Terence Davies, Sarah Polley, Julie Delpy and Wang Xiaoshuai are among the directors lined up to screen their new works at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the event said today, unveiling some of this year’s Official Selection.
Among the highlights that made the cut: “The Deep Blue Sea,” the new film from Davies that stars Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston; Polley’s second directorial effort “Take This Waltz;” Deply’s fourth opus “Le Skylab,” a ’70s set comedy starring herself; and “Americano,” a French production directed by and starring Mathieu Demy, and also starring Salma Hayek and Geraldine Chaplin.
Below are the announced titles with synopses courtesy of San Sebastian. The 59th San Sebastian International Film Festival runs from September 16 to 24.
“The Deep Blue Sea”
“The Deep Blue Sea” is the new film from reputed British director Terence Davies, to whom the Festival dedicated a retrospective at its 56th edition (2008). Starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale, this adaptation of a play of the same name by Terence Rattigen is a chamber piece focusing on the emotional turmoil of a married woman who falls in love with another man. Terence Davies (Liverpool, 1945) has helmed other important titles including Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), The Long Day Closes (1992), House of Mirth (2000) and Of Time and the City (2008).
“Kiseki” (I Wish), the new movie from Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, tells the tale of a 12 year-old boy with one big dream in life: to be reunited with his elder brother, who has been living kilometres away since their parents’ divorce. Kore-eda (Tokyo, 1962) has been hailed as one of the most prestigious names in contemporary Japanese cinema ever since his first film, Maborosi no hikari (Maborosi, 1995), bagged an award at the Venice Festival. Other works by the same director, including Distance (2001) and Dare mo shiranai (2004), were presented at Cannes Festival. This is the fourth time Kore-eda has been selected to compete at San Sebastian Festival, having previously presented at the event his earlier films Wandâfuru raifu (After Life, 1998), Hana yori mo naho (Hana, 2006) and Aruitemo, aruitemo (Still Walking, 2008).
“Las Razones Del Corazon”
“Las Razones Del Corazon” (The Reasons of the Heart) is the latest work from Mexico’s Arturo Ripstein, who this time round brings us a free and personal adaptation of the last chapters of Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary. Arturo Ripstein (Mexico City, 1943) has carried off San Sebastian Festival’s Golden Shell on two occasions, for Principio y fin (The Beginning and the End, 1993) and La perdición de los hombres (The Ruination of Men, 2000), plus the Special Jury Prize for El lugar sin límites (The Place Without Limits, 1978). His extensive filmography includes other important titles like La mujer del puerto (Woman of the Port, 1991), La reina de la noche (The Queen of the Night, 1994), Profundo carmesí (Deep Crimson, 1996) and Así es la vida (Such is Life, 2000).
“Take This Waltz”
The actor, director and producer Sarah Polley will also compete in the Official Selection with her second feature, the Canadian production, TAKE THIS WALTZ. With a cast headed by Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, the film brings us a romantic drama starring a young woman struggling with conflicting emotions. Sarah Polley (Toronto, 1979) made her acting debut at the age of only six, going on to work with Terry Gilliam on The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, (1988), Atom Egoyan on Exotica, (1994) and The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Isabel Coixet on My Life Without Me (2003) and The Secret Life of Words (2005) and David Cronenberg on ExistenZ (1999). Among the many other works in which she has participated are The Weight of Water (2000), The Claim (2000) and Dawn of the Dead (2004). She has directed several shorts and an earlier feature film, Away from Her (2006), for which she secured many awards including an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Best Actress nomination for Julie Christie. Contender for the Kutxa-New Directors Award.
Another popular and reputed actor and director, French this time, Julie Delpy, will participate in the Official Selection with her fourth opus, “Le Skylab” a nostalgic comedy on a family reunion set in the 70s starring and directed by herself. Julie Delpy (Paris, 1969) one of the biggest actors on today’s French movie scene, debuted at the age of 14 in Jean-Luc Godard’s Détective (1985). Since then she has worked with directors like Léos Carax (Mauvais sang / Bad Blood, 1986), Bertrand Tavernier (La passion Béatrice / Beatrice, 1987), Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa, 1990), Krzystof Kieslowski (Three colours: White / Trzy kolory: Bialy, 1994), Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, 1995, and Before Sunset, 2004) and Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers, 2005). Her films as a director also include Looking for Jimmy (2002) and two movies that participated in the “Panorama” section at Berlin Festival: Two Days in Paris (2007) and The Countess (2009).
