We all know the game of chess - even if we don't know all the rules or are not so good at playing it, we all know of the game. We know it as the ultimate game of strategy: a thinker's game. From a young age, all around the world, we are taught that chess is something that is to be respected and held almost sacred, even if we never become players or aficionados ourselves. Therefore, the world's best chess players occupy a very unique position in our society. Firstly, they are masters at a game which is known globally, which makes them great speakers of a universal language of strategy. Master chess players are, in a way, sort of like yogis, sages, gurus, swamis, mentors, mystics and other master practitioners. Secondly, they are respected and revered in a similar way to great warriors and the artists of war - you may have heard of samurai, commandos, knights - masters of war (not necessarily violence) but of strategy. There is an ages-old, unspoken and unwritten bond between the mighty sovereign and the humble master strategist - between the monarch and the chess player. This is a story about one of Spain's greatest chess players, who falls into a challenging situation in which the chessplayer (Marc Clotet) needs to use his mastery of the game in order to gain back his own freedom.
This is really a must-see for the whole family, couples, students, artists, film buffs, and everyone in between. Director Luis Oliveros’ connection to Hungarian music composer Jonas Breckl (who scored this film) is not by accident. In 2011, Oliveros had a big opportunity to direct the TV movie “Angles of Budapest” which actually told the story of a Spanish diplomat in Hungary. Before that film, Oliveros had mostly worked as an assistant director. His work on “Angels of Budapest” clearly provided much inspiration and creative direction as he used Hungarian cinema artists throughout this feature, El jugador de ajedrez, or “The Chessplayer”.
Lead actor Marc Clotet is born and raised in Barcelona, where he began his career rising to intermediate levels of stardom in television series such as “Amar es para siempre”. It will be interesting to see him work in this dramatic and meticulous role.
Something to watch out for in the film: the costume design, which is riveting and striking, truly transporting you into this time and place. Returning to the music - Breckl is a Hungarian composer known mostly for his work with well known Hungarian film director, Bela Tarr. Bela Tarr is known for pioneering “social cinema”, a body of work that treats fictional stories with the ethic and philosophy of a documentary. Socially accurate portrayals in the cinema of Tarr have been scored musically by Breckl, and we get to see Breckl at work here in El jugador de ajedrez. The acute drama of a chess move - the silence… how will Breckl fill it in with music that helps tell the story? It will be exciting and inspiring to watch this film. See you all there!