November 20th, 2011: Torremolinos 73

Cast and Crew: Mads Mikkelsen

What It’s About: Alfredo (Javier Camara) is an encyclopedia salesmen for Montoya company in Spain in the early 1970s.  His loving, beautiful wife Carmen (Candela Peña) desperately wants a child, but with sales in a slump, they can’t even pay the rent.

Enter porn.  Alfredo’s boss Don Carlos (Juan Diego) calls his four remaining door-to-door salesmen to a meeting at a “luxury resort” over one weekend where he reveals the Montoya company’s bold new direction:  filming Super 8 “scientific” shorts about sex in Spain for a Scandinavian “Encyclopedia of Reproduction.” Alfredo takes to cameras immediately, and Carmen wants that baby, so both take Carlos up on his offer. The couple’s films are very successful, but Alfredo grows tired of the making the same film over and over, and Carmen discovers that Alfredo is shooting blanks.  A change is needed, and it comes in the shape of Alfredo’s script for Torremolinos ’73, a film inspired by Bergman’s The Seventh Seal,  Last Year at Marienbad, and other famous art films. Surprisingly, Don Carlos, who wants to get into the legitimate film industry, agrees to finance Alfredo’s vision, but of course there is always a catch…

Why Watch it Today?:  Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died today in 1975.  Although Torremolinos 73 does not spend much time on it, the backdrop of the film is the declining era of Franco’s leadership, which included censorship and prevented films like Torremolinos 73 from being made.  Plot wise, it also explains how Alfredo and Carmen’s film career is kept secret from their friends and neighbors; the films are only being released outside of Spain.  Torremolinos 73 is surprisingly sweet and the ending scenes of Alfredo shooting his film are full of references guaranteed to amuse film buffs.

Where to Get It: Netflix

Mo Rating for Movember: Porn, the 1970s and terrible mustaches go together like, well, anything I’m going to come up with after saying that is probably NSFW.  Alfredo has the requisite porn stache.  5 out of 5 Mos.

Alfredo has a "special delivery"

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