Sex, tunnels and animation
The latest, and very controversial, Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival comes to the #15FestivalSevilla: 'Touch Me Not' uses radicalness to talk about sex as therapy for overcoming trauma. A first film for Adina Pintilie, it dynamites all expectations with an innovative approach to talking without any restrictions, and with a certain desire to provoke, about bodies and intimacy. The Romanian filmmaker will participate in a talk after the screening which promises to be juicy.
'Touch Me Not' is part of the festival’s Official Section, as is 'La Ciudad Oculta', the new film by Víctor Moreno after that surprising metaphor of the financial crisis offered in 'Edificio España' (2014). The filmmaker offers a sensorial and visually striking journey to the subsoil of a large city: the sewers and tunnels, as an unknown part, and a symbolic space, of our habitat. The film will have its world premiere at the Seville Festival, as will 'Letters to Paul Morrissey': the first feature film by Armand Rovira, the result of, in his own words, "an experimental, underground amusement”, that gradually grew until it became an episodic, epistolary film in which various characters maintain a correspondence with the man who was a member of Andy Warhol’s troupe and director of films such as 'Trash' or 'Flesh'. Moreno and Rovira will talk with the audience in the Nervión cinemas after the screening of their respective films.
A very animated festival
Always open to the impact of all kinds of formats, this year the #15FestivalSevilla will pay unusual and special attention to the various trends in animation produced in Europe, with a handful of very striking titles. Two of them will shine in The New Waves section and can be seen from today: both also share a subject matter, the Palestinian conflict, and maintain a particular, and unexpected, dialogue: the Italian-French 'Samouni Road', by Stefano Savona, mingles real images with the scratchboard technique in a striking proposal that takes us to the Gaza Strip to offer a portrait of a family marked by tragedy. The filmmaker will take part in a subsequent debate with the audience. 'The Tower', by the Norwegian Mats Grorud, also offers a family group, in this case confined for several generations to a Palestinian refugee camp in the Lebanon. Animation at the service of a humanist and emotionally intense story.
Two films from The New Waves will also dialogue, through the figure of Vladimir Putin and the reality in Russia: 'Victory Day', by Sergei Loznitsa, photographs the parade which every 9th May is held in the Treptower Park in Berlin, in front of the Soviet monument in honour of the fallen in the Second World War. Loznitsa turns the spotlight on some of those attending, wondering if those followers of Stalin or Putin are paying tribute to the dead or if they are dreaming of the return of a glorious past. And in 'Putin's Witnesses', the director Vitaly Mansky recovers, and reinterprets, the many images he filmed in 2000, during the electoral campaign of the now president of Russia, and he’ll share them in person with the audience after the screening.
This Sunday, Endless Revolutions is showing a film that is very coherent film with the section, because it talks precisely about revolutions: the ones lived internally by a young monk when reality, the French Revolution and its derivatives, appears in the monastery where he lives. It happens in 'A Violent Desire for Joy', by a Clément Scheider who will probably explain, in the subsequent talk, how he is inspired by the cinema of Eric Rohmer or Eugène Green.
And for the general public...
The Special Screening section today includes a simple biopic, an atmospheric thriller and a family melodrama: 'The Happy Prince', first work as a director by the popular actor Rupert Everett ('My Best Friend’s Wedding'), looks at the final years of the legendary writer Oscar Wilde, fallen into disgrace after making his homosexuality public. Everett plays the writer, leading a cast that includes Colin Firth, Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson.
The other two are Spanish: 'El desentierro', by Nacho Ruipérez, uses the rice fields of Valencia as an atmospheric setting for a thriller which features Leonardo Sbaraglia. And 'Alegría, tristeza', by Ibon Cormenzana, puts Roberto Álamo in the role of a fireman who suffers from a serious emotional block and finds in his daughter his main ally in learning to feel again. Manuela Vellés and Maggie Civantos accompany the actor in the film.
More Spanish cinema in Andalusian Panorama, and all of them followed by a talk: 'El secadero', by Antonio Donaire, is a harsh drama in an almost post-apocalyptic setting, which adapts a novel by Pedro Andreu which the author situated as between 'Mad Max', 'Tierra, by Julio Medem, and the work of Camilo José Cela. There is another tone in 'Segunda oportunidad', in which Gary Piquer plays a man who returns to his home town to reinvent himself, opening a business selling marihuana for therapeutic purposes. Rosa Maria Sardá is also in this film directed by Álvaro de Armiñán. We also have 'Al sur del sur', by Manuel Blanco, a visual map of the bay of Cadiz, and it is accompanied by the short film 'Plástico planchado', by A.J. Luque.
We continue to look at the filmmakers receiving tributes in this #15FestivalSevilla. With ‘A Swedish Love Story’, Roy Andersson had an enormous success which, in some way, marked his career: it deals with the beauty of the first love of two adolescents. With 'On Body and Soul', the Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi returned to cinema after more than a decade away from the cameras: the reward for her persistence was the Golden Bear at the 2017 Berlinale.
And the retrospective of the German Ula Stöckl offers one of the loveliest events at this edition of the festival: it will take place in the Bar Metáforas (c/ Mata, 20), where 'Tales of the Dumpster Kid' will be shown. This is a series of short films, like episodes, the screening of which was a performance in itself in the old days in Hamburgs bars: people would choose the episodes from a “menu” as they went along, so that each time the resulting film was a different film, and each screening a party. That spirit will be recovered in the Seville screening.
The Festival’s effort to put spectators and filmmakers in touch will offer a second chance to participate in talks with Mia Hansen-Løve ('Maya'), Sergei Loznitsa ('Donbass'), Samuel Alarcón ('Oscuro y lucientes') or Alberto San Juan (and the team from 'El Rey'). There will also be repeat screenings of films such as 'Non-Fiction', 'Ray & Liz', 'Morir para contar', 'Chaos', 'Beast', 'Something is Happening', 'I See Red People', 'Sobre tudo sobre nada', 'De chaque instant', 'Leto - Summer', 'Michael Inside' and 'Euphoria'.
The Cinema with the Family session today offers 'Marnie's World', by the brothers Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein, a revision of ‘The Musicians of Bremen’, ideal to share with the little ones. Finally, the formal risk will be seen in the Found Rituals section, which today will show in a double programme 'Lejos de los árboles' (1973), by Jacinto Esteva, and 'Rapa das bestas' (2017), by Jaione Gamborda.
And, beyond the cinema seats, music takes over and offers the performance by Boogarins + DJ Unicornio. At 00:30 in the Sala X.