San Sebastian Festival added new films from filmmakers Danielle Arbid, Eduardo Crespo, Harry Macqueen and Julien Temple to its 2020 competition. The festival will also present a Special Screening of actor Matt Dillon’s second film as a director, El gran Fellove, on the Cuban musician Francisco Fellove.
The French-Lebanese director Danielle Arbid, will contend for the Golden Shell with her latest feature film, Passion simple; the Argentinian Eduardo Crespo, will participate with Nosotros nunca moriremos/We will Never Die; and the British helmer Harry Macqueen, with Supernova. Two works on the subject of the music world will also coincide in the Official Selection: the veteran English documentary and filmmaker Julien Temple will compete with Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, about The Pogues’ charismatic frontman, while the
French-Lebanese Danielle Arbid (Beirut, 1970) previously participated in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight with Maarek hob/In the Battlefields (2004) and Un homme perdu/A Lost Man (2007), as well as having repeatedly taken part in the Locarno Festival, where she has won the Golden and the Silver Leopard. The director now participates for the first time in San Sebastian’s competition with Passion simple, an adaptation of the homonymous novel by the French writer Annie Ernaux, in which Laetitia Dosch plays a woman who loses her head over a Russian diplomat embodied by Sergei Polunin.
For his part, Eduardo Crespo (Crespo, 1983) tells the tale in his third feature film, Nosotros nunca moriremos, of the voyage undertaken by a boy and his mother to the village where his elder brother recently died. The Argentinian filmmaker, screenwriter and cinematographer is the author of Tan cerca como pueda (2012) and of the documentary Crespo (La continuidad de la memoria) (2016), both premiered at international festivals and closely connected to the Entre Ríos province of his birth.
In Supernova, the second film written and directed by Harry Macqueen (Leicester, 1984), actors Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci embody two old friends whose unique focus lies in spending time together when one of them is diagnosed with early-onset dementia. The British helmer took his first steps as a director with Hinterland (2014), a film in which he developed another of his skills, that of acting, and has also worked on myriad short and full length films including Me and Orson Welles (Richard Linklater, 2008) and Provenance (Ben Hecking, 2017).
Also to be presented in competition is Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, a Johnny Depp production directed by Julien Temple (London, 1953) starring the talented and well-loved leader of The Pogues, an Irish folk band of punk spirit. While the English moviemaker is the author of fictional works such as Earth Girls are Easy (1988) and Bullet (1996), he is most celebrated for his work as a chronicler of rock music over the last 40 years thanks to his documentaries and music videos for artists including the Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Davie Bowie, The Kinks, Joe Strummer (The Clash), Wilko Johnson and Paul Weller, among many others. Temple sat on the Festival’s Official Jury in 1986, the year he presented Absolute Beginners in the first ever marathon to run at the Velodrome. In addition, in 2010 the Festival screened his documentary The Filth and the Fury (2000) in the thematic retrospective .doc-New paths of non-fiction.
Out of competition, the Official Selection will include the special screening of the second film as a director by Matt Dillon (New Rochelle, New York, 1964), El gran Fellove, a documentary about the Cuban musician and singer Francisco Fellove (1923-2013). The North American’s debut behind the camera was the full-length fiction City of Ghosts (2002), although he enjoys greater popularity as an actor, having received the Donostia Award for his career in 2006. He has starred, among other films, in The Outsiders (Francis Ford Coppola, 1983), Drugstore Cowboy (Gus van Sant, 1989), Crash (Paul Haggis, 2004) and The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018).
Passion simple is included on the list of films scheduled for presentation by the Festival de Cannes this year before being forced to suspend its 73rd edition due to Covid-19. The five titles will screen in San Sebastian as world premieres, joining those already announced in an Official Selection featuring a competing line up of hallowed directors, such as Pablo Agüero (Akelarre), Sharunas Bartas (In The Dusk), Naomi Kawase (Asa Ga Kuru/True Mothers), Antonio Méndez Esparza (Courtroom 3H/Sala del Juzgado 3H), François Ozon (Été 85/Summer of 85) and Thomas Vinterberg (Druk/Another Round) alongside new filmmakers including Dea Kulumbegashvili (Dasatskisi/Beginning) and Takuma Sato (Nakuko wa ineega/Any Crybabies Around?).
Rifkin’s Festival, Woody Allen’s latest comedy, will open the Official Selection out of competition. Apart from the competition, two new series will also be screened: Antidisturbios, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, will be shown out of competition, while Patria, created by Aitor Gabilondo, will take the shape of a special screening.
CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MCGOWAN
JULIEN TEMPLE (UK)
Combining unseen archive footage from the band and MacGowan’s family with animations by legendary illustrator Ralph Steadman, Crock of Gold is a celebration of the Irish punk/poet Shane MacGowan, lead singer and songwriter of The Pogues.
THE GREAT FELLOVE (EL GRAN FELLOVE)
MATT DILLON (MEXICO – CUBA – USA)
El Gran Fellove is a documentary film from actor and filmmaker Matt Dillon, that chronicles the musical career of Cuban scat singer and showman Francisco Fellove and the recording of his last album. Through a series of interviews, archival photos and videos, as well as Matt’s own footage, the film recounts Fellove’s life as a struggling musician in Cuba, his eventual success in Mexico, and the contagious love he had for music until the very end.
WE WILL NEVER DIE (NOSOTROS NUNCA MORIREMOS)
EDUARDO CRESPO (ARGENTINA)
Cast: Romina Escobar, Rodrigo Santana, Jésica Frickel, Giovanni Pelizzari, Brian Alba, Sebastián Santana
Rodrigo and his mother travel to the town where his elder brother has just died. The first moments of their mourning are spent in this calm place. Rodrigo will gradually come to grips with the adults’ pain and will unwittingly start to leave his childhood behind. His mother will endeavor to uncover the mysteries of that death. A delicate film, with melancholy and a touch of humor, with solitary characters who try to dispense a little affection. A story suspended in time, in the floating of the province’s lost places.
DANIELLE ARBID (FRANCE – BELGIUM)
Cast: Laetitia Dosch, Sergei Polunin
“Since last September I have done nothing but wait for a man: for him to call me and come to my place… Everything about him was so precious to me, his eyes, his mouth, his penis, his childhood memories, his voice…”
HARRY MACQUEEN (UK)
Cast: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci
Sam and Tusker have spent twenty years together, and they are as passionately in love as they have ever been. But in the two years since Tusker was diagnosed with young-onset dementia, their lives have had to change. As autumn comes, they plan a road trip while Tusker is still able to travel, to reconnect with friends and family and visit the places of their past. As their trip together progresses, their individual ideas for their future begin to collide. Secrets are uncovered, private plans unravel, and their love for each other is tested like never before.