Close Up

29 January 2020: Umbracle + Mudanza

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Umbracle
Pere Portabella, 1972, 85 min

"Umbracle" stems from the Latin "umbra": the innermost and darkest part of a shadow. As in Vampir-Cuadecuc, this film turns on two basic axes: the inquiry into ways of cinematographic representation and a critical image of official Spain at the time of the Franco dictatorship. "Montage of attractions" and Brechtianism in strong doses. Umbracle is made up of fragments (some are archive footage) that resound rather than progress by unusual links, with dejá vu scenes that promise us more but remaintensely unfinished. Jonathan Rosembaum said: "few directors since Resnais have played so ruthlessly with the unconscious narrative expectations to bug us". Learning from the feeling of strangeness caused by Rossellini as he threw well-known actors into savage scenery in southern Europe, Pere Portabella makes Christopher Lee wander around a dream-like Barcelona. Without a doubt Portabella's most structurally complex and most profoundly political film, that is ferociously poetic.

Mudanza
Pere Portabella, 2008, 20 min

Mudanza (Removal) came to be made after the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist asked for involvement in the Huerta de San Vicente, the home and museum of the García-Lorca family in Granada. The film records the removal of furniture and objects from the building, leaving visitors able to move freely amongst its empty spaces and a silence charged with feeling and resonance and the take from the experience whatever the y demand from it – thus making poet Federico García Lorca's emotive and historic absence ever more powerful, evident and heartfelt.


Part of the Liberated Film Club's retrospective on Pere Portabella

"A Worm’s Tail View is Often the True One: Films by Pere Portabella", curated and produced by the Liberated Film Club, is the most complete, ambitious and creative survey of the radical Catalan filmmaker Portabella's work ever to have taken place. Close-Up is proud to act as headquarters and locus for this London-wide survey, taking place over four months at venues including ICA, Whitechapel Gallery, Cafe Oto and the University of Cambridge.

With thanks to the kind support of Institut Ramon Llull and Films 59.

More info: purge.xxx/portabella


BOX OFFICE (12:00 - 23.30): 02037847970 - All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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Umbracle + Mudanza Wednesday 29.01.20 8:30 pm Book