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Codex Atanicus

(Film, 85 min., 1995-1999)

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Written and directed by Carlos Atanes.

Cast: Arantxa Peña, Manuel Solàs, Antonio Vladimir, Carlos Atanes.


Before feature film FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions and PROXIMA Carlos Atanes filmed a group of strange, unclassifiable shortfilms. Those earlier works were a concentrate of surrealism, rareness, anger and lust, in short: of thrilling creative freedom. And they show his author's astonishing visual talent. In spite of festivals, TV and distribution contempt, they achieved marginal acknowledgement in Spanish underground circles (and intense dislike: some screenings ended in violent quarrel). The most outstanding are those that are part of the CODEX ATANICUS. Thanks to new digital channels of distibution, audiences have access to the CODEX. Critics have recognized it as a future cult film, comparing Atanes with David Lynch, Luis Buñuel, David Cronenberg, John Waters, Fernando Arrabal, and Kenneth Anger.


"A collection of the three most twisted short films by Spanish director Carlos Atanes. The three shorts, Metaminds & Metabodies, Morfing and Welcome to Spain will take you into a movie universe few people have found before" (Film Bizarro). "Certainly the perfect title for those who think they’ve seen it all" (Mondo Digital). "A very good experience into the world of bizarre storytelling and surreal imagery that kept me glued to the screen" (Film Arcade). "Atanes proudly follows in the footsteps of fellow Spanish surrealist filmmakers Luis Bunuel and Fernando Arrabal and has crafted a trio of bizarrely demented short films" (Underground Film Journal). "It’s more of a revival of classical European arthouse surrealism than it is a continuation of newer, punkier trends in underground film" (366 Weird Movies). "The director of these wild and crazy fucked up movies can best be described as the next David Lynch with a little bit of David Cronenberg thrown in for good measure" (Gorehounds Unite!). "Come one come all to this twisted festival of fucked up fun!" (The Angry Princess).



  • The idea of drinking a great glass of milk in the Introduction is an Arantxa Peña's nod, because in almost all Atanes' movies there are actresses drinking great glasses of milk.

  • Most of the shots in Metaminds & Metabodies were filmed reflected in a mirror and in a mirror reflected in a mirror itself.

  • Horror filmmakers Jaume Balagueró and Nacho Cerdà had a brief cameo in Morfing.

  • During the shooting of the scene of the arch, Carlos Atanes was within an inch of killing the cameraman with an arrow, because he worked the arch trigger too soon. The arrow scratched the camera, ricocheted off the wall and hit the dartboard (the cameraman survived by the skin of one's teeth because he was crouching down).

  • All the actors who took part at Welcome to Spain's staircase uproar scene were injured during the filmed.



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