O que arde (Fire Will Come, 2019) takes centre stage in this edition of Intervals, a series devoted to screening recent film productions. The film, a story of containment and the wish for destruction based on the life of an arsonist, won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes 2019. Its director, Oliver Laxe, will present the first session and hold a talk after the screening.
Novo Cinema Galego, New Galician Cinema, has been one of the stories of independent cinema in recent years, with young film-makers like Eloy Enciso, Xurxo Chirro, Eloy Domínguez Serén, Anxós Fazans, Alberto Gracia, Ramiro Ledo and Diana Toucedo taking art centres and international festivals by storm. Their idiosyncratic viewpoints analyse popular culture and the relationship between territory, memory and identity conflates other characteristics of contemporary film, for instance the denial of the actor, the blurring of borders between documentary and fiction and the experimental resources in editing and narration. The most representative film-maker of this generation is Oliver Laxe, who has won awards at Cannes in different categories for his three features Todos vós sodes capitáns (You All Are Captains), Mimosas and O que arde (Fire Will Come).
The last of these three depicts rural inhabitants’ refusal to disappear in rural-exodus Spain. The return to the family home of one of these inhabitants, convicted arsonist Amador, leads to suspicion in the community and to veiled and destructive violence. The filming of real fires, the psychological factor of the landscape and working with non-professional actors — the inhabitants of the Os Ancares mountains in Lugo and León, where the film is shot — sculpt a work which is at once tragic and beautiful.
O que arde will be screened together with Y las chimeneas decidieron escapar, an early short film by the author, made in collaboration with Enrique Aguilar, who develops through an abstract and experimental language a theme close to that of the feature film: the rage against the city.
Oliver Laxe was born in 1982 and grew up in France, Spain and Morocco. His first two feature films won awards at the Cannes Festival: in 2010 Todos vós sodes capitáns won the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Award from the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) and in 2016 Mimosas was awarded the Semaine de la Critique Grand Prize. The film also won the Jury’s Special Prize at the Seville Film Festival. In 2019, after receiving the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize and the Award for Best Sound Creation, Laxe became only the second Spanish film-maker to be selected for awards at Cannes for his first three films — the first was Víctor Erice — and the only one to win in each of his submissions. Moreover, O que arde has been shown at major international film festivals that include San Sebastián, Toronto, Karlovy Vary and New York.
Oliver Laxe y Enrique Aguilar. Y las chimeneas decidieron escapar (And The Chimneys Decided to Scape)
Spain, 2006, b/w, digital file transferred to 16mm, 12’
Oliver Laxe. O que arde (Fire Will Come)
Spain, France, Luxemburg, 2019, colour, original version in Spanish and Galician, B-R, 85´
Session 1. Thursday, 28 November 2019 – 7pm
Featuring an introduction and post-screening talk with director Oliver Laxe.
Session 2. Sunday, 1 December 2019 – 6:30pm