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The Substance (PG*) + ScreenTalk with Lluís Galter

A still from the film The Substance

Blurring fiction and documentary, this film follows the strange teleportation of a town from one continent to another, exploring what ‘place’ really means.

In 2010 Chinese developers travelled 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 city as a holiday destination for 15,000 in Zhangzhou, 6,500 miles away. 

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 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.

Tagged with: Cinema

Spain 2016 Dir Lluís Galter 86 min

We're delighted to welcome director Lluís Galter for a ScreenTalk, hosted by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado (architect, writer and Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts).

Curated by The Architecture Foundation


Barbican Cinema 2