×

Stone’s ‘Untold History,’ Re-cut ‘Alexander’ for San Sebastian

San Sebastian fires up Zabaltegi, its edgiest sidebar

Oliver Stone’s “The Untold History of the United States,” Emir Baigazin’s “Harmony Lessons” and Lav Diaz’s “Prologue to The Great Desaparecido” feature in this year’s San Sebastian Zabaltegi showcase.

Restructured by fest director Jose Luis Rebordinos as a smorgasbord section for anything that doesn’t fit into another section but certainly merits screening, the sidebar has grown rapidly not only in size but also relevance.

That is a reflection on helmers’ growing willingness to take on works that don’t fit the classic format of feature-length films for theatrical distribution, as well as far greater latitudinarianism from festivals and fest audiences alike about what they expect to program or see at fests.

“Untold History” is a 10-part ruggedly contrarian Showtime docu-series retelling U.S. history from World War II onwards, highlighting unsung heroes, profound mistakes, and cardinal villains, led by Harry Truman.

World preeming at San Sebastian as a theatrical event, “Untold History” is sure to find avid fans in Spain whose political left was one of Europe’s most vociferous critics of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Popular on Variety

Zabaltegi will also include “Alexander: The Ultimate Cut,” a newly-re-mastered 206-minute version of Stone’s 2004 bio-epic.

A tale of bullying and its brutal consequences, set on the steppes of Kazakhstan, “Harmony Lessons” isn’t made by a famed director but was still one of the best-received movies at this year’s Berlinale.

Set up at Paris-based Dissidenz Films, “Prologue to the Great Desaparecido,” a short/medium feature, anticipates Diaz’s upcoming feature film, and delivers a revisionist take on the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Zabaltegi will also showcase Diaz’s Cannes Un Certain Regard player “Norte, the End of History,” a Cannes highlight for some critics, which transposes Feodor Dostoevsky’s magnum opus “Crime and Punishment” to the Philippines. At four hours, it is far from Diaz’s longest movie.

Zabaltegi will also feature two Sundance docu-feature hits: “Cutie and the Boxer,” Zachary Heinzerlin’s frank, five-years-in-the-making depiction of Brooklyn-based artist couple Ushio and Noriko Shinohara; “and Twenty Feet From Stardom,” Morgan Neville’s caring portrait of some of the world’s greatest background singers.

Two crime thrillers also make the mix: Wojtek Smarzowski’s Warsaw mean streets-set “Traffic Department,” and Park Hoon-jung’s Korean actioner “New World,” sold by Finecut.

Rounding up new Zabaltegi titles – its Spanish productions were announced late July – are Thomas Szabo and Helene Giraud’s “Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants.” A real curio, the 3D adventure movie, which was shot in France, mixes CGI ants and real-life scenery.

The 61st San Sebastian Festival runs Sept. 20-28.

More Film

  • Kevin Hart, Jason Statham Heading for

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart Heading for 'The Man From Toronto' Comedy

    Jason Statham and Kevin Hart are in talks to star in action comedy “The Man From Toronto,” which Sony Pictures will release on Nov. 20. Patrick Hughes, who directed “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “The Expendables 3,” will direct”The Man From Toronto” from a script by Robbie Fox, from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. [...]

  • High Fidelity

    What’s Coming to Hulu in February 2020

    Next month, Hulu will ring in Valentine’s Day with some counterprogramming. The streaming service will debut its original series “High Fidelity,” a gender-swapped reimagining of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. Previously, the book was adapted into a 2000 movie from Stephen Frears starring John Cusack. Zoë Kravitz stars as Rob Brooks, a music-obsessive [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Wes Anderson's 'French Dispatch' Sets Summer Release

    Wes Anderson’s star-studded comedic drama “The French Dispatch” will debut in theaters on July 24, Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday. “The French Dispatch” is set in Paris during the 1950s and follows a group of journalists at an American newspaper bureau. The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Frances McDormand, [...]

  • Hillary Clinton Hulu Documentary

    Hillary Clinton Documentary Sells to Sky for U.K. Audiences (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Hillary,” a four-hour docuseries about the life and career of Hillary Clinton, has sold to Sky for U.K. distribution rights, Variety has learned. Clinton sat down for 35 hours of interviews with director Nanette Burstein (“On the Ropes”). The project premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to strong reviews, for offering an honest portrait [...]

  • Rhythm Section Movie

    Will Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Fumble at the Box Office on Super Bowl Weekend?

    Ticket sales could grind to a halt over Super Bowl weekend, a notoriously quiet time of year at the box office. Two new movies are opening — Paramount’s spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” and Orion Pictures’ fantasy adventure “Gretel & Hansel” — though each is expected to make less than $10 million. Since the Super [...]

  • The Fight ACLU Documentary

    ACLU Sundance Doc 'The Fight' Headed to Magnolia Pictures

    Magnolia Pictures is wrapping up a low-seven-figure deal for distribution rights to the moving documentary “The Fight,” insiders told Variety. Premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the project is directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres. CAA and Submarine are brokering the deal on behalf of financiers. The directors also served as [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Quentin Tarantino on Re-Creating 1960s L.A. for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    Quentin Tarantino’s earliest memory of Los Angeles was as a young boy visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theater, standing in the courtyard and looking at the handprints of John Wayne and Roy Rogers. He recollects the Mold-A-Rama machine outside that dispensed a souvenir wax pagoda if you inserted a quarter. The director had toyed with re-creating that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content