Nisimazine San Sebastian 20th - 28th September 2013
Living is easy with eyes closed Lindsay Duncan & Jim Broadbent
picture of the day
Editorial Robyn Davies (UK)
As we near the end of the festival here in San Sebastian, we’re starting to get a sense of which films are causing a bit of a buzz amongst audiences. It’s fairly normal for the Official Competition films to get a lot of people talking, but surprisingly it seems like the New Directors section is the one that’s causing a stir this year, with many people rating some of these first-time features higher than those from the veteran filmmakers. Wolf, the gritty crime thriller from Dutch director Jim Taihuttu has proved to be one of the most exhilarating watches at the festival so far. Focusing on a talented but troubled young kickboxer, it takes a well-known story and tells it anew through complex and compassionate characters and a gripping pace.Icelandic film Of Horses And Men has been tipped for awards success after it wowed audiences at its premiere. Benedikt Erlingsson’s equestrian movie uses horses to comment on raw human emotions and relationships with spectacular results. But it’s Luton, from Greek director Michalis Konstantatos that is the film on everyone’s lips right now. Perhaps the most controversial of the week, its hipster style and shocking conclusion have divided viewers, a mix of fascination and annoyance that’s sure to boost the buzz surrounding it. It’s great to see some new directors getting the recognition they deserve, especially at a festival so influential as San Sebastian. Hopefully this signals a wider release in the future for this impressive selection of films.
NISIMAZINE SAN SEBASTIAN
20th - 28th September 2013 # 3
A magazine published by NISI MASA in the framework of a film journalism workshop for young Europeans.
Director Fernando Vasquez Layout Lucía Ros Photography Eftihia Stefanidi
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE
Robyn Davies, Júlia de Balle, Amy Thompson
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Calin Peter Netzer (Romania) – Pearls
When reading the interview Fabien Lemercier did to Calin Peter Netzer one cannot but confirm most of the intuitions experienced while watching his new film. It feels reassuring to know for certain that, indeed, the story’s approach arises from a personal experience, as it is the actual relationship of the director with his mother what originally gave birth to a later fictionalized plot. Netzer and R. Radulescu wrote the script after having initiated a family-conflict-based project and eventually resolving to put it on hold to start a new one with a more intimate touch. Producer A. Solomon says in the press book how sure she was of the duo’s ability to handle such a delicate theme and of the fact they’d convey their intentions until the very end. Already twice awarded and just named an Oscar nominee, they undoubtedly excelled in this pursuit. But let us enter its world. Cornelia is the brilliantly played, controlling mother of Barbu, a 34-year-old man who, in its due time, ‘poses’. At first, Barbu is only a vague figure whose presence wanders in and out of scenes mostly through her mother’s words. She doesn’t tire to repeat how her life’s purpose exclusively lies in his existence and won’t vacillate to manipulate both husband and daughter-in-law to draw him near. Slowly, the nature of the feelings Barbu holds for her mother become discernible, yet one is still amazed at how bitter they are when he imposes his one and only will during their single face to face confession.
This psychological drama set in a middle-up class family who is abruptly destabilized by a tragic accident, uses a documentary-like camera style to let one dive into the mother’s character, avoiding all barriers and bringing the audience right next to her. Close enough to hear her thoughts, her breathing. It’s thanks to this intimacy that a few uncomfortable truths about human nature are discovered, and even if all these are specifically framed within the Romanian reality, they happen to be universally understandable. Class distinctions, corruption, suffocating love, forgiveness and helplessness are portrayed so effortlessly and raw, with such a natural flow, it’s mesmerizing. Child’s Pose leaves one wondering how extreme circumstances must be for people to remove our social masks. Or if they’re that much a part of our deep selves, they’re just irremovable. by Júlia de Balle (Spain)
perform in the film How I Won The War (Richard Lester), and decides to go on a quest to meet him. On his journey he meets hitchhikers Belén (Natalia de Molina), who is three months pregnant and has run away from a maternity home, and Juanjo (Francesc Colomer) who has ran away from his demanding father. Together they accompany Antonio on his mission to meet his musical hero.
