Films, short films and books that will help you learn Spanish.
Previously we talked about what you could do to Learn Spanish online Books and films are a great option to support your learning and go beyond. Today I wanted to recommend you some of my personal favourites with you.
Books and movies based on them.
If you like comedy you may enjoy Mindy Kaling's book "Is everyone hanging out without me?" just like I did. I found a Spanish version available online for free that you can read here. I really think this book can make anybody smile and the short chapters makes of it an attractive option.
The big Amazon comes with many other books,they're very cheap and you can read the first pages in most cases before making up your mind. You can search for "Spanish" and choose from a lot of different titles, but these are my recommendations:
La casa de los espíritus - Beautiful book by Isabel Allende, one of my favourite writers. Bille August made a movie inspired on the book with a really powerful cast (Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder and Antonio Banderas), you can watch the trailerhere. The movie has a hint of Chilean history.
Another one by Allende is El bosque de los pigmeos.They fall in the category of magical surrealism from Latin America authors, but this one is particularly exotic, and very entertaining.
La sombra del viento and El príncipe de la niebla both by Carlos Ruíz Zafón, a mystery writer. The first one is more appropriate for intermediate or low advance, but the second one is a common book to read in high school in Spain and it's a nice one if it's your first book.
Como agua para chocolate - by Laura Esquivel, more of a "romantic" story. There's also a movie about it that you can check here. I would recommend this for intermediate level to advance. This is the only one I haven't read but it's commonly recommended for Spanish learners.
El cuento número trece - The translation from the Diane Setterfield's book. Really liked it, it's about writer writing about her mysterious, tortuous life and the past of her family.
Juntos, nada más - Unusual romance between a student and an older artist in France, written by Anna Gavalda. There's also a French movie by Claude Berry with the brilliant Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet that I also loved and that you can check here.
If you prefer something quite short this is a great option for you. They're good as a middle step before full movies and they take only a few minutes of your time. And it's a more appropriate option for beginners or even intermediate students.
You can check my playlist of short films in Spanish here. There you can find something for every level, and they're very varied in style and tone, so you'll never get bored :)
These are Spanish movies that I really like and that I find interesting slash entertaining slash heart-lighted or more on the drama side with some historical insight. Advanced students can find here a really good source to extend their Spanish.
Una pistola en cada mano - Comedy on modern life and relationships.
Las chicas de la sexta planta - Feelgood movie, on Spanish servants in France after the civil war.
Pájaros de papel - Set in a circus / theater during the the dictatorship of Franco. Drama and humor mixed in a brilliant movie with a lot of heart. Trailer here
Las 13 rosas -Story of 13 ordinary women that are arrested and sentenced to death for a crime they didn't commit at the end of the Spanish Civil War.
Los girasoles ciegos Drama set during the Civil war in Spain, with Maribel Verdú, one of the greatest Spanish actress of all times in my opinion. Trailer here
Los otros - Thriller with Nicole Kidman, scary enough to keep you entertained but not too terrifying (if you're not a big fan of horror movies, you may still enjoy this).
Ocho apellidos vascos - Comedy on the stereotypes of "vascos", the people from the País Vasco (Basque Country) in Spain. They made a second movie about Catalan stereotypes if you want more!
Mar adentro -About the story of Ramón Sampedro and euthanasia. Considered (deservedly) a master piece!
Of course this is just my opinion, but you can search "cortometrajes" (short films), "películas en español" (movies in Spanish) and "libros en español" (books in Spanish) and try to find something that specifically suits your personality.
Remember that if you're not fuzzy with copyrighted films being uploaded to Youtube, a lot of movies are full there if you search for "película completa" If don't have a very strong moral stand against copyrighted films being uploaded to Youtube you can search for "película completa" (full film).
Enjoy your Spanish dose!