Screened as part of NZIFF 2014

Story of My Death 2013

Història de la meva mort

Directed by Albert Serra

Albert Serra’s teasing 18th-century drama sees Casanova cross paths with Dracula, as Enlightenment reason and secular pleasure give way to the dangerous passions of Gothic romanticism.

Spain In Catalan with English subtitles
151 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope
sex scenes, sexual references

Director, Screenplay, Editor

Producers

Montse Triola
,
Thierry Lounas
,
Albert Serra

Photography

Jimmy Gimferrer

Production designers

MihneaMihailescu
,
Sebastian Vogler

Sound

Joan Pons
,
Jordi Ribas

Music

Ferran Font
,
Marc Verdauguer
,
Joe Robinson
,
EnricJuncà

With

VicençAltaió (Casanova)
,
LluísSerrat (Pompeu)
,
Noelia Rodenas (Delfina)
,
MontseTriola (Carmen)
,
EliseuHuertas (Dràcula)
,
Mike Landscape (Poeta)
,
LluísCarbó (Senyor)
,
Clàudia Robert (Noia)
,
Xavier Pau (Pare)
,
FloargaDootz (Mare)

Awards

Golden Leopard (Best Film)
,
Locarno International Film Festival 2013

Festivals

Locarno
,
Toronto
,
London 2013
,
Rotterdam
,
New Directors/New Films 2014

Elsewhere

The central character in Catalan director Albert Serra’s strange and beautifully envisaged fantasia on 18th-century themes is Casanova. The era’s great, self-documenting libertine is imagined as a crumbling paragon of Enlightenment reason. He regales any of his retinue who will listen with tales of his perceptive brilliance – while fully indulging the most fundamental bodily pleasures left to him. Meanwhile, lurking in the film’s final act, Count Dracula embodies a more dangerous Romantic sensibility awaiting its moment.

“The film’s serene flamboyance, its complete confidence in pacing and casting (Serra as usual working with non-professional actors), and the sheer pleasure in filmmaking on display make Story of My Death feel like a piece of pure cinematic luxury. That Serra can assemble from a reputed 400 hours of footage the two-and-a-half hours of Story of My Death, and that the results include quite so many moments of beauty is some achievement.

Of course, the film will divide audiences, especially with regard to its intermittently funereal pacing, but once you go along with the rhythms and shifts – from the limpid Swissset opening section to the brooding Carpathian climax – it makes for compulsive viewing.” — Chris Darke, Film Comment