62 SEMINCI (2017)
VALLADOLID INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Always is a pleasure to be in Valladolid, because how nice and welcoming the city is and how very cinephile it’s too. Valladolid International Film Festival (SEMINCI) celebrated this edition 62 years and it must be said that each year is exceeded, not only because of the excellent treatment received by the organization by all the accredited but also because cinema is breathed throughout the city during those dates and that is very important in a film festival. People of Pucela lives the Seminci and gets involved in this festival and it shows, and much, in the different projections of the different spaces distributed throughout the city.
This edition supposed a great continuation to that mark that defines to this great contest, Art House Cinema, as much the official section as in the parallel sections. Our last visit to Valladolid was in 2015, but it has to be said that this consolidated essence has not been lost for many years with independent films, a good example of this, in addition to the rest of the sections, it has been the most interesting films of the Official Section as; “Foxtrot” by Samuel Maoz, “Just like our parents (Como nossos pais)” by Laís Bodanzky, “Radiance (Hikari)” by Naomi Kawase, the very awarded “The insult” by Ziad Doueiri, the fun “The Party” by Sally Potter, the wonderful “The Rider” by Chloé Zhao and the final winner in the winners list “The Nile Hilton Incident” by Tarik Saleh.
Our passage through this very interesting edition was five days with a series of projections, press conferences and meetings that we will detail below:
FREEDOM (FREIHEIT) (2017) by Jan Speckenbach
We started our journey in the charming setting of the Carrión Theater with this German film from the Official Section that gave us a contradictory feeling of light and shadow, that is, the plot is interesting, the performances are good, especially the protagonist Johanna Wokalek, but according to the film’s footage, it begins to suffer from rhythm, becoming somewhat repetitive and losing steam in the final outcome. A pity because at times the plot could remind a kind of “Belle de jour” of the genius of Calanda, Luis Buñuel, a pity that only reminds us of that essence and little more than the rest of the film. Too irregular.
A mother leaves, leaving her husband and two children in limbo. He is driven by a force he can not ignore: freedom. After wandering around Vienna, Nora sets course for Bratislava. There she hides her origin through small lies, changes her appearance, finds work as a waitress and becomes friends with a young stripper, Etela, and her husband Tamás, cook. Meanwhile, in Berlin, Philip tries to support his family and his work, as well as his adventure with Monika. Against his own convictions, he, a lawyer, defends a young xenophobe, and struggles with the role of single father. Philip finds an ear (though unconscious) for his concerns in the figure of a patient in a coma. The freedom that Nora longs for becomes Philip’s chains.
We were in the guest cocktail of the opening gala that organized the festival with great success and in which we had a long conversation with the young actress – director (“Júlia ist”) of Barcelona, Elena Martín. In addition to coinciding with different guests of the contest, important names of Spanish cinema, and with accredited colleagues from different media, from all over the Spanish geography, it is always a real pleasure to meet them again in an event of this kind, even if it is, Unfortunately, few times a year. A real honor for us to have been present at this inaugural cocktail.
THE DISINHERITED (LOS DESHEREDADOS) (C) (2017) by Laura Ferrés
Between the documentary and the fiction, it is a portrait of the director’s father, who presents the end of the family business of Pere Ferrés. The economic situation in recent years has made the protagonist has been forced to kick the closure of their business, and with it, also to a long stage of his life.
THE PARTY (2017) by Sally Potter
Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just been appointed Minister of Government, and therefore several friends meet at a party to celebrate her appointment. However, what begins as a celebration will end in the most unexpected way.
In the subsequent press conference of both directors, the young Catalan director Laura Ferrés, who already dazzled with her previous short film “A perro flaco” (2014), which was also screened at the Seminci, and the veteran, brilliant one , director of London, Sally Potter, creator of one of the films of my life (so I told her at the press conference) “Orlando” (1992) with a wonderful Tilda Swinton, we were able to learn many things about her different careers professionals and both films, highlighting the laborious process of Laura Ferrés to take the project forward, against all odds, of “The Disinherited” including in the short film even his family, Pere the protagonist is his father. All a worthy work to praise as he bet all or nothing even his personal assets without caring if the short would succeed or not. Luckily the thing has gone well but, of course, it is impossible that something is more deserved and worthy of praise than the realization of this very personal project.
