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Author: Rob Stone

This account of the life and films of the Spanish-Basque filmmaker Julio Medem is the first book in English on the internationally renowned writer-director of Vacas, La ardilla roja (Red Squirrel), Tierra, Los amantes del círculo polar (Lovers of the Arctic Circle), Lucía y el sexo (Sex and Lucía), La pelota vasca: la piel contra la piedra (Basque Ball) and Caótica Ana (Chaotic Ana). Initial chapters explore Medem's childhood, adolescence and education, and examine his earliest short films and critical writings against a background of a dramatically changing Spain. Later chapters provide accounts of the genesis, production and release of Medem's challenging and sensual films, which feed into analyses of their meanings, both political and personal, in which the author draws on traditions and innovations in Basque art, Spanish cinema and European philosophy to create a portrait of the director and his work.

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La ardilla roja (1993)
Rob Stone

would suit a bankable star. La ardilla roja tells of a suicidal ex-rocker called J who takes advantage of Sofía’s amnesia to convince her she is his adoring girlfriend Elisa. They journey to the Red Squirrel campsite but are followed by Sofía’s vengeful husband Félix, who confronts them and is killed while Sofía, who has always faked her amnesia, escapes to Madrid, where she is finally reunited with a genuinely lovestruck J. Medem had written his first draft of La ardilla roja while awaiting callbacks from producers for the script of Vacas, and moving straight onto

in Julio Medem
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The performance of Basqueness by Carmelo Gómez and Silvia Munt
Rob Stone

Gómez and Munt also alleviates the specificity of the threat, because their presence and their performances ultimately render the archetype non-​Basque. Other films and activities have extended the screen personas of Gómez and Munt beyond their association with Basque cinema. Munt has explored opportunities in film, theatre and television and directed productions in all three media, but her association with Basque cinema has largely been supplanted by her affiliation to the Catalan. Gómez explored estrangement from the Basque Country in La ardilla roja/​The Red

in Performance and Spanish film
Rob Stone

1 Author, auteur, Aitor Author ‘I think my best work is still to come. Truly’, says Julio Medem in what is an open-ended conclusion to his last interview for a book about him [5]. Nevertheless, he already enjoys a reputation in Basque, Spanish, European and even World cinema for the colourful eroticism, subjective camerawork, elaborate plotting, structural equations, straight-faced absurdity and obsessions with symmetry, duality and chance that characterise the films he has written and directed. Vacas (1992), La ardilla roja (Red Squirrel, 1993), Tierra (1996

in Julio Medem
Rob Stone

roja/Red Squirrel (1993). In each case, real women are denigrated in comparison with a fabricated memory in order to protect the immature, sexist, self-deluding and masturbatory fantasy of males who see this ideal woman as a Lacanian mirror-image of their own precious wonderfulness. Nevertheless, the male’s enslavement to this idea, his pursuit of its possibility and the eventual disintegration of the dream forms the basis of

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
An ecocritical reading
William Welstead

plantations can be seen as natural and the continuing practice of grouse shooting over the fragile uplands are likely to be contentious. Although Nethy Bridge uses the osprey logo of the Cairngorms National Park, the text on this display makes no reference to the bird for which Abernethy is famous. By identifying as the ‘forest village’ it aligns itself with the idea of the Caledonian pine forest and the associated narrative that values the cultural and wildlife potential of the woodland habitat in supporting rare species, including the red squirrel and the capercaillie

in Extending ecocriticism
Historical cinema in post-Franco Spain
Barry Jordan and Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas

periodically adopts the travelling point of view of the invisible red squirrel or follows flying objects, and in Tierra the camera excavates the underground world of the insects affecting wine production in the region where the film is set. All three films are also characterised by the disruption of the pastoral and spiritual tranquillity of the rural context by violence in its various forms of war, rivalry

in Contemporary Spanish cinema
Wildlife documentaries on television
Thomas Austin

, it focused on changes in the flora and fauna of the UK in spring and encouraged viewers to take an interest in indigenous rather than ‘exotic’ wildlife and environments. In the first programme in the series, co-presenter Kate Humble introduced a montage of images with this line: ‘our cameras have been up and down the country since Spring really sprung, picking up these iconic images just for you’. Overlaid with acoustic guitar music, the sequence comprised quickly edited close-ups of a red squirrel, a hedgehog, a robin, tree blossom, ladybirds, fox cubs, a 07chap

in Watching the world
Film in the autonomous regions
Barry Jordan and Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas

against the background of the Red Squirrel campsite in La Rioja, Jota sets out to reinvent the identity of the woman he has ‘found’ according to his own needs and desires. Yet, in a love game of appearances and deceptions, seductions and rejections, this ‘found’ woman remains a mystery (as do her underlying motivations and the veracity of her feelings) and is finally unamenable

in Contemporary Spanish cinema