Living Asturias

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Are you an authentic cine lover? Then, you must know that many directors have chosen Asturias as the location for their movies. You might know that “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona” by Woody Allen was recorded in Oviedo. But there’s much more.

Because of its beautiful nature and adorable villages, Asturias has many qualities. Some towns are a very popular attraction among filmmakers, Llanes for example. The variety of landscapes makes Asturias an excellent location to make all kind of movies.

Since a few years Laboral Cinemateca is promoting film production in Asturias. They work as the ‘asturian film comission‘, helping with logistics and offering some fundings. That also explains the increase of movies the last years.

1. Bajo la Piel de Lobo / The Skin of the Wolf (2018)

Bajo la Piel del Lobo is a 2018 Spanish film, written and directed by Samuel Fuentes.

A low-key, leisurely tale of the last man to inhabit an otherwise abandoned pueblo in the mountains on the frontier between Spain and France.

The  village where the protagonist lives and wild forests are brought to live by Santa Eulalia de Oscos, Taramundi and Villayon.

2. La zona (2017)

La zona is a Spanish tv-series which appeared on television in 2017.
Inspector Hectór Uría returns to service, three years after a heavy accident in a nuclear reactor in Asturias. He’s the only surviver of the first group who came to help in the plant. Now he has to investigate the brutal assassination of a man in the exclusion zone.

The serie is filmed at 160 locations all over Asturias. For example Gijon, Oviedo, La Felguera and Pravia appear.

3. El Secreto de Marrowbone / Marrowbone (2017)

El secreto de Marrowbone is a 2017 English-language Spanish drama horror thriller film written and directed by Sergio G. Sánchez. He also wrote the script of El Orphanato and The Impossible.

In 1969, after their mother dies, four siblings hide in Marrowbone, an abandoned house in the middle of rural America, with the hope of starting a new life. However, the walls hide a terrible secret.

The palace and chapel which appear in the movie are in fact “La Torre del Arango”, an old complex which is between Arborio and Las Tablas. On 5 kilometer of Pravia. The beach of Frexulfe in Navia and the old arms factory de La Vega in Oviedo are also used for certain scenes.

4. Remine, El Último Movimiento Obrero (2014)

Remine, El Último Movimiento Obrero is a 2014 documentary directed by Marcos M. Merino about the crisis in the mining sector.

May of 2013. Spain suffers the worst economic crisis in the last 70 years. Citizens are paralyzed by sadness and fear, everyone except a group of workers that have resisted change during decades. More than four thousand miners go on an indefinite strike against the historic cuts imposed by government. Daily protest begin: dozens of roadblocks, stay-downs, pitched battles in pit villages, rallies, demonstrations, a march to Madrid, etc. But nothing is as used to be, nor even the surviving representatives of the last working class movement.

The movie won the prize for best movie at the film festival of Sevilla, the prize of best documentary at the Festival Cinema Español de Nantes, the prize of the public at Cineuropa and a special mention of the jury at Bafici.

The main location of the documentary are the Cuencas Mineras in the Valle del Caudal.

5. ¿Para qué sirve un oso? / What’s a Bear For? (2011)

¿Para qué sirve un oso? is a 2011 Spanish eco-comedy film written and directed by Tom Fernández.

A biologist, Guillermo, returns to his native Spain after discovering a plant growing in the Antarctic ice. He used to be concerned about global warming, but the signs are that he is ready to give up his planet-saving cause. He returns back home and contacts his wildlife-photographer brother, Alejandro. It turns out he lives in a woodland hut in an Asturian forest with his enthusiastic young Californian employee, Vincent. Both are hoping that the bears that once inhabited this area of Spain will eventually return.

It’s entirely recorded in the comarca Camin Real de la Mesa.

6. Fuga de Cerebros / Brain Drain (2009)

Fuga de cerebros is a 2009 Spanish romantic-comedy film directed by Fernando González Molina.

Emilio, a shy, not too brilliant pupil at a humble local secondary school, has always harbored a secret love for Natalia, the cutest, brightest girl in the class. On the last day of the school year, when he finally decides to declare his love, Natalia is awarded a scholarship to study Medicine at Oxford. It would seem that all is lost for Emilio, but his drop-out school-pals are not ready to throw in the towel. After faking qualifications and scholarships, this band of brainless nuts land in Oxford, causing havoc in the normally peaceful campus existence.

The University of Oxford is represented by the site of la Laboral in Gijón.

7. Cenizas del cielo / Ashes from the Sky (2008)

Cenizas del Cielo is a 2008 Spanish environmental drama, directed by José Antonia Quirós.

A Scottish travel writer is forced to stay in a valley town in northern Spain when his camper van breaks down. There he gets to know the different inhabitants, some of them struggling to close down the nearby power station and some trying to make it more prosperous.

