Amerikanuak is a 2010 documentary about Basque immigrants who went to USA looking for work as shepherds and looking for a better future. It takes place in Elko, Nevada. In this little western town we will see how their everyday life is, how they relate with each other and with the rest of the community. They tell us what difficulties they had when they arrived to a this country. Basically, Amerikanuak talks about feeling homesick, about struggling in a different country to make a decent living and about being part of a community.

Directed by Nacho Reig
Producer Zigor Etxebarria
Edited by Gorka Bilbao
Also in the credits: Lorea Uresberueta & Zigor Etxebarria
It was premiered at Donostia Zinemaldia and got nominated to 8 Goya Awards.
Source for poster image: IMPAWARDS

Basque Americans (Basqueeuskal estatubatuarrakFrenchBasco-AméricainsSpanishvasco estadounidenses) are Americans of Basque descent. According to the 2000 US census, there are 57,793 Americans of full or partial Basque descent, but the real number of Basque Americans could easily reach 100,000 people. Of them, 41,811 people claimed be simply Basque American, 9,296 claimed be originating from Spanish Basque Country, and the other 6,686 claimed be originating from the French Basque Country.

Basque Americans – Wikipedia
Population of Basques by State

My good friend Kyle shared this video with me:

Skip to 9:10

The three most important things for basques are:

1. Who are the basques?
2. Where the do they come from?
3. Where are we going for dinner?

Euskal jaiak is Basque for “Basque Festival” celebrating Basque culture
Jaialdi 2015. Boise, Idaho.

They are singing Txantxibiri in the video above 🙂

Txantxibiri, txantxibiri gabiltzanian
Elorrioko kalian,
hamalau atso tronpeta jotzen
zazpi astoren gainian.

Astoak ziren txiki-txikiak,
atsoak, berriz, kristonak!
Nola demontre konpontzen ziran
zazpi astoren gainian (bis).

Saltzen, saltzen,
txakur txiki baten karameluak,
Está muy bien!
esaten du konfiteroak (bis).

Cuando vamos a Otxandiano
karnabal egunian,
me cagüen la mar,
comeremos chocolate
sonbreruaren gainian.

“Recuérdame” y cómo prender los dedos para hacer el acorde de Sol sostenido mayor al piano

Estaba ahora peleándome con la posición de los dedos para tocar algunos acordes puñeteros con sol# mayor y me he dado cuenta de que el truqui está en tocar el do que sería la nota del medio y qué es la única blanca del acordé no abajo si no en la parte de arriba de la nota para tener las 3 a la misma altura. Es que está todo en Youtube!

No se me había ocurrido y estaba destrozándome la mano intentando tocar el do en la parte de abajo de la tecla 😅

Estaba tocando está canción que es preciosa:

Que ya la grabé en su día con Julia a la guitarra:

Cantando “Recuérdame” de la película “Coco” con @Mrfoxtalbot #byJulia…

“Play La Marseillaise” scene, Casablanca (HD)

Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) are upstairs in Rick’s office, with Laszlo offering to buy the letters of transit. Rick refuses, and in reply to Laszlo’s question as to why, Rick tells him to ask his wife. They then hear German officers singing Die Wacht am Rhein in the main room below. Rick and Laszlo go out on the balcony and look down at the Germans singing.

Bogart’s Nod in the Marseillaise Scene: A Physical Gesture in Casablanca. Richard Raskin
Victor Lazlo in incensed to see the occupying german officers sing Die Wacht am Rhein.
His facial expressions reminds me of at T-1000, I tell you.
Ivvone is sad, and probably drunk. The germans continue singing.
“Play la Marseillaise!”

If any moment in this film might be called a point of no return, this is it. Here, for the first time, in nodding his approval, Rick takes a stand against the representatives of the Third Reich, and places himself on the side of resistance. (..) When the stage has been properly set, the simplest physical gesture can be charged with meaning in a film. Bogart’s nod in the Marseillaise scene in Casablanca stands out as perhaps the most striking example of this important resource in cinematic storytelling, and one particularly deserving of a closer look.

