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Barcelona Pop Culture

If you watched acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s film All About My Mother, you’ve probably already fallen in love with Barcelona. Almodovar uses the city as a veritable additional character in the film alongside the radiant Penelope Cruz. The city’s bright washes of color and modernista architecture liven up the story. Of course, there’s also the Whit Stillman classic Barcelona, which features Taylor Nichols and Chris Eigeman as a pair of mismatched brothers. Most recently Woody Allen took on the city in Vicky Christina Barcelona, starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and Miss Cruz (again) in an emotionally volatile romantic comedy. American author Ernest Hemingway spent a number of years writing and reporting on Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He wrote numerous dispatches while living (and drinking) off Las Ramblas, but the two most well-known are Death in the Afternoon, a non-fiction account of bullfighting in Pamplona, and The Sun Also Rises. There are several fine Catalan authors whose works are available in translation, including Josep Pla, who penned “El Quadern Gris,” largely considered one of Catalan’s great masterpieces. Barcelona’s music scene isn’t widely recognized outside of Spain, but the city does host two of Europe’s major music festivals: Sónar in June, and Primavera Sound in May.
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