gloria’s unfaithful husband, “she’s a whore!” Gloria looks bluntly at him. “So what?”

It’s this defiant portrayal of females that typifies Almodóvar’s work, something that his muse Carmen Maura always portrays well in the lead. Refusing to be trodden down, the film starts off with her doing a light spot of ninja training with a giant stick. Which, naturally, leads to some full-on shower sex.

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This month saw the beginning of a new season at the BFI: Good Morning Freedom! - Spanish Cinema After Franco.

It catalogues, as the title suggests, Spanish films in the post-Franco years, including the re-release of Carlos Saura’s Cria Cuervos. (The director’s doing a Q+A this evening if you’re near the Southbank and fancy listening to a key filmmaker talk about his career.)

As I’ve said before, I don’t write enough about Spanish cinema, which I’m a rather big fan of, so I’ll be dipping into the BFI’s Spanish film programme, which runs until the beginning of July, to give you a rough idea of what to expect. First up? Pedro Almodóvar's Labyrinth of Passion.

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