The Chinese movie “11 Flowers,” the latest work from filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai, describes the turbulent period before Mao Tse-Tung’s death seen through the eyes of a boy. Wang Xiaoshuai (Shanghai, 1966) earned international acclaim with Shiqi sui de dan che (Beijing Bicycle, 2001) winner of the Silver Bear at Berlin Film Festival. Six years later he reaped the same accolade for Best Screenplay with his film Zuo You (In Love we Trust), going on to compete at Cannes Festival with his next work, Rizao Chongqing (Chongqing Blues, 2010).
“Americano” is a French production directed by and starring Mathieu Demy. Also starring are Salma Hayek, Geraldine Chaplin and Chiara Mastroianni. The movie narrates the Mexican adventures of a young Frenchman on the trail of a mysterious woman who was a friend of his dead mother. Mathieu Demy (Paris, 1972) is well known in his native country thanks to a rich filmography that includes works for directors such as Agnès Varda, Michel Hazanavicius, Pascal Bonitzer, Benoît Cohen, Michel Deville, André Techiné and Jean-Pierre Mocky. Americano is his feature directorial debut. Mathieu Demy is the son of Agnès Varda and Jacques Demy, to the latter of whom San Sebastian will dedicate a retrospective this year. Contender for the Kutxa-New Directors Award.
“Los Marziano” (The Marziano’s Family), an Argentinean production directed by Ana Katz, starring Guillermo Francella and Arturo Puig, is a bittersweet family comedy about two long-estranged brothers and the tense friction arising between them when they’re forced together for a family celebration. The screenwriter, actress and director Ana Katz (Buenos Aires, 1975) debuted in feature films with El juego de la silla (Musical Chairs, 2002), a participant in San Sebastian Festival’s Films in Progress programme which later competed in the Zabaltegi-New Directors section. Her second work, Una novia errante (A Wandering Bride, 2007) was also included in Films in Progress, going on to compete at the Cannes, Toronto and Havana festivals and in San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos section. Los Marziano (The Marziano’s Family), produced by Kramer&Sigman, is her third film.
“Sangue Do Meu Sangue”
“Sangue Do Meu Sangue” (Blood of my Blood), a Portuguese production directed by João Canijo, is an intense family melodrama set in the outskirts of Lisbon. João Canijo (Lisbon, 1958) has worked as assistant director to Manoel de Oliveira, Alain Tanner and Wim Wenders and participated in the “Un certain regard” section of Cannes Festival with his films Ganhar a vida (2000) and Noite Escura (2003); he also competed in the “Orizzonti” section of Venice Festival with Mal nascida (2007) and at Rotterdam Festival with his first movie, Tres menos eu (1985).
The Greek film “Adikos Kosmos” (Unfair World), directed by Filippos Tsitos, is a surprising dramatic comedy on the strange goings on of a police officer obsessed by making the world a fairer place. Filippos Tsitos (Athens, 1966) competed at Berlin Festival with his first film My Sweet Home (2001), while his second work Akadimia Platonos (2009) garnered Best Actor Award at Locarno Festival for Antonis Kafetzopoulos, also the star of Adikos Kosmos.
“Happy End” is a Swedish production directed by Björn Runge on the psychological and physical abuse of women in today’s society. Björn Runge (Lysekil, 1961) started in film as assistant director to Roy Andersson and has assiduously worked in TV and documentaries. Having directed the features Harry och Sonja (1996) and Raymond-sju resor värre (1999), he landed the “Blue Angel” award at Berlin Festival for his third movie, Om jag vänder mig om (Daybreak, 2003), and competed at the Karlovy Vary Festival with his next work, Mun mot mun (Mouth to Mouth, 2006).