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The Substance (La Substància) [UK Premiere] ?
+ Q&A with Lluís Galter
(Spain, 2016, Lluís Galter, 86 min)
In 2010 Chinese developers traveled to Cadaqués - a small costal Spanish fishing town beloved and made famous by Salvador Dalí - to research their plans to build a replica of the Costa Brava city as a holiday destination for 15,000 in Zhangzhou, 6,500 miles away on the other side of the globe.
In Luis Glater’s film, his protagonists - an eccentric Spanish local historian and model boat-builder and a young Chinese business woman waiting for her Xiamen Bay apartment to be completed - drift from one Cadaqués to the other in a blurring of dream and reality, fiction and documentary, original and copy, that mirrors the surreal situation of a town’s teleportation.
Bookended by adverts for the Chinese and Spanish Cadaqués, and folding in elements of the mundane and the mystical, and even the Spaghetti Western, Galter’s imaginative docu-fiction flattens time and space to create a meditative hybrid of the two towns, merging their realities in a cinematic quest for the ‘substance’ of a place.