The essence of the Lumière festival lies in encouraging today's artists to express their admiration for those who came before them. In 2009, for the first edition (long-prepared, launched in haste, with results exceeding our wildest expectations), Clint Eastwood immediately set a prime example by asking us to pay tribute to Sergio Leone and Don Siegel. Those who attended the closing ceremony will always remember his presentation of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly before a crowd of 5,000. When he walked onstage at the Halle Tony Garnier and stated, "I would have liked Sergio to be here…" a collective thrill wrapped around the audience, leaving an indelible mark on the nascent festival.
Last year, Quentin Tarantino solidified his place at the worldwide podium of cinephilia and confirmed his reputation, programming films for the festival, which he went on to introduce with an energy we won't soon forget.
This year, Pedro Almodóvar, who will receive the Lumière Award 2014, has also asserted his wish to program films he loves. We know he is a learned, expert cinephile, but are we aware that, in terms of film history, Pedro sees everything, reads everything, discusses everything- with equal relish? For Lumière 2014, he has chosen two themes for his cartes blanches, casting the spotlight first on the Spanish cinema and then on international films.
The first selection honors Spanish films "mostly shot during the time of the Franco dictatorship." "These works -in addition to being beautiful films – knew how to ingeniously circumvent the censorship rules of the Church and State, which were as absurd as they were unforgiving." Here we'll discover the cinema of Juan Antonio Bardem, Victor Erice, or Luis Garcia Berlanga and become acquainted with lesser-known filmmakers such as Jose Luis Borau, Ivan Zulueta, Carlos Serrano de Osma, Fernando Gomez or Miguel Picazo.
The second selection points to a specific focus: Pedro has chosen films we find scattered within his own works. We see his characters watching a film in a theatre or on television, we catch a glimpse of a title or notice a movie poster hanging in the background - cinema references punctuate his own scenes. "These references have a role to play." he writes in the Lumière catalog book [out on October 7, official launch on October 10 at bookstore Decitre], "They are totally integrated into my screenplays." He continues, "When I reference a film by someone else, I am not paying tribute, but claiming ownership over the images, the dialog, and the emotions they arouse. It's outright theft!”
This second carte blanche, entitled "The cinema in me," along with his Spanish film series, is a fine gift bestowed upon the festival audiences by the Lumière Award recipient 2014.
See you in the theaters!
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