Film and Philias, the 19th Film Festival gives carte blanche to Días de Cine


 The show, a landmark for any movie buff in Spain, includes within its selection a group of films that portray the love for cinema from different standpoints

 Vida en sombras, by Llobet Gracia, Peeping Tom, by Michael Powell; Me Earl and the Dying Girl, by Alfonso Gómez-Rejón; Le Mépris, by Jean-Luc Godard; Through the Olives Trees, by Abbas Kiarostami; The Cameraman, by Buster Keaton; Berberian Sound Studio, by Peter Strickland; The Man with the Movie Camera, by Dziga Vertov, and Persona, by Ingmar Bergman, are the films selected by this classic show’s team

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 20 February 2019.- Nine films that look at cinema from love, from humor or even from uneasiness make up the cycle presented under the name of Film and Philias by the show Días de Cine at the nineteenth edition of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival. This show, broadcasted on TVE’s La 2, is a landmark for any movie buff in Spain.

The proposal the Film Festival has made to the show’s veteran team carries on with the tradition of inviting writers from prestigious magazines or relevant people within the film industry to freely design a cycle whose film copies the festival promises to acquire. It thus proceeded in 2008, when it worked with the Spanish version of French Cahiers du Cinéma (currently called Caimán Cuadernos de Cine), or in 2009, when the proposal was made to those in charge of the Australian Rouge, or in 2012 when the cycle was entrusted to Film Comment in its fiftieth anniversary.

Días de Cine’s team, currently directed by Gerardo Sánchez and hosted by Elena S. Sánchez, has designed a cycle that reflects the tendecies of the show, still broadcasted after 27 years: love for cinema, cinephilia. “We’ve tried to find films that look at cinema from love, but also from humor or even uneasiness. Because there are many kinds of love”, pointed out the members of the team to Luis Miranda, the Festival’s director, at the meeting they had in Madrid in early February.

The cycle, made up of nine films that meet to a large extent the show’s members’ taste, is built around four sections: Love / Passion / Cinema; Shot / Reverse Shot; Soundtrack and Film Apparatus / Camera Obscura.

Vida en sombras, by Llobet Gracia (Spain, 1949), in a restored copy; Peeping Tom, by Michael Powell (United Kingdom, 1960) and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Alfonso Gómez-Rejón (USA, 2015) make up Love / Passion / Cinema, a section dealing with the absolute necessity of filming, staring at life through a camera.

The Shot / Reverse Shot section gathers three films that focus on the reverse angle of what it is shown onscreen, of the other side of the story, even of film history or of its own inner-history: The Cameraman, by Buster Keaton (USA, 1928); Le Mépris, by Jean-Luc Godard (France, 1963) and Through the Olives Trees, by Abbas Kiarostami (Iran, 1986).

Berberian Sound Studio, by Peter Strickland (United Kingdom, 2012) is included as a tribute to sound, audiovisual world’s biggest forgotten one, in a third section called Soundtrack.

Lastly, Film Apparatus / Camera Obscura gathers two titles that, according to Días de Cine, reveal cinema’s material nature, the substance dreams are made of: the documentary treasure The Man with a Movie Camera, by Dziga Vertov (USSR, 1929) and the flawless Persona, by Ingmar Bergman (Sweden, 1966).

According to Luis Miranda, inviting Días de Cine to select some films for the Festival “has something of a knowing wink; it’s like a role-changing game”. Besides, the show belongs to one of culture’s biggest resistance fighters within the difficult television medium. It has withstood for 27 years so far, paying attention, with the equal amount of honesty and rigor, to the films shown in cinemas as well as to the ones that only appear in festivals.

Throughout the Festival’s nineteen editions, the show from TVE’s La 2 has provided an excellent coverage of the Gran-Canarian contest while making pieces that displayed a great sensitivity to the programming of the festival. During these nearly two decades, the film festival has worked with writers such as Virginia García de Lucas or Javier Sales; with the hostess of the show, Elena Sánchez Sánchez, who also hosted the festival’s opening ceremony in 2015, and with several members of the disappeared Cartelera, whose writers joined Días de Cine’s film critics ―TVE’s La 2’s current director, Samuel Martín Mateos, attended the Festival when he was directing the show and accompanied by writer Eva Núñez and by Jose Toledo.

Talking about Días de Cine is talking about the doyen broadcast show that dealt with films arriving to Spain as well as with those that appeared at festivals because they did not follow the canon established by the commercial circuit. This show’s team is valued and respected at great film festivals such as Cannes, Venice or Berlin, among many others, not to mention the Spanish ones, which have always counted on their collaboration. They are equally demanded by Spanish distribution companies’ press rooms for the coverage of their releases.

Días de Cine was first broadcasted in October 1991. Its letter of introduction included a declaration of intent they have maintained steady and unchanging for 27 years: providing Spanish cinema with unconditional support for all its sections, from art to industry. It has since applied such ideal, too, to foreign cinema and films that participated in festivals.

Renowned and new authors, unknown voices, all of them has appeared on the Spanish screens through this show, which, according to its website, has also interviewed great personalities from the big screen. It has as well shown pieces dealing with the latest news and the evolution of cinema or paid tribute to directors, actors and many other professionals less known to the general public.

There are several experts among those who provide the show with soundness and a solid reputation, such as its director, Gerardo Sánchez, assistant directors Raúl Alda and Javier Sales, or great film critics and journalists Alberto Bermejo, Cristina Delgado, Virginia García de Lucas, Lauro Martín, Alejo Moreno, Eva Núñez, Juan Carlos Rivas and Santiago Tabernero.

As the show itself says on its website, Días de Cine began hostless and was created and directed by César Abeytua. Aitana Sánchez Gijón was its first hostess, in 1994, being replaced a year later by Antonio Gasset. Cayetana Guillén Cuervo hosted it after him for three seasons (2008-2011), with Raúl Alda acting as director in 2008, a post since held by Gerardo Sánchez. The show restored in 2013 the figure of the host with Henar Álvarez, who ended up being replaced a year later with current hostess Elena S. Sánchez.

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