20th MÁLAGA FILM FESTIVAL- CINEMA IN SPANISH (2017)
“By Antonio Llorens”
Twenty editions already fulfilled the festival of Malaga and this time changed the clauses of the official selection and its name, changing its name to “cinema in Spanish” and thus incorporating Latin American films in its official competition. Feature films, documentary films of short and long films, short films, parallel sections (ZonaZine), special screenings (premieres, echoes of Mar del Plata, etc.)… Once again, Málaga offers us a wide panorama of the cinema that is made in Spain and in Latin America, of course, building an official section – inside and outside the contest – really strenuous, and leaving a track record that ended up recognizing the merits of a Catalan production (“Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993)”, by Carla Simón) and a Cuban feature film, highly recommended, entitled “Last days in Havana (Últimos días en La Habana)”, by that demanding filmmaker who is Fernando Pérez.
He also recognized the track record of the production “Can’t Say Goodbye (No sé decir adiós”, first feature film by Lino Escalera, winner of two interpretation awards – the exalted Nathalie Poza and Juan Diego -, best script award, special jury prize… Jury composed by Emilio Martínez Lázaro (President), Pablo Berger, María Botto, Iván Giroud Gárate, Elena Ruiz and Alejandra Trelles. Prizes of honor for Leonardo Sbaraglia -has two films in competition, “Black Snow (Nieve Negra)” and “The Lost Brother (El otro hermano)”, and won the interpretation prize for the latter, directed by Israel Adrián Caetano- , Antonio Banderas, Sylvie Imbert, Fernando León of Aranoa, Claudia Llosa, Fiorella Faltoyano and for the Golden film, “Belle Epoque”, by Fernando Trueba, made twenty-five years ago.
The FPAE organized several days for the market, with the name “Spanish screening”, recovering an activity and a tradition – it was the eleventh edition – that adds even more value to the Malaga event, decidedly essential. In the next article I review the films that I have been able to see, not without qualifying previously that the participation of a film in Portuguese of Brazilian nationality and, out of competition, of a Spanish film spoken in English, put the nerves to more than one. The first case is justified by the willingness to access the entire Ibero-American map, the second due to its out-of-competition status. Reasons that seem more justifications…
In addition to “Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993)”, by Carla Simón, a good movie starring young girls, from the Cuban “Last days in Havana (Últimos días en La Habana)” by Fernando Pérez, whose plot invites us to think about “Strawberry and chocolate (Fresa y chocolate)” 25 years later , and of “Can’t Say Goodbye (No sé decir adiós)”, by Lino Escalera, an sharp look at a family reality mediated by a terminal illness, also the Argentineans “Black Snow (Nieve Negra)”, by Martin Hodara, and “The Lost Brother (El otro hermano)”, by Israel Adrián Caetano , they had thematic and interpretative elements of great interest. We still find films in the official section worthy of attention, such as the harsh “Brava” by Roser Aguilar, a portrait without concessions of a woman, “Loving (Amar)” by Esteban Crespo, a story about adolescent love, “Selfie” by Víctor León , surprising both for its style and for its ability to approach the intimacy of a hateful character, “The Bar (El bar)”, by Álex de la Iglesia – inaugural session, out of competition – an apocalyptic fable replete with findings, and “The Animal’s Wife (La mujer del animal)”, by Víctor Gaviria, incursion in a sexist evil simply unbearable.
Less interesting, but absolutely correct and dignified, contained “The chess player (El jugador de ajedrez)“, by Luis Oliveros, based on a good novel, “The candidate (El candidato)”, by Daniel Hendler, a film as rigorous as arid directed by the great actor, who we saw in Leonardo Sbaraglia’s “The Lost Brother (El otro hermano)”, “La memoria de mi padre”, by Rodrigo Bacigalupe, another portrait about the disease, “Mist & the Maiden (La niebla y la doncella)”, by Andrés Koppel, adapted from a novel by Lorenzo Silva, Argentine comedies “You’re Killing Me Susana (Me estas matando Susana)”, by Roberto Sneider, and “I married a dumbass (Me casé con un boludo)” (out of competition), by Juan Taratuto, the first with a sensational Gael García Bernal, the second with the wonderful Valeria Bertuccelli. And “Plan de fuga”, by Iñaki Dorronsoro, a solid robbery film with magnificent Alain Hernández, Javier Gutiérrez and Luis Tosar. From a film like “Skins (Pieles)”, by Eduardo Casanova, it can be said that it is highly recommended for cinema lovers, but that it will never recommend it to a friendship: it’s like a catalog of physical deformations…
The rest, really enough. Outside and / or inside contest: “El intercambio”, by Ignacio Nacho, “Gilda, no me arrepiento de este amor”, by Lorena Muñoz, “Maniac tales”, by Rodrigo Sancho, Denise Castro, Abdelatif Hwidar, Enrique García and Kike Mesa, “Lord, give me patience (Señor, dame paciencia)”, by Álvaro Díaz Lorenzo, and “Redemoinho”, by José Luiz Villamarin.