78/52 (2017) by Alexandre O. Philippe
It was in the early sixties, when Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, allowed the protagonist of his new film to die after just forty minutes of film, in a scene that was going to turn the cinema upside down. Alexandre O. Philippe, an irredeemable cinephile, dissects those 52 planes of Psycho, which supposed a blow of narrative effect and a praise of the brutality made suggestion.
Documentary out of competition in the “Tiempo de Historia” section that was already awarded in the last edition of Sitges with the Best Documentary Award of the Catalan competition.
SPOOR (POKOT) (2017) by Agnieszka Holland
Janina Duszejko, ex-engineer, astrologer and vegetarian, lives in a small village in the Sudeten Mountains. One night he finds a corpse near his house. The victim is a poacher who died in strange circumstances. With the passage of time, more bodies will be found in the area: all of them hunters who, according to Janina, have been killed by wild animals.
THE BOOKSHOP (LA LIBRERÍA) by Isabel Coixet
Film chosen by the festival to serve as an opening film that is on the part of the Catalan director another round to shoot in English and with foreign actors, as he did with his previous film “Nobody wants the night” that was in the 2015 edition selected as a closing film, says Isabel Coixet herself “Sometimes it is easier to get a project with foreign investment than with national production.”
In a small town in England in 1959, a young woman decides, against the educated but implacable neighborhood opposition, to open the first bookstore that has ever been in that area.
THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT (2017) by Tarik Saleh
Great thriller with a superb Fares Fares, a Swedish actor of Lebanese origin that I personally like a lot, which in the end was the winning film of this edition of the Seminci getting the Golden Spike in the final Winners List.
Noureddine, a corrupt detective with a bright future in the police force, whose main purpose is not exactly to do good but to get rich, is sent to the Nile Hilton hotel, where they have just discovered the body of a beautiful woman. The identity of this one, its connections with the elites of Cairo and other more personal incidents will lead Noureddine to make transcendental decisions and to discover himself
JUST LIKE OUR PARENTS (COMO NOSSOS PAIS) (2017) by Laís Bodanzky
Rosa is a woman who only yearns to be perfect, in her work and as a mother, daughter, wife and lover. The more you try, the more you feel that you are doing it wrong. Rosa is caught by the demands of two generations, until one day her mother drops a bomb, and Rosa begins to rediscover her true self.
LA GRIETA (2017) by Alberto García Ortiz and Irene Yagüe Herrero
After the sale by local governments of thousands of public apartments to foreign investment funds in 2013, many Madrid families were forced to leave their homes. The film offers a direct look and, despite the implicit drama, does not exempt humor from the case of two women and their families who are reluctant to leave the singular neighborhood of Villaverde.
KAPITALISTIS (C) (2017) by Pablo Muñoz Gómez
“Santa Claus is a capitalist. He brings toys to children of the wealthy and sweaters to those of the poor”.
When a man discovers that his son is being ridiculed in school for his antiquated backpack, he decides to buy him a new one. But what begins as a well-intentioned plot gradually reveals the illusory nature of social mobility.
MONTPARNASSE BIENVENUE (JEUNE FEMME) (2017) by Léonor Serraille
Paula returns to Paris but has no money and finds all the doors closed. Instead of becoming nostalgic, he immerses himself in Parisian life. After a long period away from home and a recent love breakup, he decides to return to his origins. Without work and without friends, the young woman tries to rebuild her life from scratch. The light and vitality of the city will push her towards a new future, with expectations that she would never come up with in her life.
LA INÚTIL (C) (2016) by Belén Funes
Merche is 33 years old and does not have a good time. The apartment in which she lives alone is big and she wants to rent a room, probably because at some point she has lived with someone who has left. Not so much to pass page as because he has not even a hard one has decided to rent it, but it is so much the urgency that it has that scares the candidates. Today, her friend Irene has invited her to a party at her house. But you know, there are days when it would be better not to get out of bed.
