Coming to theaters The Shadow of Goya, the docu-film dedicated to the famous Spanish artist

Coming on March 6, 7, 8, 2023 to Italian cinemas is "The Shadow of Goya," the docu-film directed by José Luis López-Linares dedicated to the celebrated Spanish artist's ability to depict the nightmares, obsessions, and fantastic creatures that spring from human minds.

After being presented at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, L’Ombra di Goya, the docu-film directed by José Luis López-Linares, the director of the blockbuster film Bosch. The Garden of Dreams, and written by Jean-Claude Carrière and Cristina Otero Roth.

López-Linares chose a team of twelve specialists from all disciplines, including Julian Schnabel, to try to decipher the Spanish artist’s rich oeuvre of human beings’ nightmares, obsessions, and ghosts, as well as the extraordinary fantastical creatures that spring from their desecrating minds.

Exceptional portraitist, celebrated painter of the Spanish court, sharp storyteller and ruthless observer of vices, human paradoxes and modern hypocrisy, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes produced such masterpieces as the Colossus, the Maja vestida, the Maja desnuda, The Family of Charles IV, Saturn Devouring His Children, as well as the famous Capricci series, in which he investigated the themes of madness, witchcraft and the most unconscious nightmares.

A search for and questioning of human destiny that represents Goya’s most impressive and powerful figure, from his childhood spent in Zaragoza, where his urgency to become an artist first emerged, to the “pinturas negras” of the Quinta del Sordo, the house outside Madrid to which he retreated in dramatic isolation before going to Bordeaux, where he died in 1828. The end of the eighteenth century had marked not only the end of a century, but a crucial transition between old and new, poised between old obsessions and new untamed ghosts. After the French Revolution, the seeds of political and social change had been irretrievably sown, and Europe would never be the same again. It is in this context that the desecrating Spanish painter moves, in whose imagery and fantastic creatures the themes of revolution, carnival and revolt against the pre-established order predominate. With a particular ability to investigate upside-down worlds in which all hierarchies are overturned: those between servants and masters, between humans and animals, between male and female.

To explore the infinite facets of the artist, among the experts chosen by the director is Jean-Claude Carrière (1931-2021), Luis Buñuel’s longtime friend and collaborator, screenwriter, writer, actor and director, whom López-Linares had the good fortune to film a year before his death, retracing Goya’s footsteps with him. In the course of the narrative, each of the interviewees sheds light in his own way on an artist of incredible expressive richness (an otolaryngologist tries his hand, for example, at tracing in the paintings the consequences of the painter’s deafness), bringing together the pieces of a journey that explores the relationship between culture and emotions, cinema and painting.

Goya’s Shadow manages to range between works from different periods with which the artist unmasks the vices and hypocrisies of his era, all linked together by the reflections of Jean-Claude Carrière, who does not fail to identify the artistic links between the painter and the director of Un chien andalou, who share a commonality in being from Aragon, deafness and a predilection for a surrealist-style narrative.

“We walked through the places where Goya lived and painted. Jean-Claude Carrière shared his thoughts on what these spaces, these works and the atmosphere that reigned in these places inspired in him as he went along. His knowledge of the subject matter was encyclopedic and his reflections lively (...),” said López-Linares. "As a filmmaker, I act like a sensitive archaeologist, a passerby who offers ideas, hidden emotions behind each discovery. I like to think that I also make films for the dead, for my parents and friends, for Chesterton and Miguel de Cervantes, for my great-grandfather Alfredo who fought and died in Cienfuegos, for Goya of course and for Jean-Claude Carrière. I hope that from where he is now, he can like this film. I wanted the viewer to perceive as faithfully as possible what Goya’s deafness changed in his life and in his art (...). Our approach was to try to dig a hole in Goya’s Black Paintings to see what was behind it."

The Shadow of Goya is produced by Mondex Films, Zampa Audiovisual, López Li Films, Fado Filmes, Milonga Productions and is part of the La Grande Arte al Cinema initiative, an original and exclusive project of Nexo Digital.

For 2023, La Grande Arte al Cinema is exclusively distributed in Italy by Nexo Digital with media partners Radio Capital, Sky Arte, and in collaboration with Abbonamento Musei.

Coming to theaters The Shadow of Goya, the docu-film dedicated to the famous Spanish artist
Coming to theaters The Shadow of Goya, the docu-film dedicated to the famous Spanish artist

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