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Barcelona [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Taylor Nichols , Chris Eigeman    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner/Allied Vaughn
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Mar 2013
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008Y1YJMM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,220 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Writer and Director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) offered up this poignant and cutting romantic 1990 comedy set in the magical southern Spanish metropolis, a city in the midst of a cultural and political upheaval. Taylor Nichols (Metropolitan) plays an American living in the Catalonian capital working for a stateside company who is visited by his unctuous cousin (Chris Eigeman), a naval attaché in Barcelona to spin a little public relations for the impending arrival of the fleet amidst some virulent left-wing, anti-American attitude. The two cousins are constantly at odds, arguing about everything from politics to women to their true feelings for one another and their constant self-examination. Largely the two men spend their time in search of romance abroad, as they humorously overanalyse the women they meet and what they want from a relationship, until fate takes a shocking turn and both men are forced to re-evaluate who they are and what they want out of life. Barcelona features a turn from Mira Sorvino (MightyAphrodite, Mimic) as a Spanish national working as a hostess, free with her sexuality and smitten with Eigeman. Stillman's writing is as crisp and observant as his striking visual take on the city and its people, both natives and expatriates. Barcelona is a terrific comedy of attitudes and culture clashes that manages to be offbeat, sardonic and unexpectedly wise. --Robert Lane

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a highly original and entertaining film 8 Sep 2005
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a great watch for anyone who has a friend or relative who they like a lot but will never admit it to them.
It is also visually beautiful and sends out the uplifting message that people and cultures can clash and change one another in a positive way.Taylor Nicholls and Chris Eigeman give fine performances in the lead roles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual comedy is entertaining 6 April 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
During the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, two American cousins and childhood friends, who are now a businessman and a naval officer (played by Taylor Nichols and Chris Eigeman) get to live some time in Barcelona, where they face (but finally overcome) the political distrust of many Spaniards. Director Whit Stillman lived some time in Spain and he surely based part of the movie on his own experiences. The movie is fine skewing the unthinking Antiamericanism of Europe’s intellectual class (though Stillman is too much of a gentleman to be to biting). Sometimes the dialogue is foolish when it tries to be witty (as when the Americans try to explain to some Spaniards the greatness of Hamburgers) but mostly the screenplay is quite fine. Stillman is an interesting filmmaker if only because his preppy conservative point of view is not often showed on movies. Mira Sorvino plays one of the Spanish girls in one of her earlier roles.
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By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
If you don't like standard FORMULA plotting to your films you may enjoy this. I got it having just returned from the city of the title and thought it was quite engaging.
These characters are very "cerebral" and you really have to listen to get the plot details, rewinding the tape a lot... but it seems worth it in the end. It seems to be targeted at Literature students who fancy themselves a bit but it does work. Especially as an intro to The Science and Literature of Selling.
The whole is a bit like an Alan Alda ensemble acting piece with the characters giving away telling details in the small talk and a plot that develops slowly... what that plot is about is evasive..the relationship between two New England brothers and their different views on culture and what's OK? Or the Spanish intellectual view of Americanisation, the fallibilty of wanting to marry a beautiful girl on the first moment of seeing her without even speaking to her...all seem to come out.
This all happens over some months as the Salesman and his Naval Officer cousin date some smart beautiful Spanish women in Barcelona. A lot of the interesting parts are theories spouted by the main man (wordy) but worth listening to if you read ( especially as an intro to the science of selling).
I wanted beautiful scenery and although it looks OK, lots of the shots are interiors that could be anywhere and I think they missed the opportunity to make real use of the background that Barcelona has to offer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  56 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and Witty Comedy 18 May 2000
By David Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Whit Stillman has an ear for sophisticated dialog that is virtually unmatched among today's screenwriters. His characters speak in a way that is sharper, smarter, and "realer" than reality. There is also an intelligence in his work that is all too rare in today's pictures. You come away from his films not only entertained, but enlightened and, probably, having learned something as well.
"Barcelona" is about two American cousins living in Spain. Ted (Taylor Nichols) is a shy, reserved sales rep, and Fred (Chris Eigeman) a brash and handsome naval officer. The story is primarily a romantic one. Ted is in love with Montserrat (Tushka Bergen) and Fred, perhaps, with Marta (Mira Sorvino), both beautiful, free-spirited young Spanish women. Marta, though, turns out to be a little too free for Fred's taste, so he also falls for Montserrat. This, of course, provides complications of its own.
The film is set in "the last decade of the Cold War," a time of rampant anti-Americanism in Barcelona, which adds an intriguing political subtext to the romantic machinations that form the bulk of the story. This subtext manifests itself both in violence and humor that provide needed counterpoint to the love story.
What I like best about Stillman's work is the high regard in which he holds his audience. In a culture where the prevailing cinema is targeted at the lowest common denominator, the wit and intelligence of a film like "Barcelona" are a very welcome relief. When Stillman refers to Dale Carnegie, or the sinking of the "Maine," or draws insight from "Death of a Salesman," he assumes we know what he's talking about. He never belabors the point or tries to explain it. He simply allows us to nod and smile, without being hit over the head with any gratuitous exposition.
"Barcelona" builds on the promise that Stillman first showed in "Metropolitan." This work is a more fully realized and executed film, relying not just on his gift for dialogue, but delivering greater levels of characterization and development as well. Stillman is one of our finest young filmmakers; more of a verbal auteur than a visual one, but a great talent all the same.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whit, Please Come Back! 9 July 2005
By Bernard Chapin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
First things first, Whit Stillman should be making movies until he dies. Let's get that guy back behind the camera for the good of everybody. Barcelona, as a film, is deceptively serious as, amid its banal conversations about the proper way to shave and management theory, grave subjects are illuminated.

