Jonás Trueba’s father is Fernando, the celebrated Spanish director of films such as the Oscar-winning “Belle Epoque,” the feature-length animated musical “Chico & Rita” and the made-in-Miami comedy “Two Much,” in which Antonio Banderas famously met Melanie Griffith.
His uncle is David Trueba, the director of critically-acclaimed pictures such as “The Good Life,” “Madrid, 1987” and the Beatles-themed road comedy “Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed,” which won six Goya awards (Spain’s equivalent to the Oscar) in 2014, including Best Picture.
The fact that Jonás, who is 34, became a filmmaker when he grew up should surprise no one: Movies are practically part of his DNA. The sorts of pictures he has made, though, is less predictable. Unlike his father and uncle, whose works court mainstream (and international) audiences, Jonás’ has opted for a more defiant, looser brand of storytelling — one that has earned him the mantle of Spain’s leading indie filmmaker.
“Trueba, Jonás: Films from the Life,” a week-long retrospective at the Coral Gables Arts Cinema running Aug. 26-Sept. 1, showcases three of the movies he has directed:
▪ “Todas las canciones hablan de mí” (“Every Song Talks About Me”), his 2010 feature-length debut, about a romantic couple’s unusually prolonged break-up;
▪ “Los ilusos” (“The Wishful Thinkers”), from 2013, a love letter to movie culture shot on 16mm black-and-white film, about a group of twentysomething actors, writers and artists trying to eke out a living in present-day Madrid;
▪ “Los exiliados románticos” (“The Romantic Exiles”), from 2015, a shaggy, warm-hearted observational comedy about a group of aimless hipsters searching for love, direction and purpose during a road trip to France.
Together, the three movies paint a portrait of an iconoclastic filmmaker who is using the medium in innovative ways, pushing traditional story structures into something looser and more idiosyncratic. The most obvious direct comparison is Richard Linklater, but Trueba’s movies are arguably more spontaneous and playful.
“All of these movies speak to the art and craft of film-making,” says Nat Chediak, director of programming at the Gables Cinema. “They’re all films that were made at a specific time and place, using the resources available at the moment. But they also have a unifying voice. The French New Wave dictum was that in the future, films would be written with a camera, the way books are written with a pen. You certainly get that kind of feeling with Jonás. These movies are written with a camera by a thirtysomething Spaniard living in a country that is in the throes of an economic and political crisis. ‘The Wishful Thinkers’ in particular is a portrait of a specific generation.”
Trueba and producer Javier Lafuente will introduce the screenings and participate in Q&A sessions with the audience at all showings Aug. 26 and 27. Miren Iza, lead singer of the Spanish pop group Tulsa, will also perform three live songs inspired by “The Romantic Exiles” following the film’s showings. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.gablescinema.com
TRUEBA, JONÁS: FILMS FROM THE LIFE
When: Aug. 26-Sept. 1
Where: Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave.
Tickets: $11.75 ($10 seniors, students and military)
Info: www.gablescinema.com or 786-385-9689