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New Spanish Cinema

Sunday, November 8, 2009
3:00 p.m. The Sound of the Sea
Miguelanxo Prado (Spain/Portugal, 2007)

(De Profundis). Spanish graphic novelist Miguelanxo Prado is one of Europe’s best-known, most influential comic artists, acclaimed for his Borgesian graphic novels and remarkable drawings inspired by Schiele, Vermeer, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Constructed from digitizations of thousands of his paintings and drawings, The Sound of the Sea marks his entry into animated feature filmmaking, and it is, quite simply, stunning. The film recalls the oil painting–based work of Alexander Petrov (The Old Man and the Sea) and the environmental fantasies of Hayao Miyazaki (specifically Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind), but its beauty, imagination, and resonance are entirely its own, and can be enjoyed by young and old alike. In a house perched on an island, a woman waits for her lover to return; he has tragically fallen into the ocean, and must travel with mermaids, jellyfish, and more to find his way back to her. A tribute to the sea and to love, this magical film is entirely wordless, kept afloat by fantasy and a mournful cello score.

—Jason Sanders

• Written, Photographed by Prado. (75 mins, Color, 35mm, From Pragda)