Like every edition, the director of the D’A Film Festival Barcelona, Carlos R. Ríos, chooses his ten favorite films, a personal journey that many of us celebrate and that puts us on the trail of some films that should not go unnoticed!
A LOVE SONG
Under that title, and with the sadness of certain songs about lost and longed for romance, the claws of love are unleashed in a magnificent debut with thematic similarities to Nomadland. The director and the wonderful lead, a fabulous supporting actress who many of us will recognise from the movies and series that she has appeared in, take us into the stories behind the cracks in a face, marks that have been left by the passages and landscapes of a lifetime.
It is so gratifying to discover this interestingly powerful Portuguese slow-sci-fi, and especially the way it depicts a retrofuture of disturbing spaces bathed in potent IDM music as the soundtrack to potential candidates to leave an exhausted planet Earth.
Here’s the long-awaited new film by Lluís Galter, author of Caracremada, which he’s been quietly filming for four years and whose world premiere will be at the D’A. Galter turns summer into a mystery story of ogres and witches with nods to horror, with home recordings, disappearances, children spying on adults who always pose a threat, and even a stuffed panther that prowls the campsites of Empordà. Pure magic.
Another disturbingly mysterious film about the possible dystopias of the near future. In a city where it never rains, a somewhat enlightened father and his son who wants to see the world and have fun are building a home-made rain-making machine. With its fabulous soundtrack, lighting and production, this film takes us into the future and even reveals what burglaries in our homes might be like (using beetles with cameras).
The Russian film of the year. There is no way this should be boycotted. Director Kirill Serebrennikov, pursued by the Russian regime, has recently gone into exile in Europe. The director of Leto and The Student plays with genres in this devilish portrayal of post-communist society, with plenty of vodka to wash it all down. A twisted, fantastic work, almost a surreal musical that never ceases to amaze.
Christophe Honoré, the focus of the 2019 D’A Film Festival Barcelona, plays with reality and fiction, with theatre and film, and mixes everything in a picture that arose from the pandemic of 2020. A delightful ode to theatre, performed by actors and actresses from the Comédie-Française, oozing an irrepressible desire to narrate, to explain the theatrical process both inside and outside of what is purely performance, with its rehearsals and dead times that are permeated by extracts of the lives of people who, like everyone else, found that the world had stopped before their eyes.
Wow! A controversial, shocking, raw and sickening translation of real-life events in the treatment of a murderer, and in this case a very young one. An unusual and uncompromising film, an accurate dissertation on a highly disturbed and unbalanced individual. Alongside him, Dexter is a mere novice.
The second film by a video artist, and it shows, both in the visual composition and in the colours and music. Beneath a neon wrap and a nihilistic spirit, nothing matters more than outboards, smoking joints and showing off to the girls. An analysis of youth with nothing to do, with far fewer lights in the head than on their boats, and who only live to compete with each other on the canals of Venice. Set to the rhythm of great electronic music, time flies by as we watch a piece of art that doubles as a documentary.
LOS CABALLOS MUEREN AL AMANECER
We could almost relate this film to My Mexican Bretzel, which was such a huge success at D’A 2020. In the director’s hands, the chance meeting of the remains and memories of the García family becomes a trip into the past of three brothers who knew how to enjoy their free time; singing, dressing up, making portraits of each other and making amateur movies. A love letter to film, radio, theatre, comics and opera.
A gloomy, sad and very hard-hitting story told and shown with puppets and masks in pristine, raw black and white. Zeria’s story, narrated as a voiceover, recounts her troubled childhood, showing what we cannot see in the flesh. There’s something of Guy Maddin and an incredible connection with The Infinite Sea and interplanetary travel. Titles of such organically precious credit also warrant special attention.
-Carlos R. Ríos
Director del D’A Film Festival Barcelona