IN THE CINÉMA CLUB OF… ALBERT SERRA
Catalonian filmmaker Albert Serra has emerged as a leading voice in art-house cinema over the last two decades. Having studied philosophy and literature, Serra has quickly distinguished himself for his imaginative adaptations of classic texts such as Don Quixote, Casanova’s memoirs, and The Bible. In 2018, his cinematic staging of French monarch Louis XIV’s death as an art-gallery installation won the Grand Prix at FID Marseille International Competition, and the next year, he won the Special Jury Award at the Un Certain Regard selection for Liberté at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. His latest film, Pacifiction, which Cahiers du Cinema named the best film of 2022, follows a French diplomat stationed in Tahiti caught in a political conspiracy involving possible nuclear testing.
On the occasion of the theatrical release of Pacifiction, the maverick filmmaker shares six favorite films.
GONE TO EARTH, Michael Powell / Emeric Pressburger, 1950
A telluric film, violent and sweet, artificial and rough, with a latent sexual tension in it, the combinations I like. Is it better than The Red Shoes? I don't know but both are the best films of the authors by far.
LA PRIMA NOTTE DI QUIETE, Valerio Zurlini, 1972
One of my favorite films ever. Unforgettable and extremely sad and melancholic as it clinically illustrates the inner limitations of love. It contains probably the best discotheque scene in film history.
PARSIFAL, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, 1982
Best opera ever on film (together with Moses and Aaron by Straub/Huillet). There is nothing like this and it's impossible to do it with more fantasy and better flow for the music (Straub had to deal with Schoenberg...).
BULWORTH, Warren Beatty, 1998
With Terra em Transe by Glauber Rocha, the best political film ever, very original and fun. Of course it was a flop: it's difficult to tell the truth and stay alive.
BEYOND THE LAW / WILD 90, Norman Mailer, 1968
Two films of the same year by the same intense author. I like both. Mailer was a writer who tried cinema and came back to writing what I somehow understand. But he was great in both disciplines. Here you have an strange mix: two pure film noir with the moving charm of the underground sixties. As a bonus: he plays the main role in both.