Recha, Marc


Recha, Marc
(1970- )
   Marc Recha was brought up to become an artist, and as a boy he was sent to a special school that nurtured creativity. Although he has grown into just that, he is cynical about what constitutes art and has remained outside the artistic mainstream, and his sparse, hermetic films are a reflection of that attitude. His notion of film is almost the polar opposite of that represented by his contemporaries of the glittering Young Spanish Cinema generation that consolidated in the mid-1990s and which included Alejandro Amenábar and Álex de la Iglesia. If the latter turned their attention to Hollywood genres, Recha is unwaveringly anti-Hollywood in his outlook and approach. In several interviews, he has been explicit about his references, listing not just classical European figures like Robert Bresson, but also Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.
   From his earliest shorts, Recha experimented with time, observation, and mood. Although he obtained support from the Catalan government, he was vocal in expressing his discontent about the conditions of such funding. L'arbre de les cireres (The Cherry Tree, 1998), a title with echoes from Kiarostami, was shot in Catalan and set in the Valencian countryside. It tells a story that is consciously uneventful but intensely emotional and detailed in its view of ordinary people's lives. The film and its director were saluted by the more serious critics as new hope in the landscape of intellectual film. It was followed by three more full-length titles, all thinly plotted and visually serene. Pau i el seu germà (Pau and His Brother, 2001) was nominated for the Cannes Palme d'Or and confirmed Recha as one of the most interesting new talents in Spanish art cinema. Las manos vacías (Empty Hands, 2003) was even slower and more impressionistic in representing a frieze of off-beat characters living in a French-Catalan village. The director himself and his brother David starred in Recha's last film to date, Dies d'agost (Days of August, 2006), a travelogue that chronicles a journey of self-discovery with substantial autobiographical input.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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