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Laura Hojman, one of the most poetic and luminous gazes of our cinema

His film about María Lejárraga nominated for 4 major awards

Of girl Laura Hojmann I was looking forward to the summer movie sessions. With the same attitude that will mark her existence and her filmography, the filmmaker was closest to the sun, on the roof of her grandmother’s house. With her sandwich in her hands, she wished that it would be dark soon. When she finally reached that long-awaited moment, the last rays of sunset light reappeared in a single beam, which flooded the screen and illuminated the town square. She would go to bed after the first session, or rather her grandmother would force her to go to bed, and she would fall asleep listening to the soundtrack of the second, while she dreamed of being an archaeologist when she grew up.

That memory, one of the most beloved of his childhood, perfectly defines the conception of his cinema. It combines the three key elements of the images of his films and the narrative of his scripts: Laura Hojmannthe filmmaker of light (the sun on the roof), together with memory (her grandmother) and the need to dig through the layers of history’s past (archaeology), in search of signs or traces “for a better understanding of the present and to be able to look serenely towards the future”.

solar lands

Childhood dreams rarely come true. Most of the time they transform, but manage to retain their essence. The director graduated in Art History (after all, the archeology of beauty) and Cultural Management and, in the midst of the economic crisis, launched into the seventh art in any occupation that had contact with cinema: public relations in the Seville Festival, assistant in short films, wardrobe assistant…

Already under the effects of the poison of the cinema, he decided to set up, together with Guillermo Rojashis producer Summer Films (again, a name associated with light), writing his scripts with dozens of colors (just like he edits his movies, all by hand). Luck already appeared in his first feature when he found support from RTVE, despite not having previous directing experience, with Solar Lands (2018). A film about the poet’s journey through Andalusia Ruben Dario which, on an aesthetic level, is like a tableau of Joaquin Sorolla.

under the samepictorial and sensory conception” performs his second length, Antonio Machado. The Blue Days (2020). The rain of nominations and awards is not long in coming. Despite his impressive success, nothing compares to what he achieved with his last job., To the women of Spain. Maria Lejarraga. Beyond being the only non-fiction film to be nominated for four major awards (Forqué, Fierce, Carmen -in fact, it has 7 nominations from the Andalusian Film Academy– and Goya), the film has become a social phenomenon.

antonio machado the blue days

The story of Maria Lejarraga has penetrated the hearts of the public. This writer, screenwriter and pioneer of feminism in the country during the 20s of the 20th century, she only saw her works published under the name of her husband, the theater manager Gregorio Martínez Sierra, who was wearing, however , awards and honors.

Laura Hojmann tells us about this vital experience that goes beyond cinema. “Apart from discovering the surprise of the spectators at the wonderful story of this woman, an anticipated and clairvoyant firefly of thought, the film has encouraged school students to write sentences from the essayist on the walls of the school, teachers who prepare cards of work on it, to social movements that request that a street bear their name or, even, to a group of girls who look for their books in the flea markets or second-hand market, to cross out the name of the supposed author and put that of their true author…

Laura Hojmann He has achieved what many filmmakers dream of their entire careers, that the public take ownership of the film and make it personal. All this thanks to his talent, as unusual as it is masterful, of adopting an optimistic, intimate and respectful look, to tell a story as sad as it is, after all, that of Maria Lejarraga: the concealment of a woman so essential in the history of Spain. In short, a luminous point of view that does not stop looking for blame, but looks ahead “so that the mistakes of the past do not repeat themselves”.

to the women of Spain

The filming of his fourth work was scheduled for March, but given the long journey that the film is having, it has been delayed until after the summer. A work that will focus on the writer Agustin Gomez Arcosanother of the unknowns of our history.

This playwright and novelist from Almeria, tired of the confrontations against the Franco regime, decides to go into exile. He settles in France where his fame and recognition are not long in coming (finalist in 1984 for the French literary prize, the goncourtwho won it Marguerite Duras, with The lover; awards Thyde Monnier in 1977 and the prize Roland Dorgeles in 1978 with his postwar trilogy; 14 novels in French and about twenty plays…).

Laura Hojmann confirms her former hobby as an archaeologist by discovering another of the personalities of the 20th century, who we cannot keep in oblivion. With this he seems to conclude what we could call his tetralogy of illuminating voices.

Among his references, before any other, he cites the films of Isabel Coixetwhich in his early days illuminated his adolescence because “I needed them to feel less alone”. EITHER Sofia Coppola for how he treats difference, isolation, loneliness in his films or his ability to transfer to the cinema that feeling of watching life go by behind a window pane. Juan José Campanella, Santiago Miter or Sebastián Lelio are other of his favorite directors, but above all, in non-fiction, there is the teacher Patrick Guzman, with his absolute creative freedom.

In the filmmaker’s words there is a sincerity, always, absolute and direct. She does not hesitate to reveal her doubts, the skin-deep sensitivity that is doubled on a shoot or define her direction in more horizontal terms, shared with the team, listening… so far removed from the parameters that directors usually express. “I have learned to lead by being myself“and that shows in his films because they tell us”Stories that would have made our lives easier” and integrate the viewer into their narrative.

Laura Hoffmann, one of the most poetic cinematographic visions of our cinema, is a true box of surprises. In the days of the blanket and the movie, he confesses to us, almost whispering, that he is passionate about watching movies and series of sects or the genre true crime. He even already has several of these stories created in his imagination to shoot. Albert Einstein it said that “darkness does not exist, darkness is actually the absence of light”. No matter what he shoots, his cinema will always be like his filmmaker’s gaze, bright and luminous.

Source: Fotogramas

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