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Johnny Depp has presented this weekend in San Sebastian, in the framework of the Festival, the film ‘Crock of Gold’, a film in which as a producer he narrates the life of his friend, composer and Irish poet Shane MacGowan, under the direction of Julien Temple.
Depp’s intention with this documentary is that the public will definitely know who Shane MacGowan is and what his legacy is.
The actor referred to his Irish friend “as one of the greatest poets of any period in history and a special person”. Depp praised his partner during the press conference: “I’m lucky to know that kind of greatness, I fell in love with him from the very first moment. He is not interested in beeing a celebrity. He is irreverent, stubborn, biting and funny” he added.
Depp is in the film itself with MacGowan, first drinking with him and then playing the guitar at the tribute concert he and celebrities like Bono, Nick Cave and Bobby Gillespie gave him. The director Julien Temple, who has directed the documentaries of the Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones and Marvin Gaye, explains that he was interested in guiding this production “so that the children know and understand what has happened between Ireland and the United Kingdom”.
On the other hand, Florian Zeller, a brilliant novelist and dramaturg whose work has been translated into several languages, has presented “The Father”, an adaptation to the big screen with which he makes his debut as a director.
The Father’ tells the story of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), a man of almost 80 years of age who lives alone in his London flat and who refuses every nurse that his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), hires to help him at home. Anne is desperate because she can no longer visit him on a daily basis and feels that her father’s mind is beginning to fail and she is becoming more and more disconnected from reality. As the plot progresses, however, Anne’s father will begin to doubt his loved ones, his own mind.
The BCN Film Fest 2020 completed its fourth edition with more than 8000 viewers and has already announced its next edition between the 15th and the 23rd of April 2021.
Its director, Conchita Casanovas, has considered these figures a resounding success taking into account the 50% capacity restrictions in all the sessions to guarantee the health measures imposed against the coronavirus.
Thanks to the public’s acceptance of the proposals offered by the Festival, it has been possible to fill the halls in an edition that has counted on the participation – in person or virtually – of top international celebrities, thus taking another step forward in the consolidation of this annual event.
A total of 44 films have been screened – 16 in the official section – and the winners have been:
The Best Film Award went to the new film by the British director and scriptwriter William Nicholson with “Hope Gap”.
The Critics’ Award and Best Music Award to “Corpus Christi” by Jan Komasa.
The award for Best Screenplay went to Shaun Grant for “True Story of The Kelly Gang”,
The award for Best Actor went to Josh O’Connor for “Hope Gap”,
The award for Best Actress went to Rosamund Pike for “Radioactive”.
The big screen has no alternative, the seventh art has been forced to cancel spring releases, productions have been stopped and local cinemas are exploring different possibilities to survive. This is the context in which Salavirtualdecine was born, an initiative promoted by A Contracorriente Films and its associated cinemas, the Verdi cinemas, with 70 theatres throughout Spain, so that audiences can enjoy some of these premieres on their mobile devices and televisions connected to the internet.
It is in Salavirtualdecine where we find Vivarium, released on April 8th, which tells the story of a young couple trapped in a house with a child and which takes on very different tones to those it had at its premiere in Cannes.
“It’s all so strange. The film that was seen for the first time in Cannes is the same as the one that is being released now, and yet it is completely different,” says the Irish director on the other side of the Zoom application from Dublin, where he is being held, in a cryptic, almost formal manner. And having said that, and to make it clear, it is the director who lists the rare catalogue of parallels between reality and fiction: “On the one hand, there is the obvious. Yes, Vivarium’ tells the story of a couple trapped in a house with a child. But, if you think about it, it’s so scary: the character Jesse (Eisenberg) plays develops an illness that manifests itself as a mysterious cough. Body bags appear in a somewhat inexplicable way. The couple receives everything they need by courier. And then, and this is already bordering on the paranormal, in the illustrations of the book that Gemma (Imogen Poots) reads to her son, a man, a woman and a child appear under a kind of symbol that reminds us with a sickly fidelity of the very drawing of the coronavirus that we are tired of seeing everywhere”. And at this point, it almost makes you want to ask the director for responsibility for the mess he has got us into. “It’s a bit creepy, to say the least,” he concludes, backing up on the couch and finally laughing.
Hors normes, with 9 nominations in the César 2020 awards, closed the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival and was given a standing ovation during the San Sebastián Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.
The preview of the film, which will be released in cinemas on 28 February, took place in the French Institute in Madrid and in the Verdi cinemas in Barcelona, where a charity preview was held, the donations of which went to the Hospital de Campaña Santa Anna.
