Buñuel’s imaginarium strikes again

Cinema-Teatro Nuovo, Varese. JJ Beeme presented an exhibition tribute to Luis Buñuel throughout October 2023, organised by Fundación del Garabato and Filmstudio 90 in the frame of the Spanish Semester, with the support of Instituto Cervantes in Milan, achieving great success.

On the same day of the inauguration, 22 September, the film EL (Mexico, 1953) was screened after having been restored this year by Cineteca di Bologna. To present it and reflect on Buñuel’s cinematography, the critic and documentary filmnaker Alessandro Leone spoke with JJ Beeme in a sort of interview which delighted the audience.

Alessandro Leone wrote in the catalogue of the exhibition:

Painter, illustrator, writer, video maker, journalist, translator, the Spanish José Joaquín Beeme perfectly embodies the image of the multifaceted artist, whose work seems to respond to the compulsive need to transfigure life into poetry, mixing personal suggestions and cultural heritage. Beeme’s is an everyday practice that encompasses various forms of storytelling, transforming human moods into unexpected landscapes that explode on the canvas or in verses, between the pages of precious artist books and in sketchbooks, or in fantastic animations, works imbued with a funny, proudly Iberian surrealism. The manifesto paintings inspired by the cinematography of Luis Buñuel, made on the occasion of the Spanish Semester and exhibited in the spaces of the Cinema Nuovo in Varese, are a tangible proof. These are re-readings that do not cite the original posters but rather seek the essence of the Aragonese filmmaker, seen through some of his most famous films. Symbolic images: the silhouette of a forgotten man [figlio della violenza, in its Italian premiere] loaded with musical instruments, the bare leg of Viridiana, the gaze absorbed in God of Simon of the Desert, and also another gaze, the most iconic of all , that of Buñuel himself (through his alter ego Batcheff) to the moon-eye before being cut with a knife, which foreshadows nightmares in Un chien andalou and which says a lot about the nature of cinema as a dream. The lines and colors in JJ Beeme’s posters seem to choreograph a dreamlike dance that places the artist two steps from the master. In dreams, precisely.

Echo in the media:

Read an interview to JJ Beeme in Diario de Teruel.

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