San Sebastián Film Festival


Today marks the opening of Europe's second most important film festival, Zinemaldia.

It's not Cannes, but the food sure is better.  And to celebrate that, this year's 58th edition will feature a special culinary cinema section. There will be movies about El Bulli, NoMa, cooks who can't taste, and even local sweetheart Mugaritz.

The festival also features sections devoted to new directors, movies already screened at other festivals, movies from the New World, movies from Spain, contemporary Mexican films, a spot for budding directors to showcase their works, and for unfinished business.

Then there's an entire section that promises to hold many unseen jewels, the Digital Shadow section. It's devoted to Chinese film from the last decade, shot in digital. I won't go to any, but I'll regret it.

Then there's a section for homesick Americans, titled "The American Way of Death". Featuring the best of our country's film noir...and when you look at this lineup (Silence of the Lambs, Reservoir Dogs, Se7en, Fargo, The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential), you really think, 'dang, Americans make good movies'.

The director featured in this year's retrospective is Jacques Demy, director of some lovely mid-century French films like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964, and  Les demoiselles de Rochefort, 1967.

I've already got my tickets and will be reporting live as best I can. In year four of attending Zinemaldia (year one, fresh off having a baby and alone, year two with best friend Bekah, and year three as a new resident), I've learned you need to get those tickets ahead of time.  You can shop online here.