At last it is presented in society Bread and Circus, the project devised by Diego Luna and his new production company La Corriente del Golfo, after a few months of waiting. There are three of the seven chapters of the series that have reached the Amazon Prime Video platform this Friday, August 7. Unfortunately, the block premiere makes it impossible for us to analyze the entire season, but it gives us a very good idea of the purpose and tone of a debate program that is committed to trying another format.
From the head, the actor gathers five or six guests at a table to discuss a topic they know thoroughly. As they do so, an iconic chef shares three dishes inspired by the affair. In the last time, the cook pulls a chair to also cooperate with his point of view when talking about possible solutions, or as the host puts it, the moment of utopias. This is the dessert of an intense banquet that seeks, at least, not to leave the issues in the air and to propose some action after turning into the discussions. This closure is appreciated.
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The first chapter, Chronicles of the pandemic. Covid-19 and its consequences, is notably different from the others for obvious reasons. Until March, neither they nor anyone else was planning to spend so much time, ink, and typing on a new disease. Without this episode originally being contemplated, it was a good idea to get on the train because it is one of the priority issues on the international agenda, but perhaps it was not the best option to present the program, its rules and structure. First, because not all the rites are fulfilled as in the rest of the broadcasts. Later, for being the one with the fewest differences in the debate even though his presentations are quite interesting. It is true, there is the undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell but not within the panel for the exchange of ideas. Was it more attractive to open with this episode because it was a temporary issue? Yes. Does it increase the chances that the first one will be seen complete and thus reach the next ones? Too. A bit of the original proposal was sacrificed for the viewing strategy.
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‘Patria’ – Official Teaser – HBO
Adaptation of the homonymous novel published by Fernando Aramburu in 2016, the story focuses on the Basque conflict in the province of Guipúzcoa while they were lashed out by ETA. When Txato, a businessman from the small rural community, appears dead on the doorstep of his house, two families end up divided as a result of the situation. Bittori, the businessman’s widow, ends up breaking up with her best friend Miren, whose son is part of the ETA gang. The tensions between them end in a self-exile for Bittori and his family. Years later, the widow decides to return to town to visit her husband’s grave; the visit ends with the false peace of those who were once her neighbors and friends, causing her to be harassed once again. Yet despite the threats, Bittori is determined to find answers. ‘Patria’ is the first Spanish production of the HBO network, which is produced and adapted by Aitor Gabilondo, creator of the series ‘El Príncipe’.
‘Bread and Circus’ – Official Trailer
Hosted by Mexican actor Diego Luna, this series focuses on conversations between great expert voices, who discuss important issues of contemporary society, while enjoying magnificent dinners prepared by the best chefs in Mexico. Among the guests we will find political figures, Nobel Prize winners, speakers from the film, music and literature industries, women and men of science. During its first seven episodes, the production will travel through Baja California, Puebla, Quintana Roo and Mexico City, bringing to the table a topic related to the region to discuss among the guests. ‘Pan y Circo’ was created by Diego Luna and produced by La Corriente del Golfo for Amazon Prime Video. It will be available on the digital platform from August 7 with a premiere episode every week.
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After Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Han Solo will be the protagonist of the second spin-off of the franchise, which will tell his adventures before the original trilogy and long before he met Princess Leia and Luke. Skywalker. Written by Jon Kasdan (The First Time) and Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) and directed by Ron Howard (Rush), the Han Solo spin-off features performances by Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures) in the title role, Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Paul Bettany (Captain America: Civil War), Thandie Newton (Westworld), Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games), Donald Glover (Spider-Man) : Homecoming) and Warwick Davis (Harry Potter).
Clearly produced before the so-called new normal, I dare say that the second and third chapters are better displays of the intentions of Bread and Circus: Share the discussion and the food trying to emulate a dinner with friends, together. And now, yes, it shows the food preparation in all its splendor, the effusive greetings before going to the table, the interesting allocation of places and the important ritual of putting cell phones in a box to be able to talk without interruptions. The beginning could seem like an alternate version of the film Perfect strangers, after that come different and unitary universes. The wealth of such different visions, practically divided between representatives of the State and representatives of society, some who have suffered the worst of the system, is the real food.
And yes, there are illuminating moments like that of Araceli Osorio recognizing with mettle that despite the injustices committed in the murder of her daughter, there are some things that have been done well. There are other uncomfortable ones, such as the toast so that there will not be any more deaths or that of Gael García Bernal reciting José Agustín in the middle of the debate on the prohibition of marijuana. Also a reflector for public servants that may benefit us so much: How strong to see the face of María Candelaria Ochoa, the then director of CONAVIM, when they ask her if she still believes that the institute she directs protects women. Or that of Senator Osorio Chong pledging to be a promoter of the regulation of marijuana (just when the premiere coincides with the news of another case of corruption that involves him).
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Beyond the guest quality by which talk shows are judged, the hallmark here is clear: the food. This has a double function: first it gives a good excuse to break the monotony of a conversation or change the subject. But also that of prove that we all have a common point before showing our differences, no matter where we come from.
The technical and editing quality that makes a program like this one have a fluid rhythm should be highlighted. Also a notorious quality in lighting, music and sound. In fact, several Ariel nominees as the director and producer Kyzza Terrazas; the art director Christopher Lagunes, the musician Alejandro Castaño (attention to the drums by Dario Bernal) and the sound designer Martin Hernandez They are part of the crew. In addition, not only the square images of the news are used to illustrate, but also of programs that we grew up with and that at that time presented normalized questionable attitudes: Since Another roll, soap operas like Quinceañera, even iconic films of Mexican cinema, give more points of reflection.
Let’s wait for the four remaining chapters where we will talk about climate change, pregnancy termination, migration and identity and racism. It is true, 40 minutes is not enough to eat, debate and go out with the world arranged, but it is enough to put the issues on the table – never better said – on a platform with global reach. Presenting different visions to tackle these problems and knowing who is championing the causes is an important induction. Bread and Circus it is thus a good stimulator of dialogue in an original format. It reminds us of those great ideas that were born around a table.
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