Recent Films from Spain at the National Gallery of Art

Recent Films from Spain at the National Gallery of Art

On the occasion of the exhibition “Sargent and Spain,” on show at the National Gallery of Art, the institution is organizing a film series dedicated entirely to Spanish films.

In collaboration with the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., SPAIN arts & culture, and Mujeres de Cine, the National Gallery presents the Washington D.C.- area premiere of 8 recent titles by Spanish, predominantly femme, directors. Programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Sargent and Spain and guest curated by KJ Mohr, this series aims to highlight current practices and approaches to production by Spanish filmmakers interested in fiction, documentary, and the multitude of creative modes in between.

Zurbarán and His Twelve Sons

  • On Sunday, October 2 at 2 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Arantxa Aguirre, 2020, Spain, 71 minutes. Original title: Zurbarán y sus doce hijos.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.
  • Film director Arantxa Aguirre will be present at the screening.

Jacob and His Twelve Sons, a series of thirteen canvases painted by Francisco de Zurbarán in Seville, Spain around 1640, has mesmerized and confounded viewers for centuries. Nothing is really known about these works until they were acquired at auction by a British merchant in the early eighteenth century. Then, in 1756, Bishop Richard Trevor of Durham, England acquired these paintings and hung them in his dining room at Auckland Castle, where they have remained ever since. Recently, the paintings have become the engine of regeneration for this rural community in northern England. Aguirre’s documentary involves well-known scholars in Spanish painting and the directors of many museums, but also the promoters of an ambitious project that uses art as a tool for social transformation.

La Ciutat a la Vora

  • On Saturday, October 15 at 2 pm. Preceded by Tobacco Barns Light Studies below. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Meritxell Colell, 2022, Spain, 52 minutes.
  • In Catalan with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

A walk from Torre Baró to Vallvidrera, between the city of Barcelona and the Collserola mountain range, creates a visual and aural map of the outskirts of the city through the sights, sounds, faces, occupations, and spaces of various neighborhoods. The edges of these places create a symphony thanks to the plurality and diversity of languages, backgrounds, connections, and ways of habitation. Using super 8 film, Colell creates a delicate experimental exploration of the environs around Barcelona and the people that live there.

Tobacco Barns Light Studies

  • On Saturday, October 15 at 2 pm. Preceded by La Ciutat a la Vora above.
  • Directed by Rocío Mesa, 2021, Spain, 2 minutes, silent film.
  • Film director Rocío Mesa will be present at the screening

Tobacco Barns Light Studies visually conjures the history of the tobacco plant in Granada, Southern Spain. In 1923, tobacco farming became a monoculture in the region until the end of the century when profits dwindled. However, the lands of Granada are still replete with tobacco barns: large empty houses, like architectural ghosts, where the leaves used to hang and dry.

Trance

  • On Saturday, October 29 at 2 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Emilio Belmonte Molina, 2021, Spain, 98 minutes.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

This journey to the heart of the Flamenco music of Jorge Pardo reveals an artist essential to the evolution of contemporary flamenco. For two years, director Emilio Belmonte and his team accompany the legendary flutist and saxophonist of Paco de Lucía’s sextet on his travels across Spain and around the world, meeting exceptional musicians (Chick Corea, Niño Josele, Duquende, Ana Morales, among others), to organize the eponymous concert. Jorge Pardo’s charisma, his conception of art as life and life as art are the driving force behind this ambitious musical documentary.

Mighty Flash

  • On Saturday, November 5 at 2 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Ainhoa Rodríguez, 2021, Spain, 98 minutes. Original title: Destello Bravío.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.
  • This film is part of the Film Series Mujeres de Cine: La Mirada Bravía, presented by AECID, Mujeres de Cine, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., the NGA, and the AFI Silver Theatre.

“There’ll be a flash in the village, a really mighty, mighty one and everything will change…” Isa uses a cassette recorder to record messages to herself for when she disappears or loses her memory. Cita feels trapped in a marriage in a house full of saints and virgins. María returns to the town where she was born to face her loneliness. The women of a small rural town, suspended in time and whipped by depopulation, live between the apathy of their quotidian life where nothing extraordinary happens and a deep desire for liberating experiences that makes them rediscover the place where they believe they were happy or dreamed of being happy. “…the composed feature is laced with touches of suspense, rural surrealism, social realism and Almodovar-style humor” (Variety).

Cosmic Chant. Niño de Elche.

  • On Saturday, November 2 at 2 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Leire Apellaniz and Marc Sempere Moya, 2021, Spain, 93 minutes. Original title: Canto Cósmico. Niño de Elche.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.
  • This film is part of the Film Series Mujeres de Cine: La Mirada Bravía, presented by AECID, Mujeres de Cine, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., the NGA, and the AFI Silver Theatre.

Niño de Elche –an erudite singer-songwriter and son from Elche– is simultaneously all these things and none of them. Cosmic Chant. Niño de Elche is a multifaceted portrait through the gazes of those who surround, love, observe him and share his art. Many voices join with Paco’s (Niño de Elche) to build this open and almost cubist portrait of the most innovative and mesmerizing new Flamenco voices in Spain.

They Carry Death

  • On Sunday, November 13 at 2 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Helena Girón and Samuel M. Delgado, 2022, Spain, 75 minutes. Original title: Eles transportan a morte.
  • In Galician and Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

1492. Traveling among a crew captained by Christopher Columbus, three men take part in an uncertain journey to the Canary Islands, where upon arriving they flee, taking one of the ship’s enormous sails with them. Meanwhile, in the “Old World,” a woman tries to save her dying sister by bringing her to a healer. In this picturesque feature with a hauntingly immersive soundtrack, a homosocial diptych of parallel journeys emerges, both attempting to laugh at death. But both journeys are at the mercy of time and history.

Horses Die at Dawn

  • On Saturday, December 3 at 2 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Ione Atenea, 2021, Spain, 81 minutes. Original title: Los caballos mueren al amanecer.
  • In Catalan and Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

When Ione moves into the home of the late García siblings, she discovers that their lives remain latent in the objects they left behind. Through a piano, hundreds of drawings, thousands of pictures, and loads of tapes, she pieces together the characters of this film. Antonio worked as a comic artist for the Bruguera publishing house, Rosita was an opera singer and a pianist. Along with their brother Juanito, they transformed their home into a space of creativity, using fiction as an escape from the dark reality of the Franco dictatorship. Inside the walls of their home, the García siblings became classic film stars, World War II soldiers, gangsters, astronauts, sci-fi heroines, lonely cowboys on an eternal journey to the west… Their memory houses the history of the 20th century. Years later, with new inhabitants, their home is still a place where an alternate life is possible.

This film series is part of the program related to the major exhibition Sargent and Spain at the National Gallery of Art on view from Oct. 2, 2022 to Jan. 2, 2023.

  • Film
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Sun, October 02 —
    Sat, December 03, 2022

Venue

Venue map

National Gallery of Art – East Building, 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20565

Admission

Registration opens on Friday, one week before each screening.

More information

NGA

Credits

Presented by the National Gallery of Art in collaboration with the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C.

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