La Comunidad

Up the road from the Circulo de Bellas Artes is the building of the Bank of Bilbao, constructed in the early 1920s, outside Sevilla Metro station. It now houses Madrid's Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio. It's roof, with giant bronze statues, was the setting for the finale of one of my favourite Spanish films - "La Comunidad". (Although I watched one other film by the same director, which I didn't like at all, but this one I love.)

A sortof farcical comedy version of Shallow Grave, it takes place inside a traditional Madrid apartment block similar to my own (but a bit posher), starting with the discovery of a dead neighbour's lottery money, and ending with a rooftop chase. When I first moved to Madrid I was excited to see that the statue Carmen Maura ends up dangling desperately from is on the Calle de Alcalá, the same street I live on! I've been meaning to draw it this whole time but only got around to it recently.



The title "La Comunidad" refers to the organisation of neighbours that is typical in Spanish apartment buildings. The idea is they work together to deal with any problems the building might have, maintenance and cleaning etc. In the film, the neighbours are not so community minded! I'm not sure if there is a comunidad in my building, because it's the responsibility of the owners, and most of the flats seem to be rented, like mine. My neighbours are all nice though, thankfully!