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article image‘The Last Days’ could herald a new era of sci-fi movies in Spain

By Anne Sewell     Apr 3, 2013 in Entertainment
Barcelona - The Spanish film industry has produced some excellent movies in recent years. While excelling in horror and fantasy films, Spain is now dabbling in science fiction, with this end-of-the-world apocalyptic thriller.
Set in Barcelona, the Catalan capital, "Los últimos días" or, in English, "The Last Days" in the latest in end-of-the-world sci-fi thrillers.
The rather unlikely theme of the movie is a mysterious global outbreak of agoraphobia, which, among other things, is a fear of public spaces, or the outside world.
Filmmakers David and Álex Pastor take us to the center of the city of Barcelona, where famous streets and landmarks have been damaged or destroyed, including the Via Laietana and El Hospital del Mar. We see the Sants station converted into the very epicenter of evil.
Scene from  Los últimos días  or  The Last Days  - sci-fi film made in Spain.
Scene from "Los últimos días" or "The Last Days" - sci-fi film made in Spain.
With the whole world unable to step outside, civilization is failing, but our hero, Quim Gutiérrez (star of Azuloscurocasinegro) embarks on a search for his lost girlfriend, played by Marta Etura, with many terrifying adventures.
New genre in Spanish film-making:
Sci-fi is a new genre in Spain and Álex Pastor told the media, “We had a few technical complications, but everyone involved got very enthusiastic given that films like this normally aren’t made here. Spanish cinema has changed a lot in the last 20 years, it’s more eclectic, it has opened up more, although we are yet to really make our mark in terms of science fiction.”
“Every director has their favorite genre,” explains brother David. “And we are interested in fantasy in the widest sense of the term, although it is true that the two feature films we have made are apocalyptic.”
The two brothers debuted with the film "Infectados" or in English "Carriers," back in 2009. This was a horror film about four people fleeing a viral pandemic, starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo and Emily VanCamp.
Nacho Vigalondo, who made movies such as "Timecrimes" and "Extraterrestrial", spoke to the media about sci-fi.
“For me sci-fi is not a genre,” he said, “But rather it’s a framework for either a drama, comedy or thriller. That’s why I feel so comfortable with it.”
“In Spain, there haven’t been a lot of science fiction movies, because it’s a genre that requires a certain level of production values. Even the cheesiest American movies from the 1970s wanted to appear bigger than they were. And in Spain we are still carrying a certain inferiority complex in this respect.”
Ángel Sala, the director of the Sitges film festival, considered the world's foremost international festival specializing in fantasy and horror movies, said, “It’s a cultural problem with Mediterranean countries.”
“We are better at horror and gothic cinema, and I think that is because of our religious heritage. And as such, apart from a few honorable exceptions due to talent rather than budgets, we either do science fiction films that imitate what you see from Hollywood, but end up looking cheap, or we do it by simplifying the story,” he added.
However, the Pastor brothers feel that their film will bridge the gap and disturb their audiences just as much as a classic horror film. They say that the sight of Barcelona in ruins will be shocking, “because they are streets that they will have walked through, that they don’t just know from having seen them in films. And the main characters are not Americans on vacation in Europe, they are just like us.”
David Pastor
Àlex Pastor
Leticia Dolera
Marta Etura
Quim Gutiérrrez
José Coronado
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