Bogart’s Nod in the Marseillaise Scene: A Physical Gesture in Casablanca. Richard Raskin

One day, when Bogart appeared for shooting, Curtiz told him, ‘You’ve got an easy day today. Go on that balcony, look down and to the right, and nod. Then you can go home.’ ‘What am I nodding at?’ Bogart asked. ‘What’s my attitude?’ ‘Don’t ask so many questions!’ Curtiz replied. ‘Get up there and nod and then go home!’ Bogart did as he was told, and didn’t realize until long afterward that that nod had triggered the famous ‘Marseillaise’ scene, where Henreid leads the nightclub orchestra in drowning out some Germans who’d been singing ‘Die Wacht am Rhein.’ It’s a scene that, ever after thirty years, prickles the scalp and closes the throat, and for all Bogart knew he was nodding at a passing dog.

Nathaniel Benchley, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” Atlantic Monthly, February 1975, p. 44.
The band is nice enough to start playing nicely overlapping with the german song. Conveniently enough, La Marseillaise and Die Wacht am Rhein are on the same tone too.
The german officers are were singing “Die Wacht am Rhein“, btw.

The most wonderful thing about this scene is the reality of it. This movie was made in 1942 and the war was still raging. Almost all the extras used in this scene are real French refugees who escaped to the US. The girl playing the minor role of the character Yvonne shown crying is the famed French Actress Madeleine LeBeau, who was forced to flee Europe to the US with her Jewish Husband. Per interviews about this scene long after the movie it was said after the song finished and the people cheered there was not a dry eye on the set.  

Some YouTube comment
“…Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!”
Isla Laszlo is not singing. You can tell what must be going in her head and heart.
“Vive la France!”
And here is the full scene. (Source: YouTube)

While writing this post I came across number 14 of “Point of View” magazine which was dedicated entirely to Casablanca. A website from December 2002, no less.

Four Weddings and a Funeral: Deaf, lost, low-profile & unrequited love stories

It’s always been you, Charlie.”

I just found this screenshot on my photo library, I am not even sure how it ended there, but I thought I would write a post about one of my favorite films.

Four Weddings and a Funeral came out in 1994 and it was one of the first films I ever watched in English, with Spanish Subtitles. I must have been around 15 years old when the film was made available to borrow in VHS at my local library.

There are a number of moving love stories and interpretations on this film but none them come from the two main characters. If anything, Andie Macdowell and Hugh Grant’s story works as a mildly amusing but hard to believe backdrop for the “serious” and “deep” stories.

Kristin Scott Thomas part for Fiona on this scene, for instance.

Unrequited love. Alternative link to video here.

– How about you, Fifi? Have you identified a future partner for life yet?

No need, really. The deed is done. I’ve been in love with the same bloke for ages.

– Have you? Who’s that?

You, Charlie. It’s always been you. Since first we met so many years ago. I knew the first moment. Across a crowded room. A lawn, in fact. Doesn’t matter. Nothing either of us can do on this one. Such is life. Friends isn’t bad, you know. Friends is quite something.

– Oh, Fi…

It’s not all easy, is it?


Tom’s (James Fleet) “low profile & low expectations” approach to finding love:

Well, I don’t know, Charlie. The truth is, unlike you, I never expected the thunderbolt.

I always just hoped that l’d meet some nice, friendly girl, Iike the look of her, hope the look of me didn’t make her physically sick, then pop the question and settle down and be happy.

It worked for my parents. Well, apart from the divorce…

David Bower’s part as Charlie’s brother, David.

And, of course, Matthew’s (John Hannah) tribute at Gareth’s funeral.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W. H. Auden

One second of every Northern Exposure Episode

Video by Tooley Lives

110 clips from every Northern Exposure Episode in Chronological order. Clips may range from 1-3 seconds depending on the context in order to not limit sentences to 1-2 words or include scene changes. For more awesome Northern Exposure stuff, Like and subscribe and also check out the other social media pages, join the facebook group and get involved in the conversation.…
Instagram: @KBHRSOUTH

Additional TIL: Jack Black appeared in a Northern Exposure episdode!

The Imitation Game, Turing Machines & Enigma

I decided to watch it out of my interest towards the History of Computing in general and Allan Turing‘s life in particular. I was also curious about Benedict Cumberbatch‘s portrayal of Turing.

