Movistar Plus’ Drive Into Fiction Is Centered on Women

Cutting-edge international drama used to be deadly serious: Think Nordic Noir.

“Arde Madrid,” represents a departure.

An eight-part half-hour created by Paco Leon and Anna R. Costa, the comedy-thriller yokes Spain’s grand movie comic tradition of caustic neorealism — think Rafael Azcona and Luis Berlanga — with suspense and romance, B&W cinematography of, in set pieces, the highest order; and a period of 1961 Madrid’s little known Dolce Vita, energized with Romani clans, flamenco dives, whiskey and sex, and real-life figures, led by the extraordinary Ava Gardner.

But it is its thoroughly modern feminist filter that really gives “Arde Madrid” its contempo edge and broader attraction while suggesting one way Movistar + is going as a company.

Gardner came to Madrid in 1957 to mourn her failed marriage to Frank Sinatra and find respect and freedom far away from the censorious eye of Hollywood, which deemed her white trash. Four years later, in “Arde Madrid’s” fiction, governess Ana Mari is instructing women at arcane dictator Francisco Franco’s Feminine Section.

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