Monday, November 24, 2008

Two New Movies Set In Spain

Though my focus for this blog is books, I must admit that I love historical movies. And for me, there's nothing better than a movie after that big Thanksgiving meal! Also, several months ago a reader of this blog asked me to post something film-related and I promised him I would. Movies often help us visualize the eras we read about, and bring a marvelous sense of immediacy to the past; while I still prefer to read, I must admit when a movie or TV series looks this good, I'm the first in line.

Two new historical films were released recently that I personally can't wait to see. Both are set in Spain during the reign of Philip II - an era that I'm planning to write about. I haven't located US release dates on either film yet, alas; but I did find their YouTube trailers, so enjoy!

La Conjura del Escorial (The Escorial Conspiracy)
Based on true events, this film is set during the Golden Age of Philip II's Spain, when an ambitious courtier and his noblewoman lover set off a dramatic and dangerous chain of events that resulted in the murder of Juan of Austria's secretary and the lovers' downfall. I'm hoping to write about the one-eyed Princess of Eboli, played here by Julia Ormond, so to me this looks like a marvelous film, with excellent costumes and wonderful ambiance to inspire my own visions.

El Greco
The life of the enigmatic Greek painter, also set in the era of Philip II. This film was directed by a Greek, who spent years passionately attached to the project until he managed to secure enough financing from Spain, Greece and Hungary. It follows the story of the painter from his youth in Crete to his forbidden love affair with Jimena de Cuevas and near-fatal clash with the Inquisition in Toledo. British stage actor Nick Ashdon captures the role of this indominitable talent, who is by far my favorite late-Renaissance painter.

(Click on the images to access the YouTube trailers).

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! It's been a great year, and I thank you all for sharing your thoughts and time with me.


Devaki said...

I think I've read something on the Princess of Eboli--it was published as a Virago Classic. The title was THAT LADY--and do check out this link:

Devaki said...

Also check this Wikipedia entry out:

She's the author of the book on the Princess of Eboli.

C.W. Gortner said...

Cool! Thanks, Devaki. I actually have Kate O'Brien's book; I liked it a lot when I read it years ago. I should re-read it. And I just finished reading a hf novel about the Princess in Spanish by an actual descendant of hers, a true-to-life marquise.

I'm thinking of doing something different with the character; she'd be fun to work with, I think.

The movie looks amazing.

Justin Aucoin said...

'La Conjura' looks great. Hopefully they'll have a US release. The costumes look amazing and looks like there's plenty of swordplay. :-)

C.W. Gortner said...

Hi Justin,
A friend of mine saw it and said it was gorgeous to watch; the cinematography was spectacular and there were some good sword fighting scenes. I'm hoping for a US release, too. I'm also so into this period I'm champing at the bit to start writing my Princess of Eboli book, though the proposal I'm going with for now is my 15th century Borgia one :)

Justin Aucoin said...

Ha, it's always good to have ideas in the backlog. Helps fuel to get through the current project.

If it doesn't come out in the US, I'll keep an eye out for it's DVD release. I don't mind subtitles. :-D

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

La Conjura del Escorial stars Jason Isaacs so it's a double whammy -- historical and Jason! Reason enough for me to want to see it!

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Lezlie said...

Merry Christmas!!