Sigue leyendo “The Imitation Game, Turing Machines & Enigma”

Anomalisa, 2015

Anomalisa is a 2015 American stop-motion animated comedy-drama film directed and produced by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Kaufman adapted the screenplay from his 2005 audio play Anomalisa, written under the pseudonym Francis Fregoli.

It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (the category’s first ever R-rated nominee), a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, and five Annie Awards. It became the first animated film to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival


Every film by Charlie Kaufman is different. And they are always a gift. An unsettling gift, but a gift nonetheless.

I have put together a scrapbook of screenshots for this film out personal interest, but you if have not seen it stop reading and go watch it now.

As with all of Kaufrman’s films, my advice it to read as little as possible about the film, don’t even watch the trailer.

If you absolutely must, just watch this:

“Everyone else”. Shortest cast credits EVER.

Making of

Being Charlie Kaufman

Zarabanda de Igmar Bergman

Ir al teatro es sentarse frente a un espejo que nos obliga a examinar nuestra propia vida.

Anoche pudimos asistir a la adaptación teatral de Sarabande, la última película de Igmar Bergman, estrenada 2003 y de la que nunca se había hecho un montaje teatral.

La Compañía Amortal es quien está detrás de este montaje, con dirección de Mercedes Castro, con Francisco Olmo, Raquel Espada, Javier Pérez-Acebrón y la propia Mercedes en el reparto, en el Teatro de las Culturas.

La zarabanda es una danza lenta, del período barroco desarrollada durante los siglos XVI y XVII, escrita en un compásternario1 (característica de la música barroca) y se distingue en que el segundo y tercer tiempo van a menudo ligados, dando un ritmo distintivo de negra y blanca alternativamente.

“Zarabanda” en Wikipedia

Mis primeros pensamientos al terminar la función fueron “problemas del primer mundo” y ” estos suecos están de atar”, pero en realidad la obra resuena de manera universal, en especial para alguien de mediana edad, casado y con familia.

Una puesta en escena escueta pero muy acertada, en un ambiente muy íntimo. La dirección ha sabido adaptar la frialdad escandinava de los personajes a la calidez mediterránea, pero si dejar de ser fieles al espíritu original.

La obra tiene un antecedente en la película de 2003, última obra de Bergman.

Me gustó especialmente la interpretación de Francisco Olmo, quien sabe dar a su personaje -sobre el papel un anciano de una sinceridad cáustica- un tono realista e irónico que nos permite empatizar con él desde el primer momento.

Johan: He estado pensando mucho en mi vida y ya tengo todas las respuestas

Marianne: ¿Y a qué conclusión has llegado?.

Johan: A que he vivido una vida de mierda, pero muy confortable

Por otro lado no sé si es algo fruto de su época, o de su país, simplemente de su experiencia personal, pero me da la impresión de que en todo momento los personajes femeninos están ahí para “lidiar con la mierda” (a falta de una expresión mejor) de los personajes masculinos.

Esto, que sobre el papel podría parecer una virtud -son ellas las que se comportan como adultos responsables- se vuelve en cierta manera en su contra ya que terminan siendo personajes quizá más planos y con los que, al menos en mi caso, resulta más difícil empatizar.

La historia está ambientada 20 años después del divorcio de la pareja, que se cuenta en una serie para televisión de 1976 de 6 episodios llamada “Secretos de un Matrimonio“.

En fin, que se trata de un montaje sin ninguna pretensión -salvo la de hacer teatro, que no es poco- pero enormemente original y recomendable. Una muestra más del gran teatro que se hace en la escena Madrileña en general y en los teatros de Lavapiés en particular.

Para terminar os dejo un enlace a este entrevista que hace Sergio Díaz a los miembros del montaje en la revista Godot.

Está aún en cartel así que si tenéis oportunidad no dejéis de asistir! Podéis comprar las entradas aquí.

Actualización: Por motivos de agenda Mercedes Castro y Raquel Espada van a ser sustituidas por Isabel Ampudia y Elena Martínez.

Actualización, Rostropovitch hablando sobre el Santande de la Suite n.5 en Do menor.