You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Local fare energizes Gijon

'Kingdom,' 'Year,' 'Song' prove early standouts

GIJON, Spain — Australia’s “Animal Kingdom,” Mexico’s “Leap Year” and Spain’s “Every Song Is About Me” made much of the early running at the 48th Gijon Film Festival.

David Michod’s feature debut, brooding crime family drama “Kingdom,” bore out its Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize and Sony Pictures Classic’s U.S. pickup, proving Gijon’s biggest competition crowd-pleaser through Monday, sparking complimentary comparisons with “L.A. Confidential” among local scribes.

Australian-Mexican Michael Rowe impressed with “Leap Year,” a meticulously scripted and perfed Cannes Camera d’Or winner, famed for its sexual candor, but exploring, as Rowe outlined to Gijon’s press, machismo, urban solitude and parental abuse.

“Song” screened to big expectations: The romantic dramedy grabbed Gijon’s plum Saturday night berth, and marked both a world preem and the feature debut of Jonas Trueba, son of Academy Award-winning helmer Fernando Trueba (“Belle Epoque”).

The Latido-sold title sparked repeated applause for its knowing, literary and style-blending account of the emotional aftermath to a terminated six-year relationship, played out in a quietly romantic, quaint old quarter of Madrid.

Running Nov. 19-27, Gijon’s 48th edition marks the 16th under director Jose Luis Cienfuegos.

Previously a desultory youth/kiddies fest, Cienfuegos rebooted Gijon in 1995 as a Spanish Sundance: Gregg Araki, Todd Haynes, Tom DiCillo, Hal Hartley and Todd Solondz have all visited Gijon, mostly for tributes.

Those days are gone. In 2010, three U.S. pics play Gijon’s main Official Section: Casey Affleck’s Friday fest opener “I’m Still Here,” Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff,” already admired at Venice.

But Spanish-language films — four Spanish competition titles, three Latin America pics — command a far larger presence.

Several factors are at work: an established fixture, Gijon now has a far larger clout to attract local titles. Fest closes with spurned boyfriend comedy “No controles,” from Spain’s Borja Cobeaga (“The Friend Zone”), another world preem.

Also, Spanish and Latin American national cinemas have grown in breadth, developing their own species of indie filmmaking.

One of these — superbly shot, docu-feel fictions with minimal narratives — provided two highlights over Gijon’s first weekend: Mexican Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s competition chill-out movie “To the Sea,” a film, he said in Gijon, about the “lack of permanence,” in which a father and young son fish snappers, barracudas, laze and bond on Mexico’s emerald-watered Banco Chinchorro coral reef; and Spaniard Daniel Villamediana’s “The Life Sublime.”

Playing Gijon’s Rellumes sidebar, “Sublime” chronicles a young man following his grandfather’s footsteps to Cadiz, which is lensed with a photographer’s eye for line and color, as in a finale overhead shot of Cadiz’s multi-color rooftops, transformed seemingly into a delicately-toned abstract art painting.

More Biz

  • U2, Seattle 14 May 2017

    U2 Drop New Song, ‘Ahimsa,’ Ahead of First Concert in India

    After a flurry of rumors on Thursday, U2 dropped their first single in two years: “Ahimsa,” a collaboration with Oscar- and Grammy-winning Indian musician AR Rahman, ahead of the group’s first-ever visit to the country next month. Rahman has a vast track record of film soundtracks and is best known for his work on the [...]

  • Sean "Diddy" Combs Revolt TV

    Sean Combs Slams 'Illusion of Economic Inclusion' at Comcast Amid Byron Allen Fight

    Sean Combs has come out swinging against Comcast in a lengthy statement prompted by the cable giant’s legal battle with Entertainment Studios chief Byron Allen. Combs accused Comcast of maintaining “the illusion of economic inclusion” in its handling of a carriage agreement with Combs’ Revolt TV channel. Combs was critical of Comcast for failing to [...]

  • Bon Iver Justin Vernon Grammys

    Bon Iver, Tanya Tucker, Thom Yorke Lead Indie Labels to 44% of Grammy Nominations

    Ever since Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” won Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards, independent labels have seen their star rise on “Music’s Biggest Night,” and that looks set to continue at the 2020 ceremony, where Bon Iver, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Yola, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Elvis Costello and others have gotten big [...]

  • US Capitol

    Congress Introduces AM-FM Act to Revise Copyright Law for Terrestrial Radio

    Senator Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Jerrold Nadler today introduced the Ask Musicians for Music Act (AM-FM), which aims to revise existing copyright law for radio stations and musicians. Under the current copyright system, radio stations can use sound recordings over their airwaves without paying royalties to creators who own a stake in the sound recordings. [...]

  • Harriet Tubman Cynthia Erivo

    AMC Theatres Fires Three Employees Over Racial Profiling Incident During 'Harriet' Screening

    AMC Theatres has fired three employees in one of its Louisiana multiplexes after an incident during a screening of “Harriet.” An African American women’s group called the 504 Queens allege that 15 members were racially profiled while watching “Harriet” at AMC’s Clearview Palace 12 in Metairie on Nov. 7. A letter sent from the organization’s [...]

  • Byron Allen

    Byron Allen's Discrimination Suit Against Comcast Should Be Allowed to Move Forward

    More than anything, the Supreme Court justices seemed bemused. Comcast executives and entrepreneur Byron Allen came to the nation’s high court on Nov. 13 to duke it out over the racial discrimination case that Allen’s Entertainment Studios has pursued since 2015.  But the question put before the court was a narrow issue of legal precedent [...]

  • Christine Baranksi Karey Burke Coutney Kemp

    Christine Baranski, Karey Burke and Courtney Kemp Set for Brandon Tartikoff Awards

    Christine Baranski, “Power” creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp and ABC Entertainment chief Karey Burke are among the five recipients set for the 2020 Brandon Tartikoff Awards, to be handed out in January as part of the annual NATPE conference in Miami. Jeff Zucker, chairman of news and sports for WarnerMedia and president of CNN Worldwide, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content