Spanish Arts Showcase: New Nonfiction / January 22 – February 5


  • American U., Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC 20016

Spanish Arts Showcase: New Nonfiction

Spanish Arts Showcase: New Nonfiction explores the lives and artworks of several Spaniard visionaries.

Featuring different disciplines and times, the film program begins with Segundo de Chomón, an almost forgotten filmmaker of the stature of the French Georges Méliès; virtuoso guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía opened flamenco to jazz and other musical genres as well as to a crowd of new followers; El Celler de Can Roca is the best restaurant in the world (according to 2015 Michelin Guide) and the three Roca brothers who run it created a fascinating “opera in twelve plates”; finally, during Franco’s dictatorship the architect Luis Moya designed one of the biggest and most unknown buildings in Europe: Universidad Laboral.

American University, McKinley Building
Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater
4400 Massachusetts Ave
Washington, DC 20016

The Man Who Would Be Second

  • On Friday, January 22 at 7 pm. Opening Night Reception, Media Innovation Lab at 6:30 pm.
  • Directed by Ramón Alòs Sánchez. Spain, 2015, 90 minutes.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles.

Pioneering Spanish fantasy filmmaker Segundo de Chomón, whose trickster and proto-surrealist sensibilities inspired Luis Buñuel and the future of Spanish cinema, may (or may not) have had a twin brother called Primo who interfered with his career. From their home in the Province of Teruel, “the Chomón brothers” witnessed the origins of movies, understood their potential as an art, and worked at times with their contemporary Georges Méliès in Paris. The Man Who Would Be Second—through interviews, re-enactments, documents, archival clips, and the filmmaker’s engaging first-person storytelling—examines the complex conundrum that is Chomón’s legacy within the history of art.

Paco de Lucía –The Search

  • On Wednesday, January 27 at 7 pm.
  • Directed by Curro Sánchez. Spain, 2014, 95 minutes.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles.

Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist and composer Paco de Lucia (1947-2014) was one of the first musicians to incorporate other musical genres such as classical and jazz into his work. The Andalusian master agreed to collaborate on a documentary about his devotion to Flamenco. (He learned guitar at age seven, and performed continuously until his death at sixty-six.) Featuring introspective and amusing interview footage, performances, and reflections on many musical forms, the film traces Paco’s life through his last days in Mallorca while completing the arrangements for a posthumous CD release.

The Dream (El somni)

  • On Friday, February 5 at 7 pm.
  • Directed by Franc Aleu. Spain, 2014, 82 minutes.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Double feature with The Dream of Luis Moya.

The Dream documents a uniquely Spanish experiment in communal creativity. A distinguished assemblage of international artists took part in a dinner event—“an opera in twelve plates.” Conceived by the Roca brothers, owners of the top-ranked restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Catalonia, this immersive experience involved all of the senses. With their culinary creations providing a foundation, an array of images, music, and performance elements from other artist-participants including Zubin Mehta, Miquel Barceló, Freida Pinto, and Sílvia Pérez Cruz were carefully embedded into the dinner.

The Dream of Luis Moya

  • On Friday, February 5 at 7 pm.
  • Directed by Manuel García Postigo and Francisco Vidal Guardado, Spain, 2011, 45 minutes.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Double feature with The Dream (El somni).

The Dream of Luis Moya is a focused look at an extraordinary building. One of the strangest architectural projects ever undertaken, Universidad Laboral, was an educational center for orphans in Asturias constructed between 1946 and 1956. Spain’s largest building ever was the creation of architect Luis Moya Blanco who believed his design should evoke the classical past. Eventually abandoned, this colossal citadel is slowly being revived.

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