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Visit the Costa del Sol

Life Chipén it is a film with touches that rub against the documentary. A work as innovative as it is peculiar. Vanesa Benítez is in charge of bringing this crazy and impressive idea to the national level. It should also be remembered that his song is nominated for the Goya 2023 as best original song.

How did the idea come about?

Life Chipén, Antonio Reyes

Life Chipén it’s a movie caused by the coronavirus, but not in the way you think. Because like many filmmakers around the world, the pandemic changed their plans. In the case of Vanesa Benítez, it came as a result of the transformation of a documentary into a film. In his words: “I had planned to make a documentary, but seeing the material I had from the Costa del Sol, I decided to approach the project as a film”. And that’s how it was overnight, i create something new. Seen from the canons of the fake documentary, found footage or even hand-held camera; Vanesa has freed herself from those labels by fusing reality within the cinema with ours a totally experimental process that has fascinated me.

Returning to the original idea of ​​’La vida Chipén’, the director wanted to create a story based on a news story that happened with Frank Sinatra when he arrived on the Costa del Sol. An event in which the singer decided to take a shot with his right hand at a journalist who was taking a photo of him at the time. After a long investigation, Vanesa gave up and decided to create a character, Paco Foto. Played by Antonio Reyes, who without knowing it would become the protagonist of a film, create a character that reminds me of a yup Gambardella in spanish

Here you can see the review of ‘the great beauty’

The inside of a photographer’s eye.

Life Chipén, Antonio Reyes

The story it hides Life Chipén is a tour of the Costa del Sol in which it shows us how these Malagasy lands evolved. A photograph that plays with surrealism and the psychedelic. We will delve into this world forgotten by the history of our country and we will see how those who dedicated themselves to going to Torremolinos to be able to take a few photos of the famous people who were on vacation earn their living. In addition, Vanesa will delve into other eggplants such as the corruption that took place around the Sofico company. Decades through the eyes of a photographer who shows us the decadence that existed on the Costa del Sol.

Vanesa Benítez uses a style and photography that sometimes reminds us of Sorrentino’s cinema. This Andalusian neorealism where he experiments with the fictional documentary. Thus creating a perfect mix between neorealism, fake documentary and surrealism. You can also hear certain cuts from his previous work, ‘Rota n rolla’; where he narrates the cultural clash at the American military base in Rota with the inhabitants of this town. Creating with himself a firm that starts as a documentary filmmaker to an experimental film director. It should be noted that, being a not very high budget, it has achieved a Goya nomination. And it is that both its composer and she believed that they would be nominated for this award. A bigger surprise when this song was actually completely improvised.

An Andalusian who thinks.

Life Chipén, Antonio Reyes

So thanks to the Cadiz Film School I was able to meet this wonderful director. In which luckily I met great colleagues from the environment, not only Vanesa Benítez. Being a course in film direction, she showed us (better said, stripped us) the inside of this film and how they contrived to build it in the middle of a pandemic. A very qualified woman for any artistic challenge like many of our Spanish directors.

As I write all this verbiage, a little voice in my head whispers in my ear that I seem to have been paid to say these words; But it’s what I think and what I feel. And now that I’m writing nonstop, I’m asking you to make an appointment with a psychologist because I’m hearing voices in my head. Let’s put the silly humor aside and move on. Then, because of the reason to know her and why she decided to make this film, I found myself in the almost (frustrated) cinephile obligation to write a solemn review, seen from the eyes of the director. A review that comes from my sincerity and in which my goal is to bring you the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful film.


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