Directed by the directors of The Intouchables, Samba and C’est la vie, it premiered in France last October and reached 2 million spectators.
It is based on real events and stars Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb, with a stellar performance by Benjamin Lesiur, an actor with autism nominated for the César for best new actor. Sharing for two days Eric and Olivier’s passion for omelettes, padron peppers and croquettes, their jokes and enthusiasm for life, as well as their dedication to the public and the media, has been a true gift of life that will be very difficult to match.
Jeremy Irons shows his most human face in Madrid. His powerful voice sounds like a Shakespearean theatre sifted with a lot of nicotine. Tall, thin, elegant, he retains all the magnetism of the performances for which he has accumulated the most important prizes in cinema and theatre.
In this latest performance, The Prado museum, a collection of wonders, a documentary directed by Valeria Parisi which premiered on December 9th in 200 Spanish theatres, guides the spectator through the history and every corner of the Prado Museum.
The journey begins with Jeremy Irons contemplating The Glory, Titian’s famous painting that moved Emperor Charles V. And from there the journey, which is neither chronological nor linear, takes the viewer on a journey through the scope of the Empire, the war against Napoleon, the loss of the colonies or the transfer of the paintings during the Civil War.
The actor talks about all of this while walking through Yuste, El Escorial, Toledo, Madrid and, of course, the most important areas of the Prado Museum, including the restoration workshop and the Kingdom Hall.
He celebrated the opportunity to visit Madrid again because he loves dancing, food, the streets and people, and he was very excited about the nights of filming in the rooms with the museum closed. “It has been a fascinating experience. The producers, who are Italian, had everything very well organized so that each intervention was done with only one shot. I let myself be directed.
When asked to choose between Velázquez, El Greco and Goya for his portrait, he thinks long and hard and finally replies that he would choose the young Goya. “Velázquez would paint a superficial portrait of me and El Greco would not get the better of me”, he says with a laugh,
“If he could, which painting would he take home? Extending his arms, Irons replies that there is no possible answer. “Maybe Las meninas or some Goya because I like them all. But you can’t choose just one”.
And to finish off, he gives some advice to the youngsters: watch the documentary, visit the museum and raise your heads from the screens of your mobile phones to contemplate what is around you, talk to each other and become better human beings.
Woody Allen has just finished shooting his fifty-first film in San Sebastian. It stars Christoph Waltz and Elena Anaya. It is a romantic comedy in the purest Woody Allen style, during which she has an affair with a brilliant French film director. And he falls in love with a beautiful Spanish woman living in the city. The city is San Sebastian and has reacted with general enthusiasm, the same that the director expresses for the city that welcomes him.
One more film to add to his filmography, at a rate of one per year since 1969. What a privileged mind! But when asked about it, he does not give it any importance: “If a painter is asked to paint a picture, even if it involves some effort, he will do it and it is not the same as if I was asked to do it. Something similar happens to me with my films”.
On the other hand, next October, Acontracorriente Films will be premiering “A Rainy Day in New York”, a romantic comedy about two university lovers who spend a special weekend in New York and the problems in which they both get involved.
Woody Allen listens, reflects and answers. In short, he makes my job easy!. And I leave happy, satisfied. What a great opportunity to talk to him. To identify his look of amazement above the frame of his glasses. Recognising his high-pitched voice. And to confirm the impression of an endearing, close character. And with that fine sense of humour: “What do I think about death? I am still totally against it!
The hall of the Verdi Cinema where the latest film by Jeremy Irons, The Prado Museum: a collection of wonders, is about to be released, is comletely packed. Conchita Casanovas, the director of the festival, is coming to present it.
The idea is that for five or ten minutes he will summarise his professional career and then the audience will welcome him with a round of applause. So I get ready, in the hall of the cinema, to translate Conchita’s presentation exclusively for the British gentleman.
But Jeremy Irons is never alone. He is accompanied by an army of sponsors, organisers, volunteers… who talk to each other, making my work practically impossible. In the face of the growing buzz of all the people around Jeremy Irons, someone from inside the room decides to close the curtains that separate that hall from the viewing room, in order to muffle the conversations.
“Now it’s impossible to hear anything at all”, I tell Jeremy Irons. I apologise and he, with that naturalness and elegance, without giving it the slightest importance, replies: “I know absolutely everything about me. Just tell me something about you now!”
Luckily, the rest of the days and interventions pass without the slightest incident! But what a beautiful way to solve the problem, right?