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Nou Campanar: The Monuments of Fallas 2009

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1st Place

2008 Ranking: 1st Place

Fallas-Winner-2009
“‘Esta falla … tiene mucha tela”

For the 6th year in a row, Nou Campanar (location)walks off with the trophy for a mammoth, expensive monument that other commissions just weren’t able to match in scale. Even those who didn’t especially appreciate the aesthetic of this year’s monument, inspired by the world of fashion, have to admire the willingness of Nou Campanar to try something new.

nou-campanar
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And certainly, this monument was something new. For those accustomed to the bizarre, cartoony creations that are normally synonymous with Fallas, the sleek and fashionable characters of Nou Campanar must have come as a shock. It was wonderfully executed — the artistry on display in the towering fashion models can’t fail to impress.

fashion-valencia
fallas-winner
fashion-tulip
big-ass-Valencia

We especially loved the lady holding out a piece of fabric, which seemed to flow gracefully onto the floor. An amazing piece of work for such a gigantic statue. The monument was the most expensive of all time, costing over €900,000. That’s over a million dollars! For a monument that stands for 4 days before being set aflame. Unbelievable — if I were a homeless person, looking for a job or a meal on the streets of Valencia, I think I would lose it.

exhibistionist-valencia
valencia-punks
fashion-victims-valencia

While there was much to admire and be astounded by, this monument ultimately left us cold. We felt a bit disillusioned when it was pronounced champion. This was one of the few Fallas that didn’t illicit laughter during our visit, so we felt as though the jury was rewarding Nou Campanar’s willingness to spend big. Still, they were also rewarding innovation, and Nou Campanar certainly deserves to be recognized for that.

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May 8, 2009 at 2:38 pm Comments (0)

Plaza de Pilar: The Monuments of Fallas 2009

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2nd Place

2008 Ranking: 5th Place
Falla-pilar-2009
“Una noche en la ópera”

Plaza del Pilar may have finished in 2nd place, but this tremendous monument was undoubtedly the people’s champion. Over and over, we heard people say things like “I can’t believe Pilar didn’t win”, “Obvious that Pilar deserved it”, “A disgrace”.

oper-pilar
pilar-2009
phantom-of-the-opera

And we agree wholeheartedly. In our minds, there is no doubt that Pilar put together by far the most magnificent monument of 2009 — outclassing the champion in scope, style, ambition, humor, originality and theme. If you managed to squeeze into the tiny and always densely-packed area of the Plaza del Pilar, you were guaranteed to be astounded.

horse-opera
happy-oper
knight-monster

“A night at the opera” was executed to perfection by artist José Lafarga, who was marking his debut in the Sección Especial. A huge Phantom of the Opera was the most prominent piece, but there was so much more… frisky antics in orchestra seats, a podium and cello with amazingly lifelike wood-work detail, flamenco dancers, funny horses, and a mock wedding with the leaders of the world celebrating (who else?) Obama. There was almost too much to see.

sexy-musician
nacho-vidal-penis
nude-ninot

It’s a shame that Plaza del Pilar didn’t win because, to this foreigner’s eyes, it captured to perfection everything Fallas monuments should aspire to. Maybe next year.

merkel-betrunken
european-leaders
obama-bride
opera-accident
hiding-from-crisis

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April 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm Comments (0)

Convento Jerusalén: The Monuments of Fallas 2009

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3rd Place

2008 Ranking: 2nd Place
valencia-fallas-2009
“Falles.som”

Convento Jerusalén-Matemático Marzal boasted our favorite Fallas monument of 2008, and we chose it again this year to watch the cremà (location). This model’s theme was about the fallero world in general, with different scenes from Valencia and Valencian life portrayed.

2009-jerusalen-convento
valencia-tradition
fallas-baby

As it was last year, the monument was breathtakingly beautiful. Crowned by three gigantic naked falleras supported by a buckled, sack-carrying man, the creation offered Valencians a chance to really reflect on all the things that make this region special.

fallas-fallero
sexy-fallero
throwing-valencia-vase
fallera-fallero-love

There was a group of older people playing cards, a mock funeral for Convento’s main rival “Nou Castañar” (slightly misspelled) and, our favorite feature, a recreation of the facade of the Marquis de Dos Aguas. Everything was wonderfully detailed. And it was a strange delight to see it all engulfed in flames.

micalet-fuego
out-of-control-fallaras
happy-sleepy-fallera

Watch this Falla burn:

fallas-2009-crema

Link: La Cremà of Convento Jerusalén 2009


Falla Convento Jerusalén: Official Web Site
Location on our Fallas 2009 Map

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April 12, 2009 at 9:05 am Comments (0)

Exposición: The Monuments of Fallas 2009

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4th Place

2008 Ranking: 3rd Place
Exposicion-Micer Masco
“Anem de Festa”

Partying was the theme of Exposición-Micer Mascó’s gigantic monument this year (location), although when the prizes were given out, the Fallas commission probably didn’t feel much like dancing. Their sights had been set on something higher than 4th place.

Exposicion
Exposicion-Micer Masco 2009
Exposicion 2009

We felt, though, that the ranking was probably correct. There was a lot of detail in this monument, and a lot to see. Amy Winehouse and Barack Obama — those two foreigners who showed up in so many monuments — made an appearance here as well. We saw a huge “Milka” cow, and a whole lot of funky people partying down.

baby-fallas
Amy-Winehaus
obama-ninot
disco-boys

Exposición enjoys one of the most spacious lots of all the Fallas monuments, and they certainly use it to their advantage. The size and breadth of detail was amazing, and with perhaps a bit more humor and originality, they could probably have walked off with the trophy.

Falla Exposición: Official Website
Location on our Google Map

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April 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm Comments (0)

Almirante Cadarso: The Monuments of Fallas 2009

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5th Place

2008 Ranking: 6th Place

almirante-cadarso-fallas-09
“¡Lligeu-vos els cinturons!”

The monument of Almirante Cadarso-Conde Altea (location) featured a carload of Spaniards traveling to Spain — only to encounter a group of aliens which already know all about low-cost tourism.

spain-universe-travel
grandpa-paradiso
almirante-cadarso-fallas

With a keen eye towards politics and current affairs, Almirante Cadarso was able to wrap up 5th place. Those versed in contemporary Spanish & Valencian news would have no problem spotting the various figures which appeared: Zapatero, just finishing up a satisfying dump; Judge Garzón with belt (in reference to the Caso Gürtel); Davids Villa & Silva resignedly hauling away their packed bags (Valencians take it as a given that their best soccer players are not long for the club).

angry-moon
ejakulation-beach
Beach-breast-accident
greedy-alien
cute-alien
pope-is-dead
big-boobs
valencia-Buddha
druling-camel
stinky-camel

Overall, it was a monument which impressed with its size and scope. Well done!


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April 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm Comment (1)

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