Días color naranja: Surprising diversions
by Alfonso Rivera
- Pablo Llorca returns with a film shot on public transport and following a group of young, romantically-inclined travellers as they happily allow life to carry them off in unexpected directions
An Icelandic volcano suddenly awakens, causing havoc for air travel throughout the entire vast continent. Travellers are left with only two options: stay where they are and wait for fate to restore order, or take another (terrestrial) route. Fortune flexing its muscles: this is the starting premise for Días color naranja [+see also:
film profile], the new film from Madrid-born director Pablo Llorca, who, following the tradition established by his last five films, has come to the 13th Seville European Film Festival for its public unveiling in the New Waves section.
Exhibiting his trademark dyed-in-the-wool independence (once again taking on the role of producer as well as director, in partnership with La Cicatriz/La Bañera Roja, also handling sales), Llorca worked with a pared-down team, just himself and a sound and image technician, to allow him to infiltrate a train compartment and work alongside the young actors giving life to his new adventure as it passes through Belgrade, Croatia, Rome and various other places. This time the director of documentary País de todo a cien [+see also:
film profile] has swapped the problems, introspection and afflictions of later life (or society of large) that dominated his earlier work for the hope, freedom and abandon of youth, embodied by the lead character, Álvaro (Jorge Ferrer). Discovering that he is to be forced by circumstance to change his mode of transport and will not be able to return to Madrid by plane, Álvaro opens himself up to the surprising charms and temptations of a more sedate, terrestrial route across the old continent.
The journey begins in Athens, by rail, as he encounters a multinational band of young people enjoying the perennially fascinating experience of inter railing around Europe. It continues by coach, with a stopover on the terrace of a house in Trieste, where a worldly-wise theatre director (played by the great Luis Miguel Cintra) regales the travellers with nuggets of wisdom accumulated through years of life experience. All of these events are shaped by one of those typical summertime infatuations, as intoxicating as they are ephemeral, that end as easily as they began but are never forgotten. A novel by Dickens (and certain Rohmerian inclinations) serve to bind two of the characters closer together: after all, reading is—or was—one of the pleasantest ways to while away the hours on a long journey.
With the visual style of a home video, full of abrupt camera movements and jarring sound faults, Días color naranja (the title is a reference to a poem by Louis Aragón, dedicated to García Lorca) successfully captures the feeling of the carefree summers of youth that we look back on with longing as the years go by, when relationships are fresh and new and we know that this time in our lives will never come again... or at least, only through memory and the telling of stories, like this one crafted by Pablo Llorca.
(Translated from Spanish)
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