In other sections, visited with less attention, could hardly highlight some contributions in ZonaZine, dominated by boredom and low budget, such as the distribution of “Llueven vacas”, Fran Arráez, or the effort of the winner, “Julia ist”, by Elena Martín. Little things in “Blue rai”, by Pedro Abreu, and in “Demonios tus ojos”, by Pedro Aguilera, and nothing at all in “No quiero perderte nunca”, by Alejo Levis. In Focus Mar del Plata I could only see “Inseparables”, by Marcos Carnevale, brilliant remake of the French “Intouchable”, with excellent actors and very good moments whether you know the original or completely unknown. I couldn’t see anything of Focus Sitges and little more than a couple of documentaries, both biographical and equally recommendable: (“Aguirre”), by Antonio Peláez, about the unclassifiable Javier Aguirre, and “Ruibal por libre”, by César Martínez Herrada , tour through the labyrinths of the musician Javier Ruibal.
In the special screenings I could see the Catalan-Valencian co-production “Mil coses que faria per tu”, by Didac Cervera, very unfortunate, and among the short films, Claudia Costafreda’s debut, “Néboa”, an important end-of-career exercise very suggestive. Of course, many other shorts knew them already, some for the Medina del Campo festival. There were more projections, among which we must highlight the following sections: La cosecha del año, Reciente cine español, Homenajes, Afirmando los derechos de la mujer, Gastroweekend, etc., but time and schedules didn’t allow for more. As I said in other editions of the Málaga Film Festival, “a golden opportunity to take the pulse of the Spanish film production”.
PALMARES 20 FESTIVAL OF MÁLAGA. SPANISH CINEMA
OFFICIAL SECTION OF FEATURED FEATURE FILMS
The Jury of the Official Section of Feature Films in competition of the 20th edition of the Malaga Festival. Cinema in Spanish, integrated by Emilio Martínez Lázaro (President), Pablo Berger, María Botto, Iván Giroud Gárate, Elena Ruiz and Alejandra Trelles, issues the following ruling:
GOLDEN BIZNAGA TO THE BEST SPANISH MOVIE
Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993), by Carla Simón
GOLDEN BIZNAGA TO THE BEST IBEROAMERICAN MOVIE
Last days in Havana (Últimos días en La Habana), by Fernando Pérez
SILVER BIZNAGA SPECIAL PRIZE OF THE JURY
Can’t Say Goodbye (No sé decir adiós), by Lino Escalera
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST DIRECTION
Víctor Gaviria for The Animal’s Wife (La mujer del animal)
SILVER BIZNAGA HOTEL AC MÁLAGA PALACIO TO THE BEST ACTRESS
Nathalie Poza for Can’t Say Goodbye (No sé decir adiós)
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST ACTOR
Leonardo Sbaraglia for The Lost Brother (El otro hermano)
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Gabriela Ramos, Last days in Havana (Últimos días en La Habana)
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Juan Diego for Can’t Say Goodbye (No sé decir adiós)
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST SCRIPT
Pablo Remón and Lino Escalera for Can’t Say Goodbye (No sé decir adiós)
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST MUSIC
Pascal Gaigne for Plan de fuga
SILVER BIZNAGA DELUXE TO THE BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Walter Carvalho by Redemoinho
SILVER BIZNAGA TO THE BEST MONTAGE
Etienne Boussac by The Animal’s Wife (La mujer del animal)
The jury gives a SPECIAL MENTION to Selfie, by Víctor García León, as a representative of a new way of understanding cinematographic expression, making the most of a forced economy of means, and approaching the immediate reality with greater credibility.
Traducido por: Eduardo Llorente.