The reflexive anti-Americanism of Spain and Europe are integral to many of the interactions experienced by Taylor and Eigeman, the two main characters. It's at the end of The Cold War and Spain is conflicted over NATO. A humorous side light concerning this situation is made by Eigeman, "I think it's well-known that anti-Americanism has its roots in sexual impotence, at least in Europe." Eigeman's presence in the uniform of a US Naval officer in the Barcelona streets has somewhat predictable results. Yet, no one is able to refute his point that even if the Spaniards don't like NATO, they would never prefer the Soviets rolling through Western Europe instead. The conspiracy theories that some of the Spanish poseurs spout are quite bankrupt on their surface (such as the existence of a right-wing labor union called the AFL-CIA).

On an aesthetic level, this is a beautiful film. Shots of the grand buildings that comprised old Catalonia are breathtaking. The outfits and faces of the trade show girls are just as riveting. I think Stillman succeeds in capturing some of the city's nobility within these frames.

The Spanish women are a mystery to both Eigeman and Taylor, but, with Taylor, the audience is constantly present as he overanlyzes emotions which few words could possibly describe. You have the feeling though that a character like Taylor's would be a foreigner in any land he visited. Thanks for this one, Mr. Stillman, now go make six more.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated and Quiet Genius 4 Feb 2003
By Justin Kownacki - Published on Amazon.com
Whit Stillman has his eye on the world and his finger on the pulse of a certain breed of upperclass white society, and white upperclass men in particular. He understands their insecurities and ineffectualities while pulling apart the fabric of their lives to expose their structure as inherently faulty. In Barcelona, the result is always whimsical and occasionally hysterical, juxtaposing American and European thoughts and values while never losing sight of the great underlying tragedy: that everyone is lonely, regardless of where they come from or what language they speak.
Stillman is incredibly literary as filmmakers go, injecting more sociopolitical dialogue into his scripts than most would dare. But the skilled actors, especially Stillman regulars Taylor Nichols and Chris Eigeman as cousins Ted and Fred Boynton, add a level of humanity to their otherwise textbook arguments that make them relevant and dryly hilarious. Stillman also has a penchant for the borderline absurd, masterfully combining comedy and tragedy. Who else could elicit humor while negating pity from a botched assassination attempt than Stillman and Eigeman, much less find a romantic angle to work?
For my money, it's the little moments that make any story worth remembering, and Barcelona is peppered with them. Eigeman's failed attempts to introduce the Barcelona soiree crowd to the allure of the limbo... Nichols's uptight sales executive trying to loosen up by reading the Bible while dancing to "Pennsylvania 6-5000," unaware that he has an audience... an anecdote about a dead soldier's body being shipped home to the states, as told from the coffin's point of view while being transported on a forklift... even wordplays, as when Nichols accidentally accepts an invitation to an evening of jazz with "Vinyl Hampton." Small moments, but their resonance is huge. I've seen this movie twice, over five years ago, and I can still remember whole scenes to this day.
Stillman's power as a director is understated, but the lasting effect of his little gems -- Barcelona and Metropolitan chief among them -- are worth seeking out.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barcelona, a comedy after Jane Austin 6 April 2005
By John Galvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As the film opens, we are told that this is the last decade of the cold war. There is a shot of a rather unimpressive explosion at the American Library and of a young Spaniard throwing a rock through the window of a small IBM office. It seems an odd note on which to begin a romantic comedy. Delivered in a succession of un-scored, stills, it quickly falls to the background where--of course--it subtly colors almost every other incident in the film.

