Naomi Kawase, Geraldine Chaplin Star in Luis Miñarro’s ‘Impalpable’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Luís Miñarro and Naomi Kawase
Credit: Joan Vall Karsunke

Palme d’Or winning producer Luis Miñarro (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”) is set to direct his fifth feature, ”Impalpable” (a working title), produced by Miñarro’s label, Barcelona-based Eddie Saeta, one of Spain’s most prominent arthouse shingles.

Written by Miñarro, “Impalpable” follows a series of characters who take a bus to an unspecified destination. The situation becomes gradually

stranger as the bus make no stops. Nor can the passengers descend.

“Impalpable”‘s cast will include Naomi Kawase, Geraldine Chaplin and Spain’s Lola Dueñas (“The Sea Inside”) and Francesc Orella (“Julia’s Eyes”), among others.

By chance, though with foresight, ”I first thought of this project before the pandemic. It’s a homage to Luis Buñuel’s ‘The Exterminating Angel,’” Miñarro told Variety. Over three days and two nights, its characters get to know one another, as the audience enters the minds of main characters, unleashing what amounts to mini-movies via flashbacks or flash-forwards.

The director said that “Impalpable” will be a fantasy drama with humor and surrealistic and political touches.

In one of these flashback segments, focused on Chaplin’s character, the feature will offer some lesser known or unknown family memories “which will have an added interest for cinephiles,” the director added. Chaplin’s character will mix fictional and real-life aspects of her life. Kawase’s character is entirely fictitious.

“Impalpable” will be lensed by Mauro Hercé, a young but high-flying cinematographer whose work takes in Oliver Laxe’s “Fire Will Come” and “Mimosas” and Katrín Ólafsdóttir’s “The Wind Blew On.”

“Faced with the feeling that a big part of contemporary cinema is returning to classic narratives, we want to recover a spirit of renewal in film language that is missed nowadays,” Miñarro said.

Naomi Kawase competes at this year’s San Sebastian with the Playtime-sold “True Mothers,” a Cannes Official Selection label title.

The Japanese director created the biennial International Nara Film Festival, which takes place this year over Sept. 18-22. The event includes a Catalan Cinema spotlight on movies made by women, curated by Miñarro. His selection includes Belén Funes’ “A Thief’s Daughter,” which won a San Sebastian’s best actress award for Greta Fernández last year, Lucía Alemany’s “The Innocence” and Meritxell Colell and Lucía Vassallo’s “Transoceánicas,” among other titles.

“Impalpable” is scheduled to shoot in the summer of 2021.