The programming consultants of the D’A Film Festival Barcelona –who go to all the festivals with notebooks and watch more movies than all of us together!– have made their most special recommendations of all D’A 2019 programming. Let yourself be guided by their expert voices!
Carlos Losilla recommeds L’Île au trésor and Sophia Antipolis
French cinema is changing. And two films that will go through D’A this year are like the spearhead of that renewal. I think you have to see L’Île au trésor, by Guillaume Brac, and Sophia Antipolis, by Virgil Vernier, to realize how these two documents about banality, about a water park and a “technological” city respectively, are becoming little by little both in disturbing fictions and in reflections about France, Europe, the world of now.
Loles Fanlo recommends Fourteen
Who does not have a childhood friend or friend who you eventually distance yourself from, even if you try hard to deny the evidence? Well that happens in Dan Sallitt‘s film, between walks, dinners and magnificent temporary ellipses that show that friendships are more than an accumulation of years with a person.[More info]
Eulàlia Iglesias recommends Bêtes Blondes and Diane
Perhaps the current proposal that better picks up the relief of Alain Guiraudie in his queer and at the same time surrealistic conception of love, humor and cinema, Bêtes Blondes is one of those titles capable of transporting you in unexpected ways. And few more emotional films we can see this season than Diane, the immense female portrait with which the critic Kent Jones debuts in fiction.
Xavier Arnaiz recommends Coincoin et les z’inhumains
This drift of Bruno Dumont towards the buffa and grotesque comedy, started with El pequeño Quinquin, seems to have no ceiling. Now it delivers a second part that improves on the previous one, and that appears at a time when Europe is already living in a kind of perpetual carnival. The first part was a Twin Peaks with which Dumont offered a comic rereading of his film La humanité, and the tone of this Coincoin et les z’inhumains refers to La vida de Jesús, his first feature, in the portrait of a discouraged youth and a France of provinces abducted by the populism of the extreme right. It is no coincidence, then, that the plot now becomes a story of alien abductions –with inspectors Van der Weyden and Carpentier back in action, iconic characters and emerged from a kind of hallucinated buddy movie– and that the migration crisis occupies a more central space. The best comedy of the year, the result of a deranged reality. [More info]
Emilio Luna recommends The Mountain
Rick Alverson‘s new movie is exciting. The Mountain is an immersive journey to a time where faith and reason clashed; in which the identities and myths that founded the history of a country were questioned. In that conjuncture inhabited by pioneers and marked by experimentation, there is room for a beautiful love story starring Ty Sheridan and Hannah Gross. Both are the guides –accompanied by Jeff Goldblum– of a film that is burned into memory and without the need for psychosurgical intervention. [More info]
Óskar Fernández recommends The Harvesters
I would highlight The Harvesters because being a debut in the direction shows an ineffable pulse when assembling elements that in other hands would be melodrama grass. For this he almost always places us in the point of view of Janno, a particularly sensitive adolescent who observes, between dazed and expectant, how the life of his conservative family is shaken, subjected to asphyxiating religious codes. And it is with his look that we will meet a mother martyr –in the strict sense of the word–, a resigned father, a grumpy patriarch grandfather, adorable little sisters and, above all, Pieter, the new tenant of the house, an adolescent of the same age as Janno, who, like a gale, will hit the foundations of the family and will contribute, almost unwittingly, to Janno’s inner revolution, who will never be the same again because there are lights that are like desire –even if we turn them off, they always come with us. Click, click. [More info]
Diana Santamaría recommends Grass
Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-Soo is already a veteran of the D’A Film Festival and his films on the show are always a source of joy. In Grass, with the concise footage to which he has accustomed us –33 shots and 66 minutes–, he signs a seemingly minimalist film that conceals a serious undercurrent murmur. An ethereal reverie and an enigmatic observer (Kim Min-Hee) set in motion the Sang-Soo theater, more alive than ever. Like those anonymous conversations that we all secretly enjoy listening to in the cafeteria. For the complete Sang-Soo ration during the festival, it is essential to double with Hotel by the River. [More info]