Seminci will premiere the restored and extended print of “The Cursed Village” to the accompaniment of live music by Raül Refree

The special screening, which will take place on October 28 at the Miguel Delibes Cultural Centre, shows twelve minutes of additional footage and features the musical accompaniment of the prestigious artist

The Valladolid International Film Festival will present the restored print of the film The Cursed Village (Florián Rey, 1930) including 12 minutes of unpublished footage and the live performance of a music score by composer/musician Raül Refree. This special event will take place on 28 October at the Miguel Delibes Cultural Centre.

The Cursed Village is a mythical film in the history of Spanish cinema and is considered its first masterpiece. Produced at the time of the advent of sound films, it had both a sound and a silent version. Only the latter has survived to this day. The film was considered lost for many years, until, in the mid-1980s, the Spanish Film Library commissioned Juan Mariné to restore it. On the occasion of the one-hundredth birthday of this cinematographer and restorer of Spanish cinema –Honorary Spike at the 60th Seminci–, in 2020 the musician and producer Raül Refree was in turn commissioned to create a new musical accompaniment for the film, which was presented at Madrid’s Cine Doré in December that year.

The Cursed Village (1930)

The difference between the restored version premiering at Seminci on 28 October and that of 2020 is twelve minutes of additional footage never seen to date, the result of a new and meticulous restoration carried out by Spains’ Film Library (Filmoteca Española) for which Raül Refree has composed and also adapted the musical accompaniment. It will be the second time that Seminci screens Florián Rey’s film to a live performance. In 1986, composer José Nieto was commissioned by Seminci to compose a score for The Cursed Village. The music was performed by the Ciudad de Valladolid Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer himself during the screening of the film at Teatro Calderón following the opening gala of the festival’s 31st edition. Later, in 1996, the score was reissued together with the tribute book published by Seminci on the occasion of the delivery of the Honorary Spike to the composer.

A music score by Raül Refree

A farmer named Juan Castilla and his family live in the Castilian village of Luján, a place hit by hail storms and other harsh weather events that force its people to emigrate. Juan confronts his miserly old uncle Lucas and is imprisoned, while Acacia, his wife, will have to move to the city in search of the prosperity promised by her friend Magdalena. Years later, Juan finds his wife living in a shack. Reconciliation will not be easy. Highlighted by the new musical accompaniment The Cursed Village stands out as a radically modern film. With a dazzling cinematography, a direct style and a sharp editing, the movie reflects issues as topical  as patriarchy or the depopulation of rural areas.

Raül Refree is one of the most acclaimed Spanish producers of the last decade. He publishes his work alongside experimenters like Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo while reviewing Amália Rodrigues’ fados in collaboration with Lina. He has worked with innovative artists like Rosalía or Niño de Elche, and together with them has built the avant-garde of “new flamenco”. He is also an outstanding composer and musician who has released nine albums under his most personal project, Refree, as well as soundtracks for films such as Ojos Negros (Marta Lallana and Ivet Castelo, 2019), Between Two Waters (Isaki Lacuesta, 2018) or One Year, One Night (Isaki Lacuesta, 2022).

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