Thu, 30 Jun 2011

Cinema d'Estiu de Benimaclet 2011

Yeah! It's this time of the year: Friday evenings after work with your friends having some cool beer on the streets, Saturdays around the nearby mountains for a good hike and swimming in a lake or river, and good beach Sunday in a Valencian beach. And for a great ending of a Summer weekend, a good indie movie in your neighbourhood, reclaiming the streets and going back to our roots, when people perceived the public spaces as theirs, and would bring foldable chairs out, would gather with their neighbours and had a good after-dinner chat a la fresca.

The always active Associació de Veïns i Veïnes de Benimaclet has organized, for the fifth year four cinema projections in Benimaclet's square, which are open for anyone who wants to share good moments with us. The program this year includes Soul Kitchen (3rd of July), When the Wind Blows (10th), Concursante (17th) and Moon (24th).

Before every movie, we'll enjoy live music by local bands, and projections of good short films. We'll be happy to see you there, and remember you only need a chair and some dinner... but be sure to be there a bit before 22:00: last year this got so popular some people started having issues to find good spots for their chairs!

Sun, 04 Jul 2010

Cinema d'Estiu in Benimaclet 2010

Like other years, Benimaclet's Neighbour Association has organized a new cycle of film projections for the neighbours, by the neighbours, with the intention to get people out of their homes and share a good time with many others. Like in the other two editions, the selected films try to deliver a message to the viewers, and this year the topics are centered about labour and migration social issues. A change in this year's edition is that there will be one more projection, for a total of 5 films, every Sunday of July, at 22:00 in the Plaça de Benimaclet.

Last week, we saw El viaje de Teo, a Mexican film describing the migration dramas going on in the Sonora Desert. This Sunday, we'll see Arcadia, which will be followed by Recursos humanos, Hijos de los hombres and La estrategia del caracol.

Before each film, some local artists will perform live for us. Make yourself a sandwich, bring a chair to Benimaclet and enjoy some good cinema with your neighbours every Sunday in July!

Fri, 25 Jul 2008

Cinema de Barri in Benimaclet

Last summer we tried to organise a Cinema d'estiu movie projections in Benimaclet's Church Square, in an attempt to promote social activities in the street done by the neighbours, for the neighbours. The response was very positive, and the first two projections attracted many people, who would bring a chair and their dinner to the old town's square to watch a movie. Unfortunately, the authorities, who were completely out of the loop, weren't happy and on the 3rd week the Local police appeared and said that that kind of activities needed official permits, and disallowed the projection.

For this year's summer, we decided we'd try to do the projections once again, and learned that only a legally-established organisation can do the paperwork to get an authorisation. In parallel, some neighbours of Benimaclet, who had liked last year's idea, were working on their own to repeat the experience, and somehow Clara was contacted by them, and we ended up collaborating. As these people are members of the Associació de veïns of Benimaclet, there were legally able to do the paperwork, and soon we agreed on the four movies for this year, to be played every Sunday of July at 22:00h.

Our pick for Sunday 6th was Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso, followed on the 13th by Elling, a Norwegian comical drama by Petter Næss which I hadn't seen and I can totally recommend. Last week we saw Poniente, a Spanish film by Chus Gutiérrez that focus on immigration issues in the South East of Spain, based on the racist happenings of El Ejido of 2000. Finally, next Sunday is the turn for some political action with V for Vendetta. A note for Benimaclet neighbours: if you don't come to see the movie, be aware that we plan to pump up the volume a lot for this one. You're definitely going to hear it from home. ;)

We're very happy about the response of the neighbours this year. Not having done any effort to announce this around the city, except for a few posters around Benimaclet during the last week of June, people clearly remembered last year's experience and the plaça de Beni was full of chairs for all three weekends. It really helps to turn around during a projection and see so many people behind you participating in something you've invested some of your own time and money. It's probably too late now, but there's some talk of extending this to the Sundays in August, so we'll see. Also, we plan to do a picaeta for attendees as a small closing party for this year's cycle.

See you on Sunday, and enjoy V!

Tue, 05 Jul 2005

Independence Day

I could write about many things today, but I just saw the last 20 minutes of Independence Day. I had classified it as a "not worth the time" film when I first saw it a few years ago, but today I got reminded of a few details that made me laugh again at the stupidity of the whole thing.

It seems every spaceship out there lacks basic firewalling: we saw it in SW: A New Hope and SW: Revenge of the Sith. Independence Day goes way further when the good guys use a virus to destroy the powerful enemy.

There are other good moments, like when a young couple in the military base, under attack, say "we'll die being virgins, but we'll die together", or when a few jewish people are praying and ask someone else to join them... He objects: "but I'm not jewish", and the priest (or whatever) says "nobody's perfect". Excellent!

Tue, 05 Apr 2005

Memoria del saqueo

Yesterday, Kiko, Belén and I went to the cinema to see Memoria del saqueo (Social Genocide, in the English translation), a documentary film about how Argentina, one of the richest countries in South America, managed to go into total bankruptcy, ending in the popular uprise and rioting of December 2001.

As the story develops, from the times of Videla's dictatorship, and through the democratic presidencies of Alfonsín, Menem and De la Rua, you see how all the layers of the Argentinian society have systematically used their big or small powers for their own benefit, or to benefit corporations from other countries. From politicians to the labor-union leaders, and including judges, lawyers, businessmen or the Church, everyone did as much as they could to steal from the Argentinian people, during decades. Menem was specially incredible, as he didn't even care to hide anything, as you see in the YPF privatization process.

This is a crude film, and a feeling of impotence invades you from the very beginning. The description of how the thousands of middle-class families suddenly found themselves in poverty and without a job, and the poorer classes suddenly suffered from desnutrition had me thinking "hijos de puta!" during the two hours, specially during the description of the situation in Tucumán, where many children died of famine, in a country with capacity to feed 300 million people.

If you still wonder how Argentina could get in that hole 2 years ago, this is probably the perfect explanation.