Jaume Figueras, Gaudí d’Honor Award 2023: “The ceremony of going to the cinema has been lost”

I would find it “interesting that Catalan filmmakers get a little closer to people’s daily lives”


The film chronicler and popularizer Jaume Figueras has warned this Wednesday that the feeling of community in movie theaters has been lost: “The ceremony of going to the movies has been lost. Get tickets on a Tuesday for a Sunday, go to opening days and that it is full. All this has been lost”.

This is what he said in an interview with Europa Press in Barcelona on the occasion of his distinction with the 2023 Gaudí Honor-Miquel Porter Award, which will be presented to him this Sunday at the Gaudí Awards gala at the Museu Nacional d’ Art de Catalunya (MNAC) and which he receives “with surprise and gratitude”.

Figueras, who has claimed “never as a critic, but as a chronicler, popularizer, commentator, someone who transmits his love for cinema to readers and viewers”, has also been optimistic and assures that both the big screens and the television circuits will survive. independent and auteur films.

For this, he has said that word of mouth is essential, the best diffusion”, something that he considers to have happened with the film ‘Aftersun’, one of the last that he has seen in theaters and of which he has highlighted his ability to question and remove the viewer, an essential component that classics must have, according to him.


He recalled that his parents, who are passionate about cinema and run a dairy in Barcelona, ​​discovered this hobby in him, which he developed when one Christmas they gave him a typewriter with which he began to review films, and that his life is “a co-production between the dairy and film industry”, something that he will claim in his Gaudí d’Honor speech.

As for the nominees for this edition, he has defended that they are all promising although “it is very clear that it has been the year of ‘Alcarràs’, which seems to be the favorite in many ways”, highlighting its ability to demonstrate that local realities can have universal scope, although it has also extolled the documentary value and the interpretations of ‘Suro’.


For Figueras (Barcelona, ​​1940), it would be “interesting for Catalan filmmakers to get a little closer to the daily life of the people of this country”, something that he misses on some occasions and that he considers that filmmakers like Cesc Gay achieve with urban realities, he pointed out.

Asked about the future of the film chronicler trade, he lamented that the newspapers “cut pages of culture and cinema, with important films that are dispatched with six lines” and that film dissemination programs disappear, since, according to Figueras, the only What remains is ‘Días de cine’ from Televisión Española and it is cornered.


He has recommended ‘Fifth District’ by Juli Coll (1957); ‘La pell cremada’ by Josep Maria Forn (1967); ‘Pa negre’ by Agustí Villaronga (2010), ‘La teta y la luna’ (1994) by Bigas Luna, towards which he has a “certain weakness”, as well as classics that he considers essential, such as ‘Rocco and his brothers’ by Luchino Visconti (1960), ‘The 400 blows’ by François Truffaut (1959) and the musicals ‘Singing in the rain’ by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (1952) or ‘Pennies form heaven’ by Herbert Ross (1981).

He has also detailed that this year he has discovered the Nobel Prize for Literature Annie Ernaux, of whom he has praised her “visceral, messy, open, frank and even scatological” writing, and that, although he watches series selectively, he would recommend ‘Outside night ‘ by Marco Bellocchio; ‘Irma Vep’ by Olivier Assayas, about vampire movies from the 20s and ‘I don’t like driving’ by Juan Diego Botto.

Jaume Figueras, Gaudí d’Honor Award 2023: “The ceremony of going to the cinema has been lost”