52 minutes (television version) & 72 minutes (theatre version)
Portrait of the Catalan avant-garde artist Joan Brossa.
One night in the trenches during the Spanish Civil War, Joan Brossa heard a voice call his name. He didn’t see anyone and walked towards where he thought the sound came from. A moment later, a shell hit the ground where he had just been standing.
From that moment on, Brossa wanted to be a poet.
After the war, Barcelona was “a desert of expectations”, according to the philosopher Arnau Puig. Franco’s dictatorship had put an end to all freedom. No expectation was possible anymore. But Brossa and his friends Antoni Tàpies, Modesto Cuixart, Ponç and Arnau Puig founded a group they called Dau al Set: dice seven. Of course you can never throw a seven and that’s what they wanted, in all their youthful recklessness: the impossible.
They put together a magazine, they held heated discussions about Nietzsche, they listened to Tristan und Isolde by Wagner and spent unforgettable days in the old mansion that belonged to their friend Lluis Riera.
On their way there, at a small station at the foot of the mountains, the idea was born to make a film. In 1948, Brossa wrote the script. He was crazy about film, but didn’t know anything about the practice of making films. Film was magic for Brossa. Lluis Riera was to be director and the other friends were to play roles.
But the film was never made and the script appeared about 50 years later to mark the hundredth anniversary of film in a book called Anthologie du Cinéma Invisible, by Christian Janicot.
Brossa was convinced that everything can take on a different form. A letter A is the head of a goat if you turn it upside down. The transformation of things fascinated him throughout his life. That’s why he loved conjuring as well as film. He regarded the illusion offered by art as a necessary condition for life.
Joan Brossa died in 1998, after falling from the stairs in his studio. His friends still talk about him with love and admiration.
The documentary BROSSA is not a portrait of an artist, but tries, from all angles, to examine the topic of why the world is occasionally moved a little.
script and direction: Digna Sinke
direction assistant: Vera de Vries
camera: Peter Brugman
sound: Tom d’Angremond
editing: Albert Elings
sound design: Peter Flamman
this film is a co-production of SNG Film with VPRO televisie in the framework of CINÉMA INVISIBLE
this film is financially supported by:
Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties