Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fernando Fernán-Gómez

The death last week of the Spanish actor Fernando Fernán-Gómez has rightly attracted a lot of attention here. If you were to take a random selection of Spanish films from the last 50 years, the chances that this prolific actor/director would have participated in at least one of them are very high. Well known as an actor, rather than as a celebrity, he will be sadly missed.

Some of his films are being shown again on television in homage to him. On Friday we got the strange but entertaining El Extraño Viaje, directed by Fernán-Gómez. The film was enjoyable, but also astonishing with its portrait of a Spain that is barely recognisable these days. Then on Saturday we got Belle Epoque, a foreign language Oscar winner for Fernando Trueba in 1994, in which Jorge Sanz is forced to endure the unbearable ordeal of being stuck in the same house as Penélope Cruz, Maribel Verdú and Ariadna Gil. Fernán-Gomez almost steals the show as the father.

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