- AMAT (1999)In terms of performances, intensity, and mood, Amic / Amat (Friend / Beloved) constitutes the best expression of Ventura Pons' talent. Based on a play by Catalan playwright Josep Maria Benet i Jornet that took up from classical poetry the theme of passing on experiences to recontextualize them in modern times, the film takes place in one day. It is structured as a series of dialogues, each featuring two characters from a cast of five: an old homosexual professor who sees death approaching (an extraordinary Josep Maria Pou), the man he loved in his youth (Mario Gas), the latter's wife (Rosa Maria Sardá), their pregnant daughter (Irene Montalá), and her lover, a student who earns a living as a rent boy (David Selvas). The professor becomes infatuated with the rent boy and decides to pass on his best work to him as a kind of inheritance, but the boy refuses. Against a knowledgeable use of visually striking Barcelona locations, the characters discuss generational changes and make important decisions. The city remains a silent witness, a character more than just a backdrop.The film was an excellent example of independent production in the 1990s, made by Pons' own production company, Els Films de la Rambla, which has continued to produce one film a year since the mid 1990s, aiming for the festival and arthouse markets. With an estimated tight budget of under 1 million Euro, it has made around 2 million since its release.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.