A Perfect Day to Fly: Tell me a tale
by Alfonso Rivera
- Marc Recha offers us a minimalistic and intimate fantasy film starring his son Roc, Sergi López and the powerful force of the child’s imagination
Screened as part of the official competition section of the last San Sebastián Film Festival, A Perfect Day to Fly [+see also:
film profile] aroused suspicions even before it was shown. This critic heard one famous Spanish journalist say, sceptically and with some apprehension, moments before the first press screening, "Of this film's 70 minutes, 60 are going spare." It is true that Marc Recha is not your run-of-the-mill filmmaker, nor one who is easy or accommodating. His extremely personal films have never belonged to the realms of mainstream or commercial cinema, and they surely never will. Instead, Recha's work depicts the close at hand, the intimate and the everyday. And there is nothing more familiar than a film like this: shot with the camera fixed on the faces of the director's son Roc and his friend Sergi López, like another companion in their adventures, games and discussions, accompanied by music composed by his brother, Pau Recha. And that, as some of the noisy and early walkouts during the first screening at the Principal Theatre in San Sebastián attested to, is perhaps further proof of why the work of the director from L’Hospitalet de Llobregat is not for all tastes.
Because the seventh movie by the filmmaker who won over the demanding Locarno Film Festival with El cielo sube, The Cherry Tree and August Days [+see also:
film profile] is a piece of overwhelming simplicity, with only three characters (the third being the director himself, who appears in the third act) and which uses the intimacy and trust they share as the glue that lends integrity to this fable – which was shot in five days – where the boundaries of fiction and reality become blurred. In the Mediterranean wildernesses of the Garraf mountains (Barcelona), we follow little Roc, who is trying to fly a kite made by his father. At the same time, the man (Sergi López) who accompanies him, dressed as someone who explores caves, tells him a story that features animals and a giant, which the boy listens to with the innocence and curiosity unique to our early years, when nothing can spoil our means of perception. In this way, the boy comes to discover an amazing world of make-believe, which feeds his dreams and helps him to understand reality.
This is how Recha creates what he calls "a narrative fantasy film": the magic beings that fill the tale which López tells to the expressive and perceptive Roc begin to take form in the imagination of the viewer, just as they do in the mind of the child. While it requires effort to detach ourselves from the bonds of realism and reawaken that sense of wonder we had as children that perhaps still lingers within us, at the same time A Perfect Day to Fly reveals itself as a knowing portrait of fatherhood and a heartfelt love poem from Marc to his son Roc.
(Translated from Spanish)