Close Up

27 February 2022: Vida en sombras


Vida en sombras
Llorenç Llobet Gràcia, 1948, 80 min
Spanish with English subtitles
UK premiere of the restored version

Introduced by Ehsan Khoshbakht

“A semi-autobiographical ode to the cinema, the medium that had enraptured [director Llorenç Llobet Gràcia] since childhood. The hero of Vida en sombras is Carlos (Fernando Fernán Gómez), whose life is entwined with the cinema from his first breath: he is born in a fairground during a projection of early Lumière shorts. He starts making movies as a teenager, woos his wife at a screening of Cukor’s Romeo and Juliet (1936), and goes to work as a cameraman. This often whimsical and theatrical movie paints Carlos’s passion for the cinema as somewhat dangerous – more vampiric than nourishing. The cinema is a shadow world in which he is immersed, while real life passes him by. Carlos’s joy in movies develops into a compulsion to capture the Spanish Civil War with his camera. After a personal tragedy, his passion for cinema turns to bitter hatred, and it takes a Hitchcock film to lead him back to his first love. This absorbing film is a story of obsession, rather than a portrait of an artist.” – Pamela Hutchinson, Sight & Sound

Supported by Filmoteca de Catalunya and Generalitat de Catalunya | Departament de Cultura

Never on Sunday is a series of screenings of rare classics, archive masterpieces, obscure delights and forgotten gems carefully curated and introduced by Ehsan Khoshbakht and taking place the last Sunday of each month at Close-Up.