Cynthia and I were invited for the opening of the 8th Spanish Film Festival at The Arts House Singapore. Before the main movie Tapas (2005), a 18 minutes short animation called Tadeo Jones (2007) was played. Now that I have watched the animation. It does sound like a reference to the Western version of Indiana Jones.
The main character Tadeo was at home when from his window, he saw a cute dog being thrown into a garage by a delivery man, together with boxes after boxes of mysterious packages. Feeling the urge to save the dog, Tadeo ventured into the house and discovered a bizarre cult in the mist of an animal sacrificial ritual set in a quasi-Egyptian backdrop. Not the sort of top quality animation as you would expect from a Hollywood movie of the same era. The story is entertaining nonetheless.
Tapas (2005) is a mix of characters with individual plots that intertwined with one another. In a Barcelona suburb, a wife of a self-centered restaurant owner cannot take his husband’s unrealistic demand anymore and has decided to quit being a chef. And quit being his wife while she is at it. Meanwhile, a Chinese chef who knows kung fu is happy to take up the job vacancy (and the abuse). He is in Spain because he wants to be with his love. A lady who sells chickpeas – among other cooking ingredients – has been in a separation for two years and now being in a cyber relationship with a man from Argentina. Two young teenagers work at the same supermarket. One of them is obsessed with Bruce Lee and girls of different nationalities while the other one has fallen in love with the chickpea lady. Finally, there is an old couple with the woman selling drugs to the young and the man dying of lung cancer.
This film is raw, as in, there is little attractive about the characters and their living conditions. Yet, it feels so real. Ordinary people going about with their ordinary life dealing with real life challenges while learning from them. Of all the sub-plots, I enjoy the story of the old couple the best. It is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
The 8th Spanish Film Festival is starting from now till the end of the month. Every day at 19.30. Admission is free and the location is at The Arts House. Check out their website for further information.