Coverage of the 64th edition of RNE Sant Jordi Awards of Cinematography, by Conxita Casanovas
The Spanish band Mecano used to sing a rose is a rose. Well I can say Sant Jordi’s Day is Sant Jordi’s Day. As usual, the awards of cinematography had been granted in January, but they still needed to be actual given to the winners. But how could we do it? The pandemic has put half the world in a holding pattern, and in retrospect, I think we made the right decision, especially since we could not hug or even come close to each other.
Thus, in a wink of an eye a wonderful TV set was arranged in Sant Cugat that was followed by a TV show and a remote award ceremony that required the collaboration of all the winners. You can imagine how we felt when were told we could not host the ceremony at Caixaforum theater like we had anticipated. Still, thanks to the actual presence of the winners, the professionality and great work of the RTVE staff appointed for this event, producer Nuria Barrientos, and presenter Montse Soto we managed to overcome the coldness of a pre-recorded show and achieve an emotional and rare production for the books on July 22, 2020 we’ll tell our grandchildren about. Booksellers also helped us by moving their Spring sales often scheduled for the month of April to the Summer.
Antonio Banderas has been the man of the year (2020) and he did not disappoint. From his Soho theater, the Spanish actor born in Malaga thanked the Sant Jordi award to the best actor. An award he still did not have. Just before filming with Tilda Swinton, Bandera’s sidekick Pedro Almodóvar warmly thanked the Rosa de Sant Jordi award granted by the listeners of Radio 4 station to his Oscar-nominated movie “Pain and Glory”. Bathed in sunlight and from his own particular galactic heaven, Óliver Laxe thanked the Sant Jordi award to the best Spanish movie for “Fire will come” with the characteristic seal of these legendary awards created by Esteve Bassols and Jordi Torras back in 1957 who left us an eternal legacy. From Ibiza and resting underneath a tree, Ángela Molina, whose career was touched by Luis Buñuel’s hand, said that the saint may be holy, but both of them were of the same age. For 64 consecutive years, Barcelona film critics have been meeting every year to tell the amazing and interesting story of movie making. One of them, Argimiro Lozano, deserved the Sant Jordi award of the Industry for his work promoting Spanish movies over the years by using his creativity and imagination regardless of any personal ambitions. It was amazing to hear him tell how, as a young man, he was often asked “what do you want to do in the radio business?”. He would always answer “work at RNE (Spain’s national public radio station)”.
This has been the year when we lost stars like Enio Morricone or Kirk Douglas, but also a Catalan actress who one day decided to stop being just Paco Rabal’s wife. After his death she resumed her interrupted career to brought us roles like the woman from “Wiped-out footprints”. She was brought back to us from our memory through her daughter Teresa Rabal.
Also, this year we are thrilled to encourage the careers of Aritz Moreno, the director of “Advantages of travelling by train”, best debut film, and the always delicious Marta Nieto, the protagonist of Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “Mother” and best actress in a Spanish film. The best international actress was the unattainable Margot Robbie, Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate, and John C. Reilly, best international actor for his performances in “The Sisters brothers” and “Stan and Ollie”, extremely difficult roles to play. From France, Noémie Merlant, “the painter” from “Portrait of a lady”, best foreign film, delivered one of the most sincere and direct acceptance speeches.
I can assure you that this year has been as heroic as one of Tom Cruise’s “Mission impossible”, but with a happy ending since Sant Jordi always ends up killing the dragon eventually. Now it is time to celebrate the future ahead as we delve into 2021 LXV edition. With a little bit of luck we will re-gain the only thing missing this year, the audience.