Il Ritorno and San Sebastián Film Festival
It's the end of the San Sebastián Film Festival. You can tell, again, that money's a bit short, but I thought the new director did an outstanding job despite everything working against him.
I've made my way into just a handful of films. They were all nice in their own way, the majority were unsuccesful, and really just one official film was outstanding(see below). I won't name names, but when a producer introduces his film by telling you you'll be bored at first.....hmm.
But for me, the surprise hit of the festival was a short film they threw in before the Rene Redzepi Noma documentary. It was Il Ritorno, by Chef Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore (the couple behind Osteria Francescana) and Togo Studio. I was skeptical of the wayyyyy too cool soundtrack, as I tend to be skeptical of very cool things, but it was quite beautiful, and left me wanting to see (and eat) more. Which is more than I can say of either the El Bullí documentary or the Noma one. In which, by the way, appeared the same stage, Andrea. Andrea, if you see this, write me! I want to be your first fan. Anyway. Watch this:
The one official film that I really enjoyed was Bertsolari, an incredibly filmed documentary about Basque singing poetry slammers, bertsolari. It has STRIKING visual imagery. But what's even more impressive for me is the narrative structures created and succesfully executed throughout the entire film. Asier Altuna didn't have to have me on the edge of my seat at the beginning of a movie about Basque poets. But he does. Watch the trailer below...there's more footage at their Vimeo page.