Two Brad Pitt exclusives

  • French farmer tells him, “Get off my land!”
  • Did a Pakistani Dracula turn Brad and Angelina into zombies?

Law to oblige distributors to dub or subtitle half of all films in Catalan

Here. With 350 million illegal flicks downloaded in Spain last year, that horse has already bolted. So adieu cinemas, and adéu language, but more work for bureaucrats and lawyers, who will also thrive from the proposal to make it punishable for a spouse not to perform half the housework. Q: Who’s going to invest in…

Jaws is not a feminist shero

Lunch topics: Marianism and genital iconography, as in The Virgin Mary is a hairy vagina. Conclusion: this one smells of red herring–she actually belongs to the sun. The inability of “artists” to fit a proper fanny and a proper face into the same screen. The three best known forerunners of Bob Guccione-style gynaecology, Courbet’s stilled…

Horny ancient Rome, or taking the virtue out of virtual

The Google Earth version of ancient Rome is a bit like a collection of faked-up trainspotters’ notebooks. Until they find some way of populating it with exfoliant opera, our best bet as responsible amateur social historians is the porn industry: European production company Daring Media Group will release its first movie, Roma, in October at…

Spanglish, an important new literary language

An interesting piece by the always interesting Ilan Stavans in a new French literary mag on the doormat describes briefly how in the States, with the success of Junot Díaz’s killer novel The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao and other stuff, Spanglish has moved from the rebellious, designed-to-be-misunderstood fringe to the mainstream. What we…

I am burning with desire to teach the Spaniards how Nordic women can love

“This incendiary message was broadcast from Berlin to hot-blooded Spain by dazzling, blonde Brita Brager. It had a coldblooded purpose: to persuade Spaniards that signing up for work in German munitions plants would be a short cut to a life of opulent lechery.” According to this Time story from 1943, Ms Brager was the 23-year-old…

Phoney Spanish gypsy dancers at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York?

The Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901 is now remembered mainly for the assassination of McKinley by a Polish-American anarchist follower of Emma Goldman. However it was yet another triumph for Thomas A Edison, Inc and its electric chairs, X-ray machines (McKinley might have survived had an Edison X-ray machine been allowed to locate the…

Did Woody Allen plagiarise Vicky Cristina Barcelona?

Alexis de Vilar says the film copies his 1987 novel Goodbye, Barcelona. Manel Haro points out that the book was not, as Alexis claims, registered with the Ministry of Culture (to indicate publication) in 1987, but in October 2008, a month after the film was released here. Alexis claims inter alia to have survived an…

Spain, la gran puta

There are various explanations of Spanish anti-Americanism. The post-colonial hypothesis is popular: Spain is bitter about its loss of empire, its defeat in 1898, its not being invited to the G-whatever. An alternative hypothesis is that anti-Americanism is frustration arising from the idea that an implicit bilateral dollars-for-favours deal has been violated. In Luis Berlanga,…