Rhetoric and humour to save us

Rhetoric and humour to save us

Thursday 12 de November 2015

The Seville Festival approached its final stretch with two of those films which, probably, will fill a large part of the imminent lists of “the year’s best”. José Luis Guerín selected the SEFF framework for the national premiere of his latest film, La academia de las musas. The winner of the National Cinematic Award for En construcción continues to use the documentary format, but in this case infected by comedy, to set out a question: could it be that love is just a poetic invention? For the Barcelona filmmaker, it seems that wouldn’t be a problem. “If we didn’t have poetry, which saves us, we would be walking corpses”, says Guerin, who in his press conference offered a master class on his concept of cinema: “Being true to the rhetoric of the image. Giving value to silence. Taking distance. Being meticulous”.

Miguel Gomes, who has a lot of the poet and the inventor, also tackles documentary, and you could say, after the excellent Tabú and the  Thousand and One Nights (which the SEFF is premiering in our country), that he doesn’t need muses to find inspiration. What he has much more to hand is the present reality of his country, Portugal, conveniently fabled, in this story in three instalments, as for the Portuguese filmmaker “the Portuguese are men, women, birds, trees, geniuses and fantastic beings”. They all appear in this film where Gomes again tinges social drama with his fine sense of humour. “At times cinema is too authoritarian, you can’t submit the spectator to emotional blackmail”.

Another film full of imagination is Berserker, a mingling of genres (thriller, fantastic) which begins with a human head stuck to the steering wheel of a car. Nevertheless, for its director, Pablo Hernando, "the theme of the film isn’t the investigation, but the moment when the main character realises that he doesn’t have the talent to make his dream come true ".The director from Vitoria certainly isn’t lacking in talent. During an aperitif with the media, where he was accompanied by the leading actors Julian Génisson and Ingrid García-Jonsson, he explained the reason for filming this dark story on the outskirts of Madrid: "Those half built, crisis neighbourhoods seem like hellish places where evil emerges from the very ground ".

There was also room yesterday for Andalusian creativity, represented at the press conference on the Imagenera Awards. Mercedes de Pablos, director of the Centro de Estudios Andaluces, stressed the great quality of the films presented in competition this year, including the two winners (shown at the SEFF): Mi querida España, directed by Mercedes Moncada and written by Mercedes Cantero; and Melchor Rodríguez, El Ángel Rojo, directed by Alfonso Domingo and narrated by Javier Gutiérrez (La isla mínima).

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