Tip: Good Way to Find Spanish Movies
I did a lot of searching on the net to find a DVD advanced search site where you could specify numerous criteria when searching for a movie.
For example, I would like to find movies that have ALL of the following:
- Spanish audio
- Spanish subtitles
- English subtitles
- Originally filmed in Spanish
- Are highly rated
I could find no site that was perfect for doing the above search.
But the best I found was Amazon.com
Here's the process I used:
- Go to Amazon.com
- Select "Movies and TV" in the drop down Search box (where it say's All Departments) when you first go to the site.
- Hit the round "GO" button.
- Select Advanced search in the menu bar
- Select Spanish under Language Audio Tracks
- Select Spanish under Subtitles
At this point I get 4,031 hits. You may get slightly more when you do it as Amazon is adding titles all the time. Many of these movies ARE NOT original Spanish language films and many are not highly rated. Many also DO NOT have English Subtitles. So...to continue with the weeding process:
- Select Art House & International on the left hand side. This gives 637.
- Select 4 stars in the Average Customer Review on the left. Now down to 388.
- Select USA and Canada...now we're down to 251. (This is to eliminate DVD's that will only play on non-US type players.)
DO NOT select Language/Spanish on the left hand side...that must be screwy because it says only 5 of the remaining films are Spanish, which I know is wrong.
At this point you need to look at the movies one at a time to see if you're interested in them. Many of the movies can be eliminated directly from the overview page as you can see that they are clearly not originally Spanish movies. If you find a movie that looks like it is Spanish, then click on it and look at the Product Details. There, you should be able to tell whether it has English Subtitles and whether it was originally shot in Spanish. You can also read viewer comments, etc. You may want to be careful about movies with very high ratings, but only a few reviews, for example.
If anyone knows of a better search engine for finding Spanish movies, let me know. Otherwise, this one works pretty well.
Here are some movies that made it though this screening process:
- The Orphanage
- Luisa Fernanda
- Pan's Labyrinth
- All About My Mother (look for Spanish actors & actresses, not just the title)
- Under the Same Moon
- The Sea Inside
- Maria Full of Grace
- The Orphanage
- Amor Te Duele
- Angelitas Negros
- Asidel Precipocio
- Ladron Que Roba A Ladron
- The Promise of Music
- Belle Epoque
- Los Tres Huastecos
- Matando Cabos
- El Porvecito
- Dicen Que Soy Mujeriego
- La Mujer Que Yo Perdi
There are some more, but you get the idea. Do the search yourself, read the reviews and choose.
By the way, you may not have to buy these films. You may be able to rent them from Netflix or even borrow them from your library. Be careful, however, when using Netflix. Sometimes there are multiple versions of DVD's and the one that you find on Amazon that has Spanish subtitles may not be the one that Netflix is shipping.
I did find, however, that searching using Amazon, was far better than searching on Netflix. You can't specify that you're looking for movies with Spanish subtitles on Netflix, for instance. Which brings me to another point. Netflix streaming offers many Spanish language films. However, almost all (or all) of them have English subtitles hard coded into the film. You can't turn these subtitles off. Almost none of them (or none) have Spanish subtitles.
Keep in mind that your search criteria could be different from mine. For example, you may want to have an English Language track in addition to the Spanish Language track. Or you may not care about having Spanish Subtitles as long as you have English Subtitles, or vice-versa. Hopefully you can understand enough about how to do a search like this to find what YOU want.
P.S. You can also select or eliminate movies based on ratings. For example, you could specify that you don't want R rated movies, if you're not into that sort of thing or don't want children to watch them.
Thanks Kenzuihenga for sharing. This information is wonderful and I plan on using it. I never would have imagined Amazon's site to have this kind of search capability.
(Would you believe I have thought many times that I would love to create a database of movies that would allow people--myself!--to search very specifically.)
Have a look at imdb.com which is a database of almost every film and television programme ever made. There´s an English or a Spanish version.
I am very familiar with IMDB and use it all the time, mostly to figure out "Where do I know that actress/actor from" when I'm watching a TV show or movie and see a familiar face that I can't place.
As a way of finding Spanish movies, with Spanish Subtitles, etc., however, I don't see the search tools of IMDB helping out much in this endeavor. I see no way to specify the right criteria to narrow the field much. You can specifiy spanish language, but that yields thousands of hits.
I see no way to use IMBD to narrow the search to only those films that have original Spanish audio tracks and Spanish subtitles, for example, which is what I was looking for. Amazon.com does a much better job of this.
Dear kenhuizenga, as I obviously have no knowledge of which websites you do, or do not use, IMDB seemed a good starting point. While I agree that IMDB doesn't have a useful search engine to categorise films by language, etc, it has many more uses than just looking up actors´ names. For cross-referencing, it's marvellous.
And there are many websites and books on Spanish films, which are much better than than wasting your time sifting through reviews on Amazon, which I imagine is dull and time consuming. While these websites won´t tell you about rental availability or which version Netflix has, neither does Amazon.
A good website for all Spanish-language cinema is spanish-movies.com, which details almost every movie made in Spanish, both in Spain and Latin America.
The BFI also has an exhaustive database and a very useful advanced search engine where you can search by country. However, it can be a bit awkward to use and it can throw up literally thousands of finds. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/searches.php
A recent site with a much smaller database is spanishfilms.co.uk.
If you want more to do more than just practise listening to spoken Spanish and want to increase your knowledge of Spanish cinema, then a book such as Tatjana Pavlovic's 100 Years of Spanish Cinema could prove invaluable for getting a historical perspective, however its focus is Spain. You should be able to buy it on Amazon.
I notice you haven't included anything by Buñuel in your list, probably one of the best directors ever and certainly the best Spanish one. Although some of his best films are in French, there are many in Spanish from his days in Mexico that should be available from film rental companies.
By the way, most modern DVD players and laptops play NTSC and PAL.