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Jørgen Leth (#110 of 2)

Curtocircuíto 2015 Volonté, Brain Story, Rorschach #1, & More

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Curtocircuíto 2015: Volonté, Brain Story, Rorschach #1, & More

Borja Santomé

Curtocircuíto 2015: Volonté, Brain Story, Rorschach #1, & More

When he was appointed Curtocircuíto’s new artistic director in 2013, Pela del Álamo had literally weeks to knock its 10th edition into shape. The resulting festival, which takes place each year in Santiago de Compostela, the historic pilgrimage city in Galicia, was understandably limited in scope. But its lineup belied the resources with which del Álamo and his close-knit team had put things into place, demonstrating a canny knack for curating thematically coherent shorts programs that emphasized quality over quantity.

Last year, del Álamo and company, working a kind of guerilla operation, moved the festival from December to October, and built on prior achievements with a more ambitious program that included a retrospective of works by Mike Hoolboom, the Canadian avant-garde filmmaker. This year, the festival’s ever-expanding roster of international guests featured two veteran directors, whose work del Álamo has long dreamed of programming: Denmark’s Jørgen Leth, and Finland’s Aki Kaurismäki. With both of these charming, generous directors present in the city where Buñuel made The Milky Way, the international, cinephilic ambitions of this finely organized, seriously minded annual showcase of short films seemed entirely vindicated.

If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Diego Costa’s Top 10 Films of All Time

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If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Diego Costa’s Top 10 Films of All Time
If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Diego Costa’s Top 10 Films of All Time

I can identify two elements common to the films that ended up on this list. They are either about feminine suffering and/or about the impossibility of language to ever quite translate feeling. The criteria which I came up with for this impossible, unfair, and incredibly fun assignment involved remembering the films that led me to think “This is one of the best films ever made” at the time I first saw them, and which, upon a re-screening, several years later, remained just as remarkable—perhaps for different reasons. Also part of the criteria was my (failed) attempt at not repeating directors, and making a conscious effort to go against a cinematic “affirmative action” that would try to represent different periods of time, countries, and genres. It’s also mind-boggling to notice how half of the list includes films made in the mid 1970s. But the list escapes traditional logic. It’s the warping, re-signifying logic of affect and memory that architected this list, which turns out to be nothing short of this cinephile’s symptom.