Alcarràs opens a D’A Film Festival Barcelona that is also a lavish return to the theatres, to projected images and packed stalls in the darkness, wrapped in the heat of ten thousand lumens and something we have unknowingly been yearning for—those dozens of summer tales that evoke evenings in short sleeves, days of idling and naked skin. Carla Simón’s film takes us to a family summer in the Lleida countryside; at a decisive moment when a way of life seems to be on the verge of disappearing. As in this film, the D’A programme offers a variety of summers—and just as much variety of styles and scenarios—that might help us to decide on a holiday destination… Or to rule one out.
The Portuguese summer of The Tsugua Diaries—’August’ written backwards—, by Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes, is the B side of a movie that doesn’t exist; the most elegantly unorthodox ‘making of’ in the world; a piece that oozes sensuality, festive outbursts and pandemic oases. A trip to the countryside, and one that is ideal either for travelling alone or as a couple.
The Venetian summer of Atlantide is a testosterone and psychedelia powered trip, the adrenaline of sailing a boat at seventy knots and the subsequent languor of smoking a joint under neon lights. A getaway where guilty pleasures are more about pleasure than they are about guilt.
The Empordà summer of Aftersun is a mysteriously frisky fable about boys and girls playing at sleuths, camping trips, detectives offices, the beaches of the Costa Brava —plastered with inflatables and cream—, and potential crime scenes. The perfect plan for lovers of Mediterranean pop art but with an adversity for the grimness of true crime.
The Mexican summer of Sundown is a descent into the hell that lurks among piña coladas and massage oils, a seven-figure nightmare in the current account led by Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg. A vacation for voyeurs of other people’s hysteria and proponents of the maxim that “the rich cry too”.
The Swedish summer of Bergman Island is a joyfully cinephile liturgy directed by a less serious but no less transcendent Hansen-Løve, again featuring Tim Roth, here alongside Vicky Krieps, Mia Wasikowska, Anders Danielsen Lie and Jordi Costa (!) as they wander around Fårö and battle against a variety of existential crises. The definitive date for carefree melomaniacs.
I comete: A Corsican Summer is a hyper-realistic journey into the midst of the Mediterranean, an island, and a town, where everyone has their moment of pain and glory. A choral movie where tacky quad-bikes and a host of seedy —yet delightful— characters merge in an adorable amalgam. A leisurely voyage with an anthropological spirit.
And if none of these destinations convince you, there are still more! The summer of Time of Impatience in Turkey; that of La quimera de Yemayá in Waikiki; of Ma nuit in París, or of Les filles du feu on the French coast… Enjoy your holidays!