• A Kokoloco dancer got the party started.

    A Kokoloco dancer got the party started.

  • Angelina Julian and Sandra Fiorenza-Julian

    Angelina Julian and Sandra Fiorenza-Julian

  • Shoba Varkey and Gareth Knapman

    Shoba Varkey and Gareth Knapman

  • Peter Van de Maele and Narina Dahms

    Peter Van de Maele and Narina Dahms

  • Ben Gill, Jennie Edmunds and Alexis McNeice

    Ben Gill, Jennie Edmunds and Alexis McNeice

  • Bronwyn Shirley and Dorothy Jadrijevic

    Bronwyn Shirley and Dorothy Jadrijevic

  • Andreas Hadjithemistos with Dimitra and Dino Nikias

    Andreas Hadjithemistos with Dimitra and Dino Nikias

  • Djiwo and Thierry Grenet and Fabienne Nicolaj

    Djiwo and Thierry Grenet and Fabienne Nicolaj

  • Alan Foulkes and John Guppy

    Alan Foulkes and John Guppy

  • Amy Zacka and Rebecca Dann

    Amy Zacka and Rebecca Dann

  • Gabriella Cortes and Victor Trevino

    Gabriella Cortes and Victor Trevino

  • Los Chavos lead singer Andy Jauregui

    Los Chavos lead singer Andy Jauregui

The Palace Cinemas complex is a great place for a film festival opening – and closing too – not just because the seats are so comfortable and you can take your drinks and eats into the theatre, but after the show the foyer space of the complex is a stylish spacious area for a celebration.

And for the opening night of the Spanish Film festival 2014, it was Los Chavos getting the patrons into the mood for some very contagious hip swinging while chomping anchovy twists and Spanish cheeses with Estrella Damm beer and Torres wines. The best kind of party starters.

The opening night movie was given the 'so sweet' patrons’ revue for the David Trueba directed film, Living is Easy With Eyes Closed. Odd title you may think but John Lennon, lyricist extraordinaire, penned those words in his sweet as, Strawberry Fields Forever song.

The premise is that the Beatles greatest fan in Franco’s 60’s Spain is the nicest English teacher you could get who cleverly uses Beatles lyrics to teach his students English. His class of cuties reciting the lyrics of Help in their Spanish accents is a joy, and when he learns Lennon will be in Almeria on a film set he sets off in his not so trusty funky Fiat to see the man and fill in the gaps lost in translation from song to the page for some of his favourite Beatles songs.

Along the way he picks up a couple of hitch-hikers and we have a story so redolent of that time taking us to the heart of a road trip where not a whisper is heard of the 'are we there yet' whine of today’s youth but instead reveals a heartfelt coming of age story about coping with the parents, unplanned pregnancy and valuable life lessons taught by our ordinary English teacher with a capacity to do extraordinary things and change lives.

Does he meet Lennon, do our hitch hikers find a solution to their problems, does the Fiat conk out and what about that nasty tomato growing farmer who cut our young 60’s hitch hiker’s long hair? All will be revealed and you’ll love it.


The Spanish Film festival continues until 14 May with an eclectic mix of award winning films and this little treasure back again on 10 May. All information at www.spanishfilmfestival.com.