Top Films Inspired by Madrid
Written on 26/01/2019.
I have always been interested in watching films made in the cities that I've visited to recognize the streets and buildings that I've seen with my own eyes. During my period of fascination with Spanish cinema, I've spent a lot of time watching all sorts of movies, and each time I've seen a street or place that I saw in real life, I got excited. Not a lot of world-wide films have been made in Madrid. We should turn our attention to Spanish movies, but most of them have not gone beyond the borders of the country or have not been translated, and, probably, they will never be. Today I would like to talk about the best movies about Madrid that I have ever seen.
Stories from Kronen (Historias del Kronen, 1995)
The film is about the Spanish version of generation X: twenty-year-old boys who have nowhere to go. Spain, after entering the European Union in the second half of the 80s, begins to flourish; in the 90s, a high standard of living means that adolescents have nothing more to desire: no restrictions, no need for money, no problems. The film's actions take place in the center and north of Madrid, areas where new upper-middle class lives.
A company of friends spends every evening in the Kronen bar. They drink, they fight, they wander around the clubs (and I even managed to visit one of these clubs; it's called Templo de Gato) and abandoned buildings, play guitars, and have relationship. The protagonist is played by Juan Diego Botto, an Argentinian (he is one of my favorite Spanish-speaking actors out there). The film very well conveys the atmosphere of Madrid in the 90s, with its traditional character on the one hand and punk tendencies on the other.
Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos, 1997)
This is the original movie; the remake of it is called Vanilla Sky. In my opinion, Open "Your Eyes" is better than the remake, and although there is no Hollywood gloss in this movie, it is still better in many ways. It is more authentic and emotional. The film's events take place in Madrid, in the mid-90s. Lots of beautiful scenery can be seen in the movie; it was fascinating to be reminded of all of those places. This is a great movie to watch together. If you don't have someone to watch it with, then be sure to check out this dating site!
Caotica Ana, 2007
Young artist Ana arrives in Madrid from Ibiza where she grew up and delves into bohemian life. After the island, the capital seems big, chaotic, and noisy to her. The film is accompanied by touching songs by Antonio Vega, a rock'n'roll legend of the Madrid who died early from cancer.
Dark Blue Almost Black (Azuloscurocasinegro, 2006)
Despite the fact that the film was shot before the large-scale Spanish crisis of 2008-2010, it very accurately conveys the mood of many modern young Spaniards. The main character takes care of his disabled father, works hard as a concierge yet wants a better job and dreams of an expensive suit that is dark blue, almost black. He occasionally spends time on the terrace of a multistory building, from which a view opens onto the sloping Bankia towers and the rooftops of Madrid.
Beautiful Youth (Hermosa Juventud, 2014)
This is a story of twenty-year-old lovers. There are no Gran Via and Castellana, but there are Vallecas and Carabanchel to be seen. The film shows the life of the modern Spanish youth, that being without ambition and aspirations, in poverty and with emptiness inside. It can be a bit boring to some, there are lots of super-realistic scenes because of which it can be called an art-house movie.
The Bourne Ultimatum
One of the few Hollywood films where part of the action takes place in Madrid, on Castellana Boulevard, Atocha Station, Bailen Street, and Santa Cruz Square.
Pedro Almodovar Movies
Madrid is one of the main characters of the movies of the most famous Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. According to his movies, one can trace how the atmosphere of the city has changed over the past 30 years. The director himself says that he chose his favorite city landscapes, as well as symbolic and sacred places, for filming. Almodovar shows Madrid as a place of contrast and controversies where there are not only historic buildings, palaces, and beautiful scenery but also slums and humble neighborhoods.