MADRID — Mexican helmer Felipe Cazals’ “Chicogrande” will open the 58th San Sebastian Film Festival.
Part of Mexico’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, “Chicogrande” is set against Pancho Villa’s unexpected 1916 raid on New Columbus, N.M. outpost, and U.S. Gen. Pershing’s punitive expedition into Mexico to punish Villa, a divisive figure whom some regard as one of the heroes of the Mexican Revolution and others as an unprincipled cattle thief.
Cazals’ latest film, which plays in competition, follows on the Canana-produced omnibus feature “Revolucion,” first seen at Berlin, which offers bracingly revisionist takes on the Revolution.
The biggest film event in the Spanish-speaking world, San Sebastian has also added three more films to its main competition: “I Saw the Devil,” Liu Hao’s “Addicted to Love” and Sophie Heldman’s “Colors in the Dark.”
A hard-boiled thriller, “Devil” is directed by South Korea’s Kim Jee-woon (“A Bittersweet Life”), whose rambunctious spaghetti Western-style “The Good the Bad and the Weird”was a hit at Cannes 2008, establishing Kim as one of Asia’s most sought-after helmers.
Both “Addicted” and “Dark” are, curiously, films from young helmers — Shanghai-born Liu, who won a following with “Two Great Sheep” and “Chen Mo and Meiting,” is still only 40, “Dark” is Heldman’s first feature. Both pics turn on a growing obsession for the baby boomers: later years’ love.
“Addicted” has a retired worker attempting to reignite his first love with a woman who now suffers from Alzheimer’s; “Dark” toplines Senta Berger (“Cross of Iron”) and German New Wave stalwart Bruno Ganz as loving but aging and suicidal spouses.
Fest runs Sept. 17-25.