The British Film Institute, conveniently located next to the train station and a Starbucks, offered Spanish A-level students a school study day directly relevant to the course, concerning the works of acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, whom we are currently studying.
The day started with a two-hour lecture, mainly (and unsurprisingly) in Spanish, which covered a range of topics, including Almodóvar’s recurring themes, character archetypes, stylistic techniques, historical context, and use of intertextuality. It provided an important backdrop to enjoy some of the director’s most famous films and made sure to directly include the audience by encouraging us to participate in the discussion and work on activities alongside the learning.
After a break for lunch, we got to the most anticipated part: the film. Shocking, at times confusing, and always masterful, Volver (2006) had the entire theatre on the edge of their seats for its two-hour runtime. It shared noticeable similarities with Todo Sobre Mi Madre, the film we’re currently studying, but also had its major differences – ideal for comparisons in essays. Which one’s better remains to be debated!
After the amazing Almodóvar film day, we walked along the river Thames and through London to Meson Don Felipe. Decorated with Hispanic artwork and traditional colours, the Spanish restaurant was very cosy and gave us a great taste of authentic Spanish cuisine.
After looking at the menu, our class ordered our food in Spanish. We decided on a collection of tapas that we shared as a class so we could try as many different dishes as possible. The food was delicious, ranging from paella de mariscos – a traditional rice and seafood dish – to patatas bravas. Among some of our other favourites were the Spanish tortilla, the calamari and queso manchego.
By Lara Cassini and Isabella Matson (L6th)