Waiting for Dalí Director David Pujol Lines Up New Feature Film, Paparazzi Series (EXCLUSIVE)

David Pujol, whose enchanting drama “Waiting for Dalí” premiered at the Malaga Film Festival on Sunday, has a new feature film project and an international TV series in the works.

Pujol has just completed the script for “Rehearsal for a Kiss,” the story of a passionate yet hapless movie theater owner in Barcelona whose love of classic movies has left his cinema in a precarious position. On the verge of losing the family business, he seeks help from his uncle in America, who has made a career for himself as a character actor in Hollywood. A flashy, larger-than-life personality, the uncle returns to his native city after 40 years to help his nephew save the theater while also reconnecting with his own past.

“The Flash Game,” meanwhile, is conceived as an eight-part series set in the 1960s world of paparazzi between Rome and London. It focuses on the rebellious son of a British publishing tycoon who, eager to be a paparazzi himself, starts his own celebrity magazine that he fills with his own exclusive shots of high-profile personalities. Having learned his trade in Rome, the young shutterbug is constantly on the prowl, trailing the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Brigitte Bardot.

Pujol is re-teaming with his “Waiting for Dalí” producers on the projects: Roger Corbi and Yan Fisher-Romanovsky of FishCorb Films and David Ortiz of Arlong Productions are back together on “Rehearsal for a Kiss” while only the former is so far involved in “The Flash Game.”

“They are marvelous producers to work with,” Pujol adds.

The team enjoyed a rapturous reception in Málaga’s historic Teatro Cervantes, where the audience gave “Waiting for Dalí” a standing ovation.

“It was very emotional,” Pujol says.

The film was very much a passion project for the director, who has in the film brought together two worlds he had explored in detail in previous documentary works – Salvador Dalí and the gastronomic wonders of Ferran Adrià of the legendary restaurant El Bulli.

“That was the spark that ignited my imagination,” Pujol explains. “They both lived very close to one another, in the same area. So I imagined what it would have been like if Dalí had once gone to eat at El Bulli. I think he would have really enjoyed it because it was a very special place. That was the starting point for me.”

“Waiting for Dalí” is set in 1975, in the waning days of the Franco regime, and follows two brothers, Fernando (Iván Massagué) and Alberto (Pol López), who are forced to flee from the authorities in Barcelona and seek refuge in the small, idyllic coastal village of Cadaqués, where Dalí lives with his wife.

There they find work in the beachside restaurant owned by the wildly eccentric Jules (José García), a Dalí fanatic who wants nothing more than to host the artist in his restaurant.

In this magical setting Fernando, already a brilliant chef, discovers the true wonders of Mediterranean cuisine in their purest form, inspiring him to create something completely new, with artistic flair.

Many of the dishes in the film were inspired by real El Bulli creations, Pujol says. “They are magical dishes, iconic. Because they are so beautiful, so delicate, so fragile, I thought they represented very well the evolution of Fernando as a character.”

The film also encapsulates a magical time in Spanish history, in which freedom seemed close at hand and local beaches attracted ever more young anti-establishment people from abroad who brought with them alternative lifestyles.

Despite the upheavals elsewhere in the country, Cadaqués – located on Spain’s northeastern coast bordering France — remained a distant paradise seemingly untouched by political problems.

“People were able to live together, although very differently,” he adds, noting that the village’s inhabitants included every social stratum in Europe: “aristocrats, hippies, poor people, fishermen, artists, intellectuals, wealthy people, bourgeois — everyone!”

It was something that Dalí appreciated, so much so that he often hosted wildly eclectic guests at his table, often seating, for example, an unkept hippie next to a staid aristocrat.

“He enjoyed the mixture and the provacation.”

Similarly, Pujol notes, Juli Soler, the late managing director of El Bulli and Adrià’s partner, “was a marvelous madman,” who, like Dalí, “received everyone equally: one day it was an American girl in a Rolling Stones t-shirt, another day an actual king, a fisherman the next — everyone, just like Dalí.

“But Juli and Ferran never thought about Dalí. They didn’t know much about Dalí, but they actually behaved in the same manner, with the same nature, inspired by the same geography.”

“Waiting for Dalí” is selling internationally via Embankment.

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