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LA-RE-MI-LA (Carles Santos, 1979)


Xcèntric 2020

Is it possible to formulate a first question and to continue having dinner?

The films of Carles Santos


The work of Carles Santos has been chosen to end the film season. This homage includes a poetry reading, a selection of his  films made between 1969 and 1979, many of which have been rarely shown, two short pieces on the origins of cinema starring the magician Leopoldo Fregoli and a single concert by the pianist Clara Peya (National Culture Prize 2019), performing a piece composed especially for the occasion.

In the 1970s, Carles Santos made around a dozen shorts that use minimalism and conceptualism to explore different kinds of listening, bringing to light a veritable philosophy of music in cinema.  Santos recorded and reproduced sound, with variations and repetitions. Some of his films question why, when melody is played repeatedly, reason takes the place of emotion among the spectators. One example of this are the unpredictable pianos in a Barcelona shop window in Peça per a quatre pianos, as well as 682-3133 Buffalo Minnesota, with the participation of the North American flautist Barbara Held. LA-RE-MI-LA adds an ironic touch, building a city out of ephemeral pianists. This short has been programmed with two films starring the magician Leopoldo Fregoli, Maestri di musica and Retroescena 2. Fregoli, very much admired by Joan Brossa, was famous for his ability to transform things. In Preludi de Chopin opus 28, n. 7, the cineaste Pere Portabella dictates Frédéric Chopin using a tape recorder to speak a score of music. This film, almost never seen, culminates our totally avant-garde cinematographic journey.

The trans-disciplinary approach of Santos throughout his career has inspired a large generation of musicians who are also interested in investigating new forms of performing music. Among them, the pianist and composer Clara Peya recognises the influence of Santos, who “knew how to transcend boundaries”. For the occasion, Peya will perform a single concert on the piano, playing a composition inspired by this selection of films that have rarely been shown to the public.

Peça per a quatre pianos, Carles Santos, 1978, 16 mm, 5:40 min; 682-3133 Buffalo Minnesota, Carles Santos, 1977, 16 mm, 6:44 min; Maestri di música, Leopoldo Fregoli, 1897-1899, 35 mm, 50 s; Retroescena 2, Leopoldo Fregoli, 1897-1899, 35 mm, 40 s; LA-RE-MI-LA, Carles Santos, 1979, 35 mm, 8:35 min; Preludi de Chopin opus 28, n. 7, Carles Santos, 1969, 16 mm, 20:45 min.

Digital projection. Copies courtesy of the Filmoteca de Valencia.

A programme by Ona Balló.

Presenters: Ona Balló

Directors: Carles Santos, Leopoldo Fregoli

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2020

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