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THE SKIN OF THE WOLF
(Bajo la piel de lobo)
Shifting seamlessly from a study in solitude to a love story grounded in sabotage, writer-director Samu Fuentes’ spellbinding debut speaks volumes with an invigorating paucity of words.
Set in the pre-industrial past, The Skin of the Wolf centers on Martinón, the sole inhabitant of an otherwise abandoned alpine hamlet. Martinón comes down the mountain but twice a year to sell animal hides and stock up on supplies. One day he’s convinced to take a wife, a decision intended to soften his calloused soul—but in some ways his real struggle is only just beginning.
Featuring gorgeous widescreen photography and transfixing performances from Ruth Diaz, Irene Escolar and Spanish box-office megastar Mario Casas, Skin is an eerily resonant variation on Beauty and the Beast, blending wilderness survival tale and fable to create something strikingly unique.
A VIOLENT MAN
MMA aspirant Ty (former NFL running-back Thomas Q. Jones) is spoiling for a fight. He gets more than he bargained for when he takes down an ostensibly undefeatable champion in a sparring match. Ty boasts about it to Victoria (Denise Richards), an sports writer looking for a scoop. Ty and Victoria wind up at her place… and Victoria winds up dead. Did the ferocity that makes Ty formidable in the ring get the better of him in bed?
With its powerhouse cast—Oscar nominee Bruce Davison and Jim Jarmusch regular Isaach De Bankolé also feature—director Matthew Berkowitz’s second outing speaks to the power of film noir to shine a light on the base impulses brewing below our civilized exteriors. Ty’s amiability masks a profound aggression—but does that make him a killer? Or are more methodically corrupt forces at work in this riveting tale of violence and desire?
Dolphin Man tells the life story of Jacques Mayol, the greatest free-diver in recorded history, whose life became the inspiration for Luc Besson’s cult-movie Le Grand Bleu. It draws us into Mayol’s world, capturing his compelling journey from Japan to Europe, North America and India, while immersing viewers into the sensory and transformative experience of free-diving.
Mayol was the first diver to reach 100 metres below the sea and revolutionized free-diving by introducing yoga and Zen techniques. He traveled across the world, promoting an urgent vision of our need to reconnect with nature.
The film weaves together stunning contemporary underwater photography of the world’s leading free-divers with intimate testimonies of Mayol’s closest friends and family and rare film archive.
HOLY GOALIE (Awards Night Film)
Hilarious, inspirational, and just a little heretical, writer-director Curro Velázquez’s feature debut stars Spanish heartthrob Alain Hernández—last seen at our Festival in The One-Eyed King—as an unorthodox Catholic priest on a mission to save a monastery by turning a motely crew of amateurs into soccer savants.
After courting controversy during his missionary work, Father Salvador is delivered to St. Theodosius, where rules are so strict even hair gel is a sin. The monastery is in financial straits, however, and about to be sold to a hotel chain. Its only hope lies with Salvador, a former fútbolista, charged with transforming some novitiates into a team good enough to win the Clerum Championship—and its considerable cash subsidy.
Riddled with unholy hi-jinx, Velásquez has crafted a divine comedy by merrily merging two of Spain’s fundamental obsessions.