We Are One Retrospective – Offerings from Spain and Switzerland

Today’s mini-review round-up from the We Are One Global Film Festival is a little shorter. The main offering is a dance feature from the San Sebastian International Film Festival, accompanied by two talks from the Locarno Film Festival. To round things off, I’ve acknowledged the films I watched but did not review from the Jerusalem Film Festival and Sarajevo Film Festival.

Dantza (2018, Spain, 98 min)

Magical Basque dance movie/musical. The progression of the movie from start to end covers a range of different time scales – from day to night; from spring to winter; from primitive agrarian beginnings to more sophisticated styles of dress, dance, music and architecture. The cinematography captures breathtaking vistas of natural scenery. The costuming changes styles throughout, with the costumes depicting flora and fauna in the earlier part of the film particularly striking. Human society takes over more in the latter half of the movie and we follow the progression of a couple from courtship through the maturation of their relationship with changes in their surroundings and clothing.

Locarno 2019 Excellence Award Conversation (80 min)

Interview panel featuring actor Song Kang-ho (recipient of the 2019 Locarno Excellence Award) and director Bong Joon-ho. Song Kango-ho is possibly South Korea’s biggest actor. He’s made 4 or 5 films each with Bong Joon-ho (most recently Parasite) and Park Chan-wook, plus an early career personal favourite of mine The Quiet Family (1998). Good perspectives from both director and actor, although they’ve both clearly been asked too many times about what makes their films distinctively Korean, and there’s an odd question near the end from somebody who clearly believes that Parasite was based directly on personal experience.

Locarno 2019 Pardo d’onore to John Waters (71 min)

Interview by Albert Serra. The Locarno Film Festival chose to give John Waters the award for career achievement, thus this interview panel. He’s in full John Waters mode, no filter, always sympathetic with the bottom layers of society, yet souring the mood by endorsing the idea that it’s impossible to ask someone out without being threatened by a lawsuit, or that identity politics are only of interest to the pampered and privileged. Apart from these disappointing blindspots, he was generally full of compassion for the disadvantaged, contempt for the rich (among which he counts himself), and some entertainingly horrible comments about Trump.

Watched But Not Reviewed

  • Love Chapter 2 (France/Israel, 54 min) – Jerusalem Film Festival
  • Route-3 (Bosnia & Herzegovina/Greece, 13 min) – Sarajevo Film Festival

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