Eliana Guerrero – The Pickpocket Huntress of Barcelona’s Subways
Thankfully I’ve never been pick-pocketed in Barcelona. Though who knows what’s going to happen now I’ve said that. But I know it’s a real problem and one that has tarnished many a friend’s trip to this fine city.
Local police say that there are about 150 pickpockets on the metro system each day with an average of 250 robberies reported each week. At least, that was back in 2012. I really wouldn’t know if it was more or less in 2015.
But, suffice it to say, if there has been a reduction it is in part thanks to the work of Colombian-born Eliana Guerrero, the Pickpocket Huntress of Barcelona’s Subways. Read the rest of this article…
This forgotten BBC documentary from 1979 was the final part of a 5-part series entitled ‘Realidades de España’ – Spanish Realities. It was uncovered by writer and chemical engineer Josep Grau-Bové who obtained it on VHS video from a friend in Glasgow. He digitised and uploaded it to YouTube in the hope that more people would see it. In the last two years 41,548 people have (at the time of writing).
I find it fascinating that this documentary from 35 years ago, made only 4 years after Franco’s death, should end up on the internet for a new 21st century audience. Even more fascinating that the story it tells has not moved on very much at all in the following 35 years. Read the rest of this article…
Jordi de Temple at work
There’s something very evocative about watching the city at night from up high. Wondering what all the people below are up to. And I’m a big fan of the timelapse technique when used well. So Jordi de Temple’s video, Into the Night, is right up my street.
I’ll let Jordi explain it:
“Into the Night” is an exercise of light and colour of 4 minutes that tries to show Barcelona, its surroundings and some specific areas of Catalonia, from a different, unusual and cinematic point of view.
To achieve that, has been used the time-lapse technique, which allows to capture the time at specified intervals, frame-by-frame, using mostly, in this case, long exposure.
Part of the project has been made in the so-called blue hour, whose diffused light has some features that allow to capture spectacular sunrises or sunsets full of warm colors thanks to the position of the sun relative to the horizon. It is in these moments when the skies still have shades of color and the natural light is mixed with the artificial light of the city, thus being able to capture skies in detail and urban buildings illuminated simultaneously.
I’m always waiting for that moment when the light changes and becomes something special, a brief moment where the urban or natural landscape collides with light and composition to create beautiful images that are hidden to the naked eye.
This has been a photographic adventure of understanding the light and color of the night. An opportunity to observe the urban space and its density and to contemplate how these elements converge. An exercise of patience and perseverance throughout dozens of nights and dawns of cold carrying heavy stuff. And of course many hours of postproduction.
Read the rest of this article…
The final scene of Lapin
Mention Barcelona and lots of things come to mind, but filmmaking is probably not the first. Yet you’d be surprised how fertile a filmmaking ground this city is, and it’s not just the sunshine. The locals are very film literate and have a long list of festivals to prove it, from D’A and L’Alternativa to In Edit and Mecal. There’s even a festival dedicated entirely to film and football!
At a time when obituaries are being written for cinemas all over, Barcelona has seen several new art-house venues open. But it isn’t just film buffs that love this town — so do filmmakers. Plenty of big name directors have come through here, from Woody Allen to Alejandro Iñárritu, but we’re talking about homegrown talent, filmmakers who live and work in Barcelona.
Among them is Andrés Bartos, the writer and director of the short film Lapin, une étrange histoire d’amour. The film is a dark fable about a man who falls in love with a rabbit-like girl and discovers a strange world under his apartment. The director described it to me as “though Before Sunrise were directed by David Lynch possessed by the ghost of Chuck Jones.” Consider my curiosity piqued. I met up with Andrés Bartos to find out more about the film and get his take on what makes Barcelona a good place to shoot a movie. Read the rest of this article…
Alberto outside his Señor Archer studio in the Raval
I’m always happy to promote unique Barcelona business endeavours on this website. And none comes more unique than Alberto’s tintype photography studio in the Raval, called Señor Archer.
“What photography? Tintype?”
Well yes, as you asked, let me explain what tintype photography actually is. Or rather, so I get it right, let me just copy and paste a snippet from good ol’ Wikipedia.
A tintype, also known as a melainotype or ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of iron coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century and it has been revived as a novelty in the 21st.
A novelty it may be to some. But this is a process that is achieved with love and care. It fits in agreeably with the current slow movement. Read the rest of this article…