Alcarràs: why don’t we envision that hero’s journey with passion?

Olivia Wilde, director who this week has released the film Do not worry dear, recently declared in an interview with the magazine frames that for her the cinematographic experience should be “something entertaining and exciting. The public deserves to embark on an adventure.”

The seventh art, exercised by enthusiastic professionals in their profession, does not always meet that simple requirement of being passionate and, depending on the type of viewer, sometimes it does not entertain what is already the maximum failure of a film.

Alcarràsthe second feature film Carla Simonone of the most beloved young Spanish directors and supported by the national film industry, has a unique style of telling stories, as does, for example, Paula Ortiz (The Bride, 2015) who is shooting Teresa, a free version of the work La lengua en pieces, by Juan Mayorga, in turn based on El libro de la Vida, by Santa Teresa de Jesús, and which, however, has not always had the favor of academics.

Summer 1993, Simón’s first feature, was already selected in 2017 by the Academy to represent Spain at the Oscars in the nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. In Hollywood, she did not make the cut to definitely be among the final five nominees. Five years later, the Spanish Film Academy once again bets on Simón and his Alcarràs, a dramatic film, performed by non-professional actors and set on the farm of a family of Catalan peasants who see how their way of life, enjoyed for several generations, will come to an end at the end of the summer for not being able to prove ownership of said farmland, which will be destroyed to place solar panels. The two hours of film focus on this family and their daily chores, subtly outlining the characters of each one, but never delving into anything, neither the story, nor the characters, nor the social criticism, nor the future of the agricultural sector… Simón only draws a sketch that, according to critics from specialized media, is masterful to the point of qualifying it as a masterpiece (clearly, a disproportionate score). The ordinary public, however, has not opted with joy for this sketch of rural life and only 321,859 spectators have gone to the cinemas to see the new Carla Simón, according to data from the Institute of Cinematography and the Audiovisual Arts (ICAA). Its approximate budget of 2.4 million euros has not been recovered in theaters either, reaching €1,915,401.75.

Of course, if we compare ourselves with some of the most notorious premieres so far this year, Alcarràs It surpasses in spectators and collections films like Malnazidos, Cinco lobitos, La granny or Veneciafrenia. Although very far from the true cinematographic success of Spanish cinema this year, Father there is only one 3 with more than 2 million viewers and a gross of more than 12 million euros. Nor does it surpass the animated film Tadeo Jones 3, which has raised 3.7 million euros and 660,525 spectators have already passed through cinemas to see it.

But heMovies to compete at the Oscars are not selected for their level of box office receipts or acceptance by the public. It is always curious to realize over and over again that what academics or juries of different festivals consider worthy of an award tends to differ terribly from what the public likes. And then come the disappointments, like sit down to watch Alcarràs and after twenty minutes wonder where the solid plot of the story is, when will the climax come, why don’t we envision that hero’s journey passionately. Joseph Campbell said that “a hero sets out on an adventure from an everyday world and enters a land of supernatural wonders.” Obviously, these words should not be taken literally to build a story, otherwise, the viewer would always see a duplicate version of The Lord of the Rings over and over again, but it would be appreciated if every story creator wanted, as he said Olivia Wilde, embarking the public on an adventure. Simon does not do it, she invites us to be part of a look through the window at the real and mundane world, but that, what do you want me to tell you, we can all do, every day, if we are willing to look.

We will have to wait until December 21, 2022, the date on which the short list of the Oscars, to find out if the film continues its race to achieve the statuette for Best International Film at the Oscar ceremony, which will take place on March 12, 2023. @reviews in @worldwide

Alcarràs: why don’t we envision that hero’s journey with passion?