ROME — Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Weight of Water,” Eli Chouraqui’s “Harrison’s Flowers,” Francois Ozon’s “Under the Sand” and Arturo Ripstein’s “The Perdition of Men” are among official competition titles at the 48th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival, running Sept. 21-30.
The Spanish fest will open with local helmer Alex de la Iglesia’s “Commonwealth,” starring Carmen Maura, and will close with Karl Francis’ “One of the Hollywood Ten,” both of which will screen out of competition.
Based on the life of blacklisted director Herbert J. Biberman and his struggle to continue working and keep his marriage together during the McCarthy era, “Hollywood Ten” is a Spanish-Portuguese-British co-production starring Greta Scacchi, Jeff Goldblum and Angela Molina.
Also screening out of competition is Brit director John Irvin’s latest, “Shiner,” starring Michael Caine, Martin Landau, Matthew Marsden and Frances Barber.
Bigelow weighs in
In the competition lineup, Bigelow’s “The Weight of Water” stars Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine McCormack and Sarah Polley in a drama about a contempo photographer investigating a late 19th century murder. Andie MacDowell toplines Chouraqui’s French production “Harrison’s Flowers” as the widow of a photojournalist killed during the Balkan conflict.
Charlotte Rampling and Bruno Cremer star in Gallic helmer Ozon’s seaside-set mystery “Under the Sand.” Also representing France is Nicolas Klotz’s drama “Parias,” tracing the difficult lives of characters whose paths cross at a homeless shelter.
San Sebastian regulars returning to the fest include Mexican director Ripstein with the Mexican-Spanish-French co-prod “The Perdition of Men,” a biblically tinged drama about two assassins who stone a bigamous friend to death; and Peru’s Francisco J. Lombardi with Peruvian-Spanish feature “Red Ink,” centered on a crime reporter in contemporary Lima.
Also from Mexico and a co-production with Spain is Maria Novaro’s road movie about two women on a liberating cross-country journey, “Without a Trace.”
Sole exclusively Spanish entry to compete is Salvador Garcia Ruiz’s “The Other Side,” a drama set in a working-class Madrid district about a 15-year-old boy charged with murder and looking to his lawyer to be a father figure. Screening out of competition is “Plenilunio,” a psychological thriller by Basque helmer Imanol Uribe — twice a past winner of San Sebastian’s top prize, for “Running Out of Time” and “Bwana.”
Other competition titles include Junji Sakamoto’s “Face” from Japan, starring veteran legit actress Naomi Fujiyama as a woman who commits murder and is pursued by police; debuting Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Barking Dogs Never Bite,” set in a middle-class Seoul neighborhood plagued by a noisy dog; and German documaker Esther Gronenborn’s pic about two teens in East Berlin, “Alaska.De,” her feature helming debut.
The German, Korean and Spanish pics will vie in both the main competition and New Directors lineup. A late addition to the previously announced tyro competition is Brit feature “Sexy Beast,” a black comedy from director Jonathan Glazer and starring Ben Kingsley.
(John Hopewell in Madrid contributed to this report.)