Living is easy with eyes closed David Trueba (Spain) - Official Competition
“Strawberry fields forever…” sings John Lennon through the small tape recorder. This is a film about a man, a boy, a girl and a cool dude named John Lennon. Director David Trueba grabs our attention once more with a film that truly takes you along for the ride in Antonio’s (Javier Cámara) little blue car in 1966´s Spain. A profound and beautiful film about an English teacher that is outlandishly crazy about The Beatles, and most importantly their front man - Mr. John Lennon. He finds out that Lennon is visiting Almería to
Javier Cámara delivers a comical and bright-eyed performance. With humour and charisma, his witty and comical quirks will place a smile on many a face. Performances from Natalia de Molina and Francesc Colomer come very naturally, and add to this kind of family that Trueba has created. A family which represents this metaphorical rebellion against the Franco-era Spain, portrayed through the stereotypes of Spanish society at the time. Trueba manages to entice his audience throughout the film. Visually striking by the somewhat 60s and 70s colour tone of the picture, and from the still camera angles to the old costumes Trueba ultimately produces a wonderful moment for Spanish cinema. Trueba uses the fact that Lennon came to Spain in 1966 and tricks one into believing Antonio’s story. Through Antonio’s dreams of meeting John Lennon he will teach that anything is possible. I can only believe that Lennon would be very proud. by Amy Thompson (UK)
interview How did you prepare yourself for the characters that you were portraying? Jim: Acting is based on observing you know, observing people all the time. You are always observing relationships of friends, family and focus on people’s emotions. Lindsay: Well of course the more you believe in a piece of work the easier it is to act, you know when the doubts come in. You don’t believe a scene or you don’t believe in something then it is very hard to act well because there’s a kind of tension there. You need everyone in place for it to go well. And it did! I only start asking big questions when I’m in a little big of trouble, if a script isn’t quite right or I feel that I’m not getting it then I have to go ‘What would make me believe this?’ But I don’t actually observe that much-I think I observe naturally you know. Instinctly we’re like animals.
Jim Broadbent & Lindsay Duncan Actors of ‘Le week-end (UK) - Official Competition
Roger Michell´s new film Le Weekend puts Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan face to face in an intense romantic comedy that will surely please crowds around the world. Amy Thompson sat down with them to understand a little more about their intense chemistry. How did you rehearse with the script? Jim: We had a bit of a rehearsal, a few days before we went to Paris. We had played a married couple before so we knew one another anyway but we hadn’t investigated the relationship to a certain extent. But as we knew each other, we knew that we work in a similar way. Lindsay: It all comes from the script. I mean acting is acting, you apply the same rules. Try and be believable (laughs) that was the film we intended to make. How did you find working with Roger Michell?
Lindsay: Roger is a great director. He is very sensitive but confident, strong and calm. And you know theres a lot of pleasure, theres a lot of humour and warmth on set which is great because of course everyone would like to go to work and be that happy. And of course Roger, the screenwriter and producer know each other really well so it works, they’ve worked together a lot and that takes care of lots of stuff. Jim: Yes, Roger was wonderful. He was very gentle, intelligent and helped us to develop our characters. It was great working in Paris, very low key- very French.
Do you think the love/hate relationship can be seen to be a bit pessimistic? Jim: You can go from loving someone and hating them in the next 5 minutes. Hates a bit strong, I mean the mind is a flexible thing so I agree to that to some extent. Lindsay:I think its true don’t you? I think it’s realistic. Sometimes you feel ‘God this is going really badly.’ You can feel bad about all sorts of things in life, and then sometimes you think ‘This is going really well’. So I don’t think it’s pessimistic, I think it’s recognizable-particularly as you are probably too young to have had a long relationship I mean its true-a long relationship can sometimes be too much and I believe it completely. They have put themselves under a lot of pressure; you do if you go away. There’s a lot of pressure in this weekend, it’s supposed to be amazing you know? and that’s really difficult. Unless you’re really young and you’ve just fallen in love and you know even then it can be difficult. They’re under a lot of pressure and they each want something from this weekend. They may want slightly different things; they want the other one to be different. But they both want to recapture some magic in some form be it sex, adventure, spontaneity, and actually that’s difficult. A lot is squeezed into that weekend. Interview by Amy Thompson (UK) Photo by Eftihia Stefanidi (UK/Greece)