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San Sebastian 56 Will Have an 'Infusciating' New Look

If you're tired of those same old raggedy Red Carpets every year the 56th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival which opens on September 18 has anounced a major change in decor --the Red Carpet this year will be FUCHSIA... and not just one rug for the stars to cavort on on on their way to the galas, but two! A carpet 9O metres long (about one American football field) will lead up the main beachfront thoroughfare to the surrealistic Kursaal complex, otherwise known as 'The Cube', where the festival is centered, and a second fuchsia tapis, this one a mere forty metres in length, will provide colorful footing for the stars and celebs entering galas at the Victoria Eugenia theatre.  Moreover, fuchsia (sometimes known as „passion pink"), we are told, will be the predominant color all over town during the fest, so it could turn out to be a dazzling ten daze.


This year the festival opens with a remarkable one-two punch -- two opening galas at the above mentioned venues on opening night. The latest Woody Allen „Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (appropriate title for Spain) stars Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall, vying for the affections of Javier Badem whose ex-wife Penelope Cruz, is lurking in the background. Plenty of star power with Badem fresh from last year's Oscar winning turn as the monstrous hulk in the Coen Brothers „No Country for Old Men", and the third appearance in a Woody Allen flick for scrumptious Miss Johansson.  She was last seen on a San Sebastian screen under Woody's direction in his excellent non-comedy Hitchcockian thriller „Match Point" in 2OO5.  The current film is set in Barcelona and other Spanish locations so it's a natural for this festival. Allen himself was honored here with a lifetime award and a partial retrospective back in 2OO4, so one might well say that the salty air of the Basque seacoast does not overly disagree with the kvetchy director from Manhattan.  Allen, Badem, and actress Rebecca Hall are scheduled to trod the fuchsia and present the film at the Victoria Eugenia screening. (What -no Scarlett!)

The other fuschsia carpet opening, at the Cubic Kursaal, is „The Other Man", an English drama starring Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, Laura Linney, and Liam Neeson. Director is Englishman Richard Eyre (64). Banderas and director Eyre are expected to attend along with a big celebrity turnout.

During the week Meryl Streep  and Antonio Banderas will be the recipients of the annual Donostia career awards, while other stars and directors on the festival guest list include Joan Chen, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey, Jr., Colin Firth, the ubiquitous John Malkovitch, and Paul Thomas Anderson, to mention only a few of the best known. Among high profile films on tap are „Burn After Reading", the latest offering from the Coen Brothers, with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Tilda Swinton, the English concentration camp friendship fantasy, 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas", and 'Tropic Thunder", a war satire directed by and starring Ben Stiller. The festival closer will be „The Brothers Bloom", a comedy crime drama, starring Rachel Weisz and Adrien Brody.

by Alex Deleon for <> 

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THE FESTIVALS BLOG by Alex Deleon. Watch for festival coverage from the circuit.

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