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Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS London, United Kingdom
THE SUBSTANCE (La Substància) [UK Premiere]
+ Skype Q&A with Lluís Galter, in conversation with Gonzalo Herrero Delicado (architect, writer and Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts).
(Spain, 2016, Lluís Galter, 86 min)
In 2010 Chinese developers traveled to Cadaqués — a small costal Spanish fishing town beloved and made famous by Salvador Dalí — to research their plans to build a replica of the Costa Brava city as a holiday destination for 15,000 in Zhangzhou, 6,500 miles away on the other side of the globe.
In Luis Glater’s film, his protagonists — an eccentric Spanish local historian and model boat-builder and a young Chinese business woman waiting for her Xiamen Bay apartment to be completed — drift from one Cadaqués to the other in a blurring of dream and reality, fiction and documentary, original and copy, that mirrors the surreal situation of a town’s teleportation.
Bookended by adverts for the Chinese and Spanish Cadaqués, and folding in elements of the mundane and the mystical, and even the Spaghetti Western, Galter’s imaginative docu-fiction flattens time and space to create a meditative hybrid of the two towns, merging their realities in a cinematic quest for the ‘substance’ of a place.