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A Castle in Spain

Nominated for Best Experimental & Best Editor

Directed by Max Belmessieri

19' • France • 2021


A few months after a painful loss, lonely photographer Carlota Cortés fails to complete a commission documenting castles in the Spanish countryside. Despite the passage of time, she has remained obsessed with “her man”. She is especially haunted by the memory of one “Tina Tickey”, a mysterious and erotic woman of whom he often spoke. Who was she? During her trip through the barren Bardenas Reales Desert, Carlota’s mental distress grows, and she gradually gets lost in her thoughts, musing about the vital need to take photos, the ideas of property and the nature of matter. These at times humorous reflections lead her to observe the rocks, sand and dust of the desert where she finds symbolic figures of “her man” in the contours of the landscape. Her overheated imagination then develops a hypothesis: could the shapeless “magma” which permeates the imagery – an entity as indestructible as the memory of the flesh – bring back from the depths of the universe the very atoms and voice of her departed lover? By chance, the beginning of an answer appears when she finally meets the real “Tina Tickey”.

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