Bertrand Tavernier’s latest film will open the first competitive Zabaltegi-Tabakalera
San Sebastian Festival’s ''open zone'' will also present the works of Terence Davies, Lav Diaz and Jim Jarmusch, among others
Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, the San Sebastian Festival section open to the most varied and surprising movies of the year, where there are no formal rules or restrictions on subject matter, will this year open its first edition as a competitive section with Bertrand Tavernier’s latest film, Voyage à travers le cinéma français / A Journey Through French Cinema, a documentary looking at filmmaking in his country. His film will compete with the latest works by noteworthy moviemakers on the international scene including Terence Davies, Lav Diaz, Jim Jarmusch, Hayoun Kwon, Jean-François Laguionie, Deborah Stratman, José Luis Torres Leiva, and other titles to be announce in the coming weeks, for the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award with its 20,000 euros.
Tavernier (Lyon, 1941), one of the great masters of French cinema, has enjoyed a long relationship with the Festival, which dedicated a retrospective to him in 1999, the year he chaired the Jury. His film Coup de Torchon was screened in the Official Selection in 1982, Capitaine Conan (Captain Conan) bagged a Jury Special Mention in 1996, Ça commence aujourd’hui (It All Starts Today) won the Audience Award in 1999 and Holy Lola landed the same prize in 2005, while in 2013 he returned to the Official Selection with the farce Quai D’Orsay, winner of the Best Screenplay Award. Some of his other international successes are L'horloger de Saint-Paul (The Clockmaker, 1974), Round Midnight (1986), La vie et rien d'autre (Life and Nothing But, 1989), La fille de d'Artagnan (Revenge of the Musketeers, 1994), L'appât (Fresh Bait, 1995) and La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier, 2010). The French historian and critic, president of the prestigious Institut Lumière in the city of his birth, presented at Cannes Classic his latest work, an expedition into the history of French cinema and a homage to filmmakers such as Becker, Renoir and Bresson, in which he has invested six years of work.
Davies (Liverpool, 1945) and Jarmusch (Akron, Ohio, 1953) explore, through fiction and documentary, the story of two artistic careers: the life of the writer Emily Dickinson and the epic story of The Stooges, the group that Iggy Pop started out with. This will be the Spanish premiere for both the British director’s A Quiet Passion, after its screening in Berlin, and for Gimme Danger, which was shown out of competition in the Official Section at Cannes.
Jarmusch’s films, a benchmark in independent cinema, have been a regular feature in the last few years at the Festival: Broken Flowers (2005) and The Limits of Control (2009) were selected in Pearls, and Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai formed part of the American Way of Death: American Film Noir 1990-2010 retrospective.
Davies’ film career includes such outstanding work as Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), which won the Golden Leopard at Locarno, The Long Day Closes (1992), which competed at Cannes, The House of Mirth (2000), which premiered at Locarno, Of Time and the City (2008), the documentary selected in Zabaltegi-Specials after being screened at Cannes, and The Deep Blue Sea (2011) and Sunset Song (2015), which competed in the Official Section at San Sebastián, where he was given a retrospective in its 56th edition (2008).
Both direct and write their films, as do Lav Diaz (Datu Paglas, 1958) and Deborah Stratman (Washington, 1967). Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis / A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, the 480 minute-long film by the Filipino director about colonial oppression in his country, received the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlinale, an award that recognises work that opens up new perspectives on cinematic art. The director of Melancholia, which won the Orizzonti Prize at Venice, is back in Zabaltegi, which in 2013 included the world premiere of Prologo sa ang dakilang Desaparecido / Prologue to The Great Desaparecido and Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan / Norte, The End of the Story, after it had been screened in Un certain regard at Cannes.
For her part, Stratman presented the documentary The Illinois Parables, which was screened for the first time at Sundance and had its European premiere in Berlin. In this experimental piece, the renowned American artist and filmmaker, whose previous film Second Sighted (2014) was programmed at Tabakalera in its contemporary film season, explores the historical role that beliefs have played in social ideology and national identity.
El viento sabe que vuelvo a casa by José Luis Torres Leiva (Santiago, 1975), that was premiered at the Rotterdam Festival, is a meta-film that focuses on the documentary filmmaker Ignacio Agüero, who has acted in other films by the Chilean director such as El cielo, la tierra, y la lluvia (2008) and Verano (2011), which could be seen as part of the Circuito programme at Tabakalera in 2014.
The multimedia artist Hayoun Kwon (Seúl, 1981), who lives between Korea and France, analyses 489 Years in a twelve-minute-long animated short film based on the testimony of an ex-soldier from South Korea. Her previous film, Village modèle, about a propaganda village built by North Korea, was also shown in Rotterdam and as part of the Circuito programme last year.
We will be able to see Louise en hiver, recently premiered at the Annecy Festival, by the prestigious French animated filmmaker Jean-François Laguionie (Besançon, 1939), whose film Le tableau was programmed at the Festival in 2013 as part of the Animatopia: New Paths in Animated Cinema retrospective. 50 years ago Laguionie won the Grand Prix at Annecy with La demoiselle et le violoncelliste (The Young Lady and the Cellist, 1965) and the Golden Palm for best short film at Cannes for Rowing Across the Atlantic in 1978.
The Tabakalera building, where Zabaltegi is based, will be the venue for the first screening of all the films in the section.
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