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Politically incorrect films at San Sebastian


In this age of politically correct doctrinaire thinking, the San Sebastian Film Festival has selected a series of films that contradict this false uniformity. Throughout history various filmmakers have questioned the established order, by attacking the injustices and arbitrary nature of society, or by openly making fun of its myths and taboos. They are the people that we are paying homage to here.

The choice of films that we are offering in Incorrect@s is obviously capricious. Other films would have been equally possible. Each cinemagoer can remember films that surprised them because they offered a viewpoint that conflicted with the official version by officialdom. Our criterion has been to choose those films that not only shocked people at the time but have a corrosive message that is still alive even today. So for example, we have the Marx Brothers’ Duck soup, that seventy years ago made fun of politics, and is still a crazed diatribe that rages against the stupidity of war. Or Buñuel’s L’âge d’or, that in 1930 attacked the moral principles of a bourgeoisie that stifled the individual. Or the legendary Mae West, who still hasn’t lost her incorrectness as an outrageous buxom nymphomaniac…

Most of the programme consists of more modern films, even including highly topical figures, such as the incisive Michael Moore (Roger & Me) or the imaginative Peter Jackson (Meet the Feebles). Incorrect@s proposes to run through all the genres, ranging from Jean Pierre Sinapi’s black humour (Nationale 7) to Woody Allen’s irony that attacked the mediocrity of bureaucratic superstructures in Don´t Drink the Water, an unknown film he made for television, and to include Luis G. Berlanga’s anarchism in his small-scale final film El sueño de la maestra; Cecilia Bartolomé’s feminist statement in her graduation practical at Film School (Margarita y el lobo); the social satire of the cartoons of South Park; Almodóvar’s first provocative film (Pepi, Luci, Bom…), difficult to imagine nowadays; the British stiff upper lip placed at the service of a hilarious version of the origins of Christianity (The Life of Brian), and once again the great Buñuel, who in his unfinished film Simón del desierto (Simon of the Desert) bravely poked fun at certain Christian myths…

A few more examples: the actor Tim Roth, in his only foray behind the camera, described a sordid case of incest in The War Zone, a film that won numerous awards at international festivals. His compatriot Stephen Frears in Prick up your ears told the disturbing story of the playwright Joe Orton, murdered by his lover… And so on, with a series of “incorrect” chronicles by great masters such as Claude Chabrol, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ulrich Seidl, Todd Solondz, David Cronenberg, Iván Zulueta, Danny Boyle, François Ozon, Lars von Trier, Alex Cox, John Waters, Dusan Makavejev, Jean Vigo, Marco Ferreri, not forgetting Laurel and Hardy with their enchanting ambiguity, and the short film Dick in which some woman relax and mischievously make fun of the male organ…

All in all, this is an extremely varied selection, that just to give us an idea, reminds us that cinema can shake off the prevailing puritanical morality and place itself in the forefront of political incorrectness.


L’ÂGE D’OR , Luis Buñuel, (France,1930)
ARREBATO (Rage), Iván Zulueta, (Spain,1980)
LA CÉRÉMONIE (A Judgement in Stone), Claude Chabrol, (France-Germany,1995)
CRASH , David Cronenberg, (Canada-USA,1996)
DICK , Jo Menell, (UK,1989)
DON’T DRINK THE WATER (TV) , Woody Allen, (USA,1994)
DUCK SOUP , Leo McCarey, (USA,1933)
C’EST ARRIVÉ PRÈS DE CHEZ VOUS (Man Bites Dog: It Happened in Your Neighbourhood), Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel,
Benoît Poelvoorde, (Belgium,1992)
LA GRANDE BOUFFE (Blow-Out), Marco Ferreri, (France-Italy,1973)
HAPPINESS , Todd Solondz, (USA,1998)
HUNDSTAGE/DOG DAYS , Ulrich Seidl, (Austria,2001)
I’M NO ANGEL , Wesley Ruggles, (USA,1933)
IDIOTERNE (The Idiots), Lars von Trier, (Denmark,1998)
IVÁN Z. , Andrés Duque, (Spain,2004)
MARGARITA Y EL LOBO (Margarita and the Wolf), Cecilia Bartolomé, (Spain,1969)
MEET THE FEEBLES, Peter Jackson, (New Zealand,1989)
MÖTE MED ONDSKAN (MEETING EVIL) (Meeting Evil), Reza Parsa, (Sweden,2002)
NATIONALE 7 (Uneasy Riders), Jean-Pierre Sinapi, (France,2000)
PEPI, LUCI, BOM Y OTRAS CHICAS DEL MONTÓN (Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap ), Pedro Almodóvar, (Spain,1980)
PINK FLAMINGOS , John Waters, (USA,1972)
PRICK UP YOUR EARS , Stephen Frears, (UK,1987)
ROGER & ME , Michael Moore, (USA,1989)
SALÒ O LE 120 GIORNATE DI SODOMA (Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom), Pier Paolo Pasolini, (Italy-France,1975)
SID AND NANCY (Sid & Nancy), Alex Cox, (UK,1986)
SIMÓN DEL DESIERTO (Simon of the Desert), Luis Buñuel, (Mexico,1965)
EL SUEÑO DE LA MAESTRA (The Schoolteacher’s Dream), Luis García Berlanga, (Spain,2002)
THEIR FIRST MISTAKE , George Marshall, (USA,1932)
TRAINSPOTTING , Danny Boyle, (UK,1996)
UNE ROBE D’ÉTÉ (A Summer Dress), François Ozon, (France,1996)
THE WAR ZONE , Tim Roth, (Italy-UK,1999)
W. R.- MISTERIJE ORGANIZMA (WR: Mysteries of the organism), Dusan Makavejev, (Yugoslavia-Germany,1971)
ZÉRO DE CONDUITE (Zero for Conduct), Jean Vigo, (France,1933


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