Little Fugitive (Engel, Orkin, Ashbury)
Summer is traditionally a horrible time for film fans. Months away from Oscar season, movie studios churn out sappy rom-coms and family favourites, filling cinemas with armies of amorous teenage couples and knee-high popcorn throwers.
Thankfully, Barcelona is far kinder to fans of the big screen. In recent years, outdoor cinemas have been popping up all over the place during the summer months and just as Sala Montjuïc is packing up its deckchairs for another year, CCCBs much-respected Gandules film festival whirrs into action.
Gandules is nothing short of a delight for film buffs. With not a Hollywood blockbuster in sight, free entrance and a big screen in the quiet surrounds of CCCB’s terrace, Gandules is sure to have wannabe auteurs stroking their chins with pleasure.
This year’s festival, entitled Lost, Lost, Lost, ties in nicely with the CCCB’s gallery exhibition, Per Laberints. All the chosen films depict labyrinths of one sort or another; be they invisible ones that trap people in a specific time or place or imaginary ones from which they are trying to escape.
First up, is Barbara Loden’s neglected masterpiece Wanda (August 3rd). A harsh, listless road movie set in the rust-belt of Pennsylvania, this low-budget, cult classic follows the aimless journey of a woman who is desperate to leave behind the monotony of her family life.
Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 science-fiction film noir Alphaville (4th) is just the thing for giving you the chills on a sticky summer night. Shot in black and white on the streets of Paris, Godard transforms the French capital into a dehumanised city of cold winters and huge buildings, where emotional expression is banned. Eddie Constantine plays the trench-coat wearing secret agent whose mission it is to destroy Alphaville and its dictatorial computer, Alpha 60.
Week two of the festival focuses on the claustrophobia of class ties, with the work of not one but two heavyweight directors. Luis Buñuel’s 1962 film El ángel exterminador (10th) is a hard-hitting critique of bourgeoisie sensibilities set around a dinner party that no-one can leave, while Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Fox and his Friends (11th) depicts the homosexual love affair between a humble working-class man and a ruthless high-society heartbreaker.
Other festival highlights include David Lynch’s maddeningly mystifying Lost Highway (18th) and Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin and Ray Ashbury’s 1953 film Little Fugitive (26th)—described by French film legend François Truffaut as the inspiration behind the French New Wave. In place of irksome trailers, they’ll be showing a short film to settle you in. Preceding Little Fugitive is the première of a Gandules-produced short, Shaban i Subhan, about two children who turn the Raval into a summer playground during the long school holidays.
Films are screened every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout August at 10pm in The Pati de les Dones at the CCCB. All films are in original version with subtitles in Spanish or Catalan. www.cccb.org.