San Sebastian looks at Lubitsch

Film fest spotlights retrospectives

German emigre Ernst Lubitsch and the issue of emigration in general will be the subjects of retrospectives at the 54th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival, which runs Sept. 21-30.

San Sebastian has carved out a reputation among film critics for meticulous retros. The Lubitsch homage will take in classics such as “Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife” (1938), “Ninotchka” (1939), “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940) and “To Be or Not to Be” (1942).

It also will cover works that deserve far greater recognition, fest organizers argue, such as Lubitsch’s antiwar “Broken Lullaby” (1932), an uncharacteristic drama, or silent movies made before (“The Oyster Princess,” 1919) or after (“Lady Windermere’s Fan,” 1925) he moved to Hollywood in 1922 at Mary Pickford’s invitation.

Standouts in the roughly 30-film “Emigrants” retro include well-known titles such as Elia Kazan’s “America, America” (1963) and Michael Winterbottom’s recent “In This World” (2002), plus lesser-known films such as Mexican Alejandro Galindo’s “Espaldas mojadas” (1953), an early take from a Mexican viewpoint on illegal immigration to the U.S.

Fest’s now traditional tribute to a currently jobbing auteur, plus competish and other sections, will be announced in the coming months.

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