Ana Lily Amirpour meets Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s audience


  • The 23FICLPGC dedicates a retrospective to the filmmaker comprising four of her feature films and six of her short films, which will premiere in Spain
  • Amirpour will chat with the audience after the screenings of her works
  • The director has been given “carte blanche” to select three titles that have marked her career and that will be screened, too, during this 23rd edition of the Film Festival

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Saturday, April 20, 2024. Still feeling a bit jeglagged, Ana Lily Amirpour couldn’t hide her excitement about being in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to share and present her work at the International Film Festival. “I feel overwhelmed, yesterday I was shooting and today I woke up here in a magical world,” said the filmmaker who, according to writer and film critic Jesús Palacios, “has a unique ability to re-enchant fantastic genre cinema.” One of the many genres she has mastered almost to perfection and that has led her to become one of the 21st century’s outstanding creators. She will personally present the screenings of her works at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas, where she will meet the audience and hopefully find out “how the worlds reacts” to her stories.

After such declaration of intent, the Iranian-American filmmaker, who was born in the UK, has offered a glimpse of how her discussions with the audience attending her screenings at the movie theater will unfold. Four feature films, including an episode from Guillermo del Toro’s famous tv series The Cabinet of Curiosities, and six short films now premiering in Spain make up the cycle the 23FICLPGC is dedicating to this filmmaker strongly linked to fantasy and horror film festivals like Sitges.

It is, in Palacios’ words, “the first and nearly complete retrospective dedicated to her in our country,” with the objective of highlighting and drawing attention to the career “of one of the most important genre filmmakers now and in general.” Palacios, The Freakiest Night’s programmer, will accompany Amirpour during her stay at the Festival, which will begin, precisely, with the screening of her debut film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (USA, 2014, 101 min.), scheduled for tomorrow Sunday, April 21, at 6:00 p.m. (Cine Yelmo Las Arenas Screen 6).

A work that “was a great sensation at the time,” as Jesús Palacios claimed at today’s meeting with the media. The other features included in her cycle are: The Bad Batch (USA, 2016, 118 min.), which will be screened at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas on Monday 22, at 6:00 p.m.(Screen 4); Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (USA, 2021, 106 min.), scheduled a day later, at 5:45 p.m. (Screen 4); and the episode entitled The Outside (USA, Mexico, 2022, 64 min.) from Guillermo del Toro’s tv series The Cabinet of Curiosities.

In addition, the audience will be able to enjoy, and discuss, too, Wild at Heart (David Lynch, USA, 1990, 125 min.), The Mole (Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mexico, 1970, 125 min.) and Death Becomes Her (Robert Zemeckis, USA, 1992, 104 min.). Their screenings have been possible thanks to the ‘carte blanche’ the Festival has given Amirpour to choose three films that were significant to her work. As she has pointed out, she is looking forward to seeing them with the FICLPGC audience.

An opportunity she has appreciated nearly as much as the possibility of being able to show her work in the city. “It’s an overwhelming opportunity, especially because when you get a retrospective you’re usually dead,” joked the creator who, “at first,” didn’t like to talk about how she made her films because she had the feeling that “it took something away from them” when seeing them was more than enough.

Years later, she has changed her view. “I realize that it’s interesting to see how the world reacts to your films and to be able to discuss them,” she said right before sharing that “location” is her work’s “first character.” Inspired by their different shooting spaces, Amirpour seeks to make people “feel” in her films. To do so, the director, who is currently immersed in the filming of the Netflix series Night Agent, has found in the mixture of “sweetness and violence” the perfect combination for achieving that result. One that does not leave the audience indifferent thanks to its “freshness” and “her distinct and singular voice,” according to Palacios.

“We could call the type of cinema she makes meta-generic, a cinema clearly marked by independent cinema, by the French New Wave’s tradition of using the resources of traditional genre cinema to create something different, and she does it with a deep knowledge and respect for those genres,” said the freak programmer.

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