Many scenes of the movie were shot in Soto de Ribera or other parts of the municipality Ribera de Arriba.

8. Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona (2008)

Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona is a 2008 Spanish-American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen.

The plot centers on two American women, Vicky and Cristina, who spend a summer in Barcelona, where they meet an artist, Juan Antonio, who is attracted to both of them while still enamored of his mentally and emotionally unstable ex-wife María Elena.

Penélope Cruz, who plays María Elena, won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

The film was shot in Spain in Barcelona, but also in Avilés and Oviedo. The town where Juan lives is represented by Oviedo.

9. Oviedo express (2007)

Oviedo Express is a 2007 Spanish film directed by Gonzalo Suárez.

The Oviedo express arrives at the station. It brings a cast of actors who will perform the classical play “La Regenta” of Leopoldo Alas “Clarín”. The arrival of the group will change life in all social layers, and thus represent the life in small cities. The most important scandal is the love of the mayor’s wife for one of the protagonists of the theater group.

As the town plays such an important role, the movie is shot at Oviedo.

10. La Torre de Suso (2007)

La torre de Suso is a 2007 Spanish film directed by Tom Fernández.

Cundo emigrated to Argentina to seek a new life. Ten years later he returns home, to the funeral of an old friend, Suso. The film chronicles the reunion with family and friends and how Cundo wants to fulfill the ultimate dream of Suso. The film is a tribute to friendship. And above all friendship in an age where it is not so clear why you should remain friends with your childhood friends.

All the bar scenes take place at Mieres. But the movie also visits Aller, Castrillon and Oviedo.

11. El Orfanato / The Orphanage (2007)

El Orfanato is a 2007 Spanish horror film and the debut feature of Spanish filmmaker J. A. Bayona. He produced it together with Guillermo del Toro. The film stars Belén Rueda as Laura, Fernando Cayo as her husband, Carlos, and Roger Príncep as their adopted son Simón. The plot centers on Laura, who returns to her childhood home, an orphanage. Laura plans to turn the house into a home for disabled children, but after an argument with Laura, Simón goes missing.

The Palacio Partarríu, which is the main building of the movie is located in Villa Parres. This is situaded at the entrance of the urban part of the touristic center of Llanes. Much of the nature in the movie was also filmed in Llanes.

12. Carne de gallina (2002)

Carne de gallina is a 2002 Spanish comedy, directed by Javier Maqua.

The family Quirós is full of humour and joy. On Monday they will receive a lot of money, which will change their life! Furthermore is Glorina marrying and will she get rid of the house. Everybody is thinking about what they will do with the money. And although the money and marriage will change their life, not in the way they expect.

The life of the main characters is located around Mieres. The marriage of Glorina takes place at restaurant “La Viña” in Cenera. The house of the family is in Villaestremeri and a bridge between Ujo and Figaredo also turns up. The game of football which is played, is played at the fields of CD Figaredo.

13. El Abuelo / The Grandfather (1998)

El abuelo is a 1998 Spanish drama film written, produced and directed by José Luis Garci. It stars Fernando Fernán-Gómez, Cayetana Guillén Cuervo and Rafael Alonso.

The film, an adaptation of the novel of the same title by Benito Pérez Galdós, tells the story of an aristocrat’s search to discover which of his two putative granddaughters resulted from an extramarital affair by his daughter-in-law.

The little station of Posada serves in the movie as the station of “Jerusa”. The cemetery of Niembro in Llanes, is used for a few scenes. The Playa de Toró is the place where the grandfather comes to relax with his granddaughters. And from the mirador de Boriza in Andrin, the grandfather watches his granddaughters play on la playa La Ballota.

14. Volver a empezar / Begin the Beguine (1982)

Volver a empezar is a 1982 Spanish sentimental drama written and directed by José Luis Garci, starring Antonio Ferrandis.

It is the year 1981, the famous writer Antonio Albajara (Antonio Ferrandis) arrives at Gijón, his hometown, from Stockholm, where he has just received the Nobel Prize in Literature. For forty years, Albajara has been a professor of medieval literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has alternated his teaching with the literary production that has given him worldwide fame. In Gijón, Antonio is reunited with Elena, his first and great love, before he was forced to his exile in 1937 Civil War. However, this visit is not definitive because a serious and deadly disease affects the writer.

In 1982 the movie won the “Oscar for best Foreign Movie”.

The movie was shot in a number of Asturian cities like Gijón (many scenes take place at El Molinon), Cudillero, Cangas de Onis, Covadonga, Deva, Lago Enol, Pola de Lena, Pravia, Mareo and Roces.

  • Ellie 11th October 2020

    can’t believe there’s shots of the embalse in Quirós in that ‘bear’ film. Will need to watch that pronto

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