16 JULY 2020 35
Photography: Peter Schibli © Succession Picasso/DACS 2019, iStock/Getty Images
staff, emergency services and care
workers, tickets are free for them.
Book online at royalacademy.org.uk.
3 Get the kids gardening
Encouraging green fingers
early on can start a love of
gardening that’ll last a lifetime.
And if you’ve got room to grow
some fruit or veg,
it’s a great way
for kids to learn
where their food
comes from. The
Society website has lots of
tips on plants that are simple
to grow and fun projects,
a bee hotel, making a
scarecrow and using
leaves to make compost –
4 Have a night in Nashville
The Royal Albert Hall’s
series of fantastic, free
livestreamed concerts has been
a highlight of lockdown, and this
week they’re going country, with
Nashville Meets London. It will
feature Nashville band The
Cadillac Three, American
country singer Michael
very own Twinnie.
It’s free to watch at
7.30pm on Saturday 18 July,
although donations to support
the venue during this
difficult time are always
welcome. For more
information and to donate
go to royalalberthall.com.
SEE IT NOW
Latest reviews from The Observer’s film critic
strange tale Salvador Simó’s Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
NEW TO HOME VIEWING AND CINEMAS
In 1933, surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, who had courted praise and
outrage alike with Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or, directed one of the
strangest ‘documentaries’ ever filmed. Entitled Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin
Pan (Land Without Bread), this alarming oddity painted a brutal portrait
of one of the poorest areas of Spain in which fact and fiction became
indistinguishable. Now, with Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
(available on BFI Player), Spanish filmmaker Salvador Simó has made an
equally strange animated feature about the creation of Las Hurdes, which
similarly defies categorisation.
Adapted from a graphic novel by Fermín Solís, Simó’s film centres on
the friendship between Buñuel and Ramón Acín, his sculptor friend who
agreed to finance the movie if he won the lottery – which he promptly did!
Unable to control Buñuel’s increasingly outrageous creative urges, Acín
finds himself questioning the entire nature of the project in which he has
invested money, time and trust.
Manuel Galiana, who served as animation director on the brilliant
Chico & Rita, once again works simple wonders with the visuals, which are
starkly intercut with live-action footage from Buñuel’s film. Be warned;
orchestrated animal death and injury is a recurrent feature of Las Hurdes,
and Simó does not shy away from this unpalatable truth.
With cinemas starting to reopen, audiences are eagerly awaiting the
arrival of such big-screen spectacles as Unhinged and Tenet. But the
American independent comedy-drama Saint Frances (in selected
cinemas soon) offers altogether more low-key delights. Writer Kelly
O’Sullivan stars as thirtysomething singleton Bridget, who finds herself
wrestling with issues of reproduction and independence while nannying
for the titular six-year-old.
It’s brilliantly bittersweet fare, remarkable for its intimacy and candour,
but also wholly engaging and entertaining. Newcomer Ramona Edith
Williams shares the unmannered precocious charm that Brooklynn
Kimberly Prince displayed in The Florida Project, and Jim True-Frost
(best known as Prez in The Wire) is hilariously slimy in a cameo role as a
smug guitar-teacher-cum-guru. But this is O’Sullivan’s movie all the way
and she owns the screen, conjuring a chaotic anti-heroine with whose
midlife crises we can fully empathise.
Why on earth Blumhouse Productions (responsible for horror hits such
as Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Get Out) decided to revive the naff
TV series Fantasy Island is anybody’s guess. Bowing briefly in cinemas
just as lockdown began, the clumsily-titled Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island
now resurfaces on DVD and Blu-ray, with the promise of ‘Unseen
Cut Included’. Honestly, I’d pay good money to be able to ‘unsee’ this
disastrously ill-judged mish-mash of dozy TV clichés and hokey horror
riffs. Anyone old enough to remember the TV show will be appalled, while
those too young to have seen it should think themselves lucky!
Girl, Woman, Other
The joint Booker Prizewinning
novel tells an
story of 12 black women
whose lives overlap as
friends, families and
lovers. A must.