Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Acción mutante (Álex de la Iglesia, 1993)

Sunday 2 April 2022, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Acción mutante (Álex de la Iglesia, 1993), 97 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30.

This was the debut feature movie of director Alex de la Iglesia, who would later become a staple in Spanish cinema. It was produced by queer arthouse provocateur Pedro Almodóvar who went out on a limb to give this first time filmmaker a chance, a completely unknown cartoon-drawing geek with a punky attitude who had almost no filmmaking experience. Although Pedro was supposed to only produce it, he couldn’t keep himself from interfering with the creative side of the project—exactly the behaviour he despised in other overbearing producers that tried to control his own films. Pedro did however bring in his colourful entourage of off-beat celebrities to help out with the acting—for example, transgender legend Bibi Andersen, or the unforgettable bizarre-faced model Rosy de Palma.

This is a sort of sci-fi horror film, but one with a lot of low-budget imagination. The film plunges us into a world in the future, a fully European paradise where everyone is beautiful and glamorous. But unrest is festering in this future Eden, when society is confronted with an uprising of terrorists battling for the rights of ugly people. This movie was a game-changer in many ways. Since there were no Spanish special effects crews back in the early 90s, some had to be brought in from France. Since director Alex de la Iglesia was busy as a comic book illustrator, he brought that entire zaniness into his futuristic vision. With its wild set decors, bizarre futuristic costumes, bold cinematography, and a dynamite concept, this flick splashed into the counterculture scene in Spain, breaking the doors open for a new kind of cinema. It was an intoxicating cinematic cocktail—equal parts comic book, sci-fi, black comedy, and a colourful version of steampunk. The punchy theme song is by Def Con Dos, one of the earliest hip hop duos in Spanish history.

This will be a high-definition screening.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net