By @Valentín Brillanceau
One of the things that I enjoy the most about learning a language is being able to understand my favourite movies in the original version. There is no doubt that the best way to learn a language is to dedicate a bit of time to it every day. However, if you can learn a language whilst watching your favourite movies, why not use them to your advantage. Use them as tools to help you improve your oral and written comprehension, your pronunciation and even your expression. Without further ado, here are the six movies to learn Spanish that we recommend for 2019.
Roma is a movie that recounts a tumultuous year in the life of a family in Mexico. It has won three Oscars (Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón, and Best Picture) and it received a Goya for Best Ibero-American Film. The feature movie tells the story of a Mexican family that live in the capital in the early seventies, in a context of political agitation. The heroin of the movie is Cleo, a servant and aboriginal that is also the life and soul of the place.
This movie directed by Alfonso Cuarón has been produced for Netflix. It presents social problems of the time, like servant life and the political tension in Mexico in the seventies.
This movie is definitely one of the best movies to learn Spanish. It’s a comedy created by Javier Fesser. It won three Goyas, one for Best Film, another for Best New Actor for Jesús Vidal and the final one for Best Original Song. Marco, the main protagonist, plays the prestigious role of assistant coach for the Spanish basketball team. By order of the judge (and we won’t give spoilers as to why), he has to form a basketball team of players with mental disabilities. What starts out as a punishment becomes a true life lesson.
Dolor y Gloria is Pedro Almodovar’s new movie that you have to see! Although this movie isn’t as comedic as Campeones, it promises a rollercoaster of emotions that will give you goose bumps.
This dramatic movie shows the life of a disillusioned cinema director through a series of encounters over many decades, some in person and some as memories. It tells of his first loves, the role of the mother, death, the actors he worked with, the decades he lived through and also the present day. It shows the impossibility of separating creation and private life and the frustration of the creative process that alternates with satisfaction.
To completely change genre, we are now going to discuss a Spanish animated movie by Salvador Simó Busom. It’s the story of Buñuel, one of the most fascinating moviemakers in the history of cinema, in Paris in the thirties. Currently in production, the feature movie Buñuel en el Laberinto de las Tortugas adapts the graphic novel by Fermín Solís to tell us about the Spanish moviemaker’s shooting process for the documentary ‘Tierra Sin Pan’, a surrealist short movie, a characteristic that predominated the work of Buñuel.
Mientras dure la Guerra is a masterpiece by Alejandro Amenábar. We are transported back to Spain in 1936 under the Franco regime. The writer Miguel de Unamuno provokes public opinion by supporting the anti-Franco military uprising that promised a certain order in the country. He was directly removed from office by the republican government as rector of the University of Salamanca. The bloody direction of the conflict and the imprisonment of some of his companions make Unamuno begin to question his initial position and consider his principles. When Franco, at this time Head of State of the national zone, moves his headquarters to Salamanca, Unamuno goes to the leader’s palace, determined to make a peculiar request.
We finish with this 18-minute dramatic short movie, a work by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, released on March 17, 2017. He won a Goya for the Best Fictional Short Film in 2018. This movie tells a very intense story. It starts with a woman talking to her mother in her apartment in Spain. Her phone rings. On the other end of the line is Ivan, her six-year-old son who is on vacation with his father. The boy says he is alone on the beach. His mother immediately realises that something is wrong. Rodrigo Sorogoyen puts us into the shoes of a mother frightened by the trembling voice of her son.
So, after watching and enjoying these six masterpieces, not only will you have improved your Spanish, but you will have developed your cultural knowledge too. But if you struggle to sit still in front of a screen, don’t worry we have compiled a list of 5 easy-listening podcasts to learn Spanish. And you? Which other movies to learn Spanish would you recommend to teachers, students and readers of Entrelenguas? Let us know!