Friday, November 1, 2013

Lifetime Achievement Award of 18th IFFK to Veteran Spanish Film Auteur and photographer Carlos Saura

Spanish Auteur and photographer Carlos Saura has been selected for the 18th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at the gala opening ceremony of the festival that will be held on December 6. Admired by current directors including Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) and Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), Spanish auteur Carlos Saura made his mark by blending fantasy and reality in films such as 1976's Cría Cuervos, which starred his wife, Geraldine Chaplin.  “Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura, who began his career under the censorship of Franco's regime, has forged an international reputation for his unique cinematic treatment of emotional and spiritual responses to repressive political conditions. In films such as Carmen and El Dorado, where reality and fantasy are deliberately fused together, Saura reveals the illusions of Franco's mythologized Spain--a chaste, Catholic, and heroic Spain of the Golden Age--that tend to isolate Spaniards from the rest of Europe, from each other, and from their own individuality.” His politically charged films rejuvenated Spanish cinema.” Carlos Saura “Spain's greatest film-maker during the final years of Franco's rule and the country's transition to democracy and the auteur of such oblique and resonant psychological dramas as Cría cuervos (1975), Saura was laid low in the 80s by the costly fiasco of his historical epic EI Dorado. More recently, he made Taxi (1996), a liberal-minded but routine thriller about neo-Nazi gangs in Madrid which showed little sign of his personal style, while his 1998 film Tango prompted Spaniards to ask whether he had progressed since his earlier dance tragedy Carmen (1983). Goya in Bordeaux, whose release in Spain inadvertently coincided with Volaverunt, Bigas Luna's lavish biopic of the artist, combines elements from Taxi and Tango. Saura, screenwriter as well as director, stresses the liberal credentials of his Enlightenment hero, who was fiercely opposed to tyranny; this political commentary is accompanied by an abstract and theatrical mise en scène whereby Goya's works are brought to life in startling tableaux vivants, a visual style familiar from the director's dance films.” Ranked among Europe’s elite filmmakers, Carlos Saura’s  filmmaking spanning nearly 56 years is philosophical of his political and original standpoint. He has received numerous national and international awards including Golden Bear and Silver Bear at Berlin International Film Festival, Jury Prize at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival for La Prima Angelica (Cousin Angelica), Grand Prix of the Jury at the 1976 Cannes for Cria Cuervos, Best Director at the 1997 Montreal World Film Festival for Pajarico, and Lifetime Achievement awards at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and Istanbul International Film Festival. The award includes a cash prize of 10,000 dollars and a memento designed by artist C.N. Karunakaran.

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