Àlex de l’Església manages to adapt his unequivocal style on television with 30 coinsan irreverent delirium that condenses the best and worst of his cinema
In the midst of televised effervescence, it was inevitable that the Spanish authors will follow in the wake of the Americans and also make the jump (forward or backward?) on the small screen. Rodrigo Sorogoyen with Anti-riot or Alberto Rodríguez with The Plague are clear examples of a trend that is taking place popularizing with the pass of time. It is curious, if nothing else, that a film author decides to adapt his ideas to television. However, it is indisputable that it is one upward trend that doesn’t understand genders.
Under this premise, Álex de l’Esglesia joins forces with HBO to create the fantastic world of 30 coins. This rollercoaster of horror and the wild portrays the experiences of the small town of Pedraza, located in Segovia. This rural and idyllic village will be seriously disturbed by the appearance of Father Vergara, a priest with a dark past who brings the most unspeakable misfortune and terror.
30 coins is a work of Alex de l’Esglesia. There is no doubt about that. The mere style of his opening credits already shows us the director of The community in all its splendor. The unmistakable music of Roque Baños and the aggressive style of his striking images is pure Church. It is a unbeatable start for something we will barely understand, but what we can enjoy fully if we sell our earthlyness. The dance of various characters, Lovecraftian monsters and irreverent situations is perfectly orchestrated and does not fall into parody. Of course, it falls short of genius of the best jobs in Bilbao.
As usually happens with the cinema of Alex of the Church, 30 coins works better the more you forget its history. It becomes really hard trying to understand who is who and why they do what they do. The blown away that there is a script signed by the Church and Jorge Guerricaechevarría does not make things easier for the viewer. However, you may decide to sell yourself to self-conscious madness of 30 coins without asking for anything in return, and I wouldn’t lose out. To see Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Eduard Fernández, Macarena Gómez, Megan Montaner and Pepón Nieto, among others, walk the esoteric streets of Pedraza is enough stimulus to enjoy with 30 coins.
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The eight episodes that make up the first season of 30 coins sin of being bewildered and, at certain points, repetitive, but how good that he has been able to adapt from the Church the best ladies of his cinema it justifies the existence of this world of satanic cures, witches, ouijas, monsters and other abominations. We are not facing a step back in the filmmaker’s career, but with one of the great milestones of his career. Changing formats is no easy task, and least of all for a mad genius whose cinema it is chaos in the maximum expression.