Ted Boynton, an American sales rep from Chicago, is working on assignment in Barcelona, Spain. His cousin, Fred, a naval Lieutenant sent to carry out advance work in public relations before the arrival of the 6th fleet, has just arrived and is looking for a place to stay. It is an uneasy arrangement; they have been disputing and caviling since childhood. And continue to do so throughout the film. They are ruminators with long memories who share very few opinions. And when they meet Marta and Monserrat, "cool trade fare girls," there can be no statement, no thought, no act without commentary. So the film is largely composed of scenes in which Ted and Fred philosophize on love, beauty, business and cultural differences as they court--in tandem--Marta and Monserrat. And all of this transpires in fascinating, pretty little vignettes whose comedy gradually mounts and mounts and mounts until the sinister spin of the background events overtake the foregoing romantic sweep. How remarkable it is that we should pass--in only a very few minutes--from comedy to tragedy to comedy, and do so with the grace and majestic drama of a cloud momentarily passing before the sun.

The great sweet beauty of this film, however, is the marriage of such engaging dialogue, such earnest deadpan deliveries shot in such eerie clarity--one reminiscent of the interiors in Dutch genre painting: clean, homely, homiletic. It is done with a kind of professorial remove: there is story followed by commentary, then more story followed by commentary. A still shot is followed by a people shot which is followed by a still shot and so on; but they are coupled in such a fashion that the shot of the characters is the only real animation, the only real action, the only real drive--giving conversation an otherwise missing dynamic. And this is a rare feat in modern American film. Ordinarily, romantic comedies depend upon mishaps, mistakes and misunderstandings, exaggerated out of all proportion, for all of their narrative beats and most of their laughter. In Barcelona, however, the physical climb and fall of the drama is entirely real, if not ordinary. Dilation and expansion of fact are reserved for the wit of the banter, the voice-over commentaries and the emotionally savory resolve. All in all, Barcelona is both beautiful and funny. It manages to turn a suite of classically static images--bronzed, burnished, melancholy--upon a fast-driving dialogue endowed with the modest but enhancing artificiality of a painting, a novel or--better yet--an infinitely refined film.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witt Stillman 11 Jun 2005
By Matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I rented Barcelona from Netflix after I was amazed by the hilarity and originality of Metropolitan. I figured if Whit Stillman did half as good a job on Barcelona it would be worth it. My expectations were exceeded. Right after I finished watching it, I sat down at my computer and ordered it from Amazon. Whit Stillman is so smart and his script is so hilarious. Chris Eigeman is an absolute genius. Taylor Nichols is superb as well. I am astonished by Stillman's talent, yet nobody I talk to knows about him. I can't understand how he can fly under the radar. His humor is so literate. The performances he gets from his actors are so deadpan, each joke is like a punch to the face. I laugh in amazement. This is a fantasticly creative film. It's not mainstream, but if you do end up liking it, you will be so happy to have found it.
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