I AM TRULY TO DROP OF SUN ON EARTH (2017) of Elene Naveriani
April, a prostitute of just over thirty years, leaves prison to start again, but always wearing a breastplate that protects her from the blows that life gives. However, this time fate has decided to put Dijé on his way, a young Nigerian who lands in Georgia thinking that it was the United States and that he is imprisoned in a country that only offers him misery. Stigmatized by his skin color, marginalized among the marginalized, Dijé tries to survive as he can doing poorly paid work and spending sleepless nights surrounded by other compatriots who are like him in the wrong Georgia, and who breathe by an inertia dragged by the only the incentive they have left: the music.
MEETING “ESPIGAS DE HONOR” EMMA SUÁREZ & LUIS TOSAR
Encounter with the media of these two great actors, already mythical and consecrated, of Spanish cinema. The event in the conference room of the Hotel Gareus had a large representation of local media both written and television, was moderated by the festival director Javier Angulo, it should be noted, as shown in the attached images, that the chemistry and complicity between the three was more than apparent, something quite remarkable since it does not always have to be this way unfortunately. Many committed themes not related to the world of cinema were played in this meeting, especially by the Galician actor Luis Tosar who did not hesitate to give his opinion about the Catalan “procés”.
RADIANCE (HIKARI) (2017) by Naomi Kawase
A love story between a photographer who is losing his sight and a young girl disconnected from society. Misako (Ayame Misaki) is a passionate screenwriter of films for the blind. Her meticulousness in transcribing visual language into writing, striving to find the perfect word for each color, gesture or texture, makes her forget something as important as feelings. In a film projection he meets Masaya (Masatoshi Nagase), a photographer who is slowly losing his sight. Misako will soon discover Masaya’s photographs, which will transport her to some memories of her past. Together they will learn to see in a resplendent way the world that was previously invisible to their eyes.
DINA (2017) by Antonio Santini & Dan Sickles
Awarded the Best Documentary Award at the last Sundance Film Festival, he describes the unconventional love story between Dina Buno and Scott Levin, a newly married couple but complicated by their respective circumstances. Scott has Asperger’s syndrome and avoids physical contact, from shaking hands with Dina to having sex. In turn, Dina still physically and emotionally heals past relationships: she survived her first husband, and almost died at the hands of her previous boyfriend. He got a well deserved second prize in the Time of History section in the final list of the Festival, personally I think it is very difficult to have a better documentary than this in this section although I could not see the winner “La libertad del diablo” (2017) Everardo González as to talk with property.
THE RIDER (2017) by Chloé Zhao
We finish our journey in this magnificent event with an authentic jewel of the American indie cinema that will undoubtedly have the premiere in the Spanish billboards the recognition of a large part of the specialized critics and hopefully also of the general public, although this will depend on the major or less degree of distribution that the film has on the part of the independent distributor Caramel Films.
Brady, who was one of the stars of the rodeo and a talented horse trainer, suffers an accident that makes him unable to ride again. When he returns home he realizes that all he wants to do is ride a horse and participate in rodeos, which frustrates him a lot. In an attempt to regain control of his life, Brady embarks on a journey in search of a new identity and the meaning of what it is to be a man in the heart of America.
WINNERS 62nd VALLADOLID INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – SEMINCI
“The Nile Hilton Incident“, by Tarik Saleh.
“The Rider“, by Chloé Zhao.
Best Director Award:
Tarik Saleh, for “The Nile Hilton Incident“.
Best Actress Award: (ex aequo):
Laetitia Dosch, for “Jeune femme“.
Agnieszka Mandat-Grabka, for “Spoor (Pokot)“.
Best Actor Award:
Brady Jandreau,for “The Rider“.
«Pilar Miró» award to the Best New Director:
Chloé Zhao, for “The Rider“.
“Miguel Delibes» Award to the Best Script:
Tarik Saleh, for “The Nile Hilton Incident“.
Best Photography Award:
Ágnes Pákíozdi, for “I Am Truly a Drop of Sun on Earth“.
Critic’s Choice Award:
“Daha“, by Onur Saylak.
“Daha“, by Onur Saylak.
“The insult (L’insulte)“, by Ziad Doueiri.
“Human Flow“, by Ai Weiwei.
“Negah“, by Farnoosh Samadi.
“A Dorwning Man“, by Madhi Fliefel.
Best European short film:
“Kapitalistis“, by Pablo Muñoz Gómez.
Traducido por: Eduardo Llorente.