Genre fare reborn under Rebordinos

World Report: Spain - Fest Travler: San Sebastian

For Jose Luis Rebordinos’ send-off as director of San Sebastian’s Fantasy Horror Film Week, the event’s 2010 closing ceremony screened the short “Why Are You Leaving?”

The film imagines Rebordinos’ funeral, at which his hand emerging from his tomb to emasculate one attendee. Then a Rebordinos look-alike staggers zombie-like towards the San Sebastian Festival’s dazzling night-lit ultramodern Kursaal Center.

Only someone who commands a good deal of affection — and who has a good sense of humor — would have attracted such a tribute. The fast-talking, cheerful, down-to-earth Rebordinos, 49, fits the bill.

He also reps a bet by San Sebastian’s Basque festival partners that the confab itself can produce a home-grown director to shepherd the fest through fast-changing times.

As for the fest itself — the world’s biggest Spanish-language artpic platform — some of this year’s titles are definitely out there. For example, Brazil’s “Girimunho” is somewhat like an art installation. And Isaki Lacuesta’s “Double Steps” is a “film about soldiers, next vampire pic, then spaghetti western,” Lacuesta told Variety.

Rebordinos rejects Spain’s traditional disdain for what some term commercial films. “Great directors are increasingly using genre,” he argues.

Glenn Close starrer “Albert Nobbs, “No Rest for the Wicked,” “Skylab,” “Rampart,” with Woody Harrelson, and San Sebastian closer “Untouchable” are “audience-pleasers but splendid films,” he says.

One large question at 2011’s San Sebastian is how readily Spain’s critical establishment and festgoers, reared on a diet of more traditional artpics, will buy into this thesis.

Emilio Mayorga contributed to this article.

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