Architecture on Film: The Substance (La Substància) + Q&A with Lluís Galter

An imaginative blurring of fiction and documentary, dream and reality, exploring the real life recreation of Cadaqués, Spain as a replica resort for in 15,000 Zhangzhou, China. UK Premiere.


06:45pm, Tuesday, 12 September 2017


08:45pm, Tuesday, 12 September 2017


Cinema 1
Barbican Centre, Level -2
Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS



AF Members:
£10.00 (Please contact AF for promotional discount code)


Young Barbican:

Tel (9am-8pm):
+44 (0)20 7638 8891

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We are delighted that director Lluís Galter will be present for a Skype Q&A following the UK premiere of his film.

The Substance (La Substància) [UK Premiere]
+ Q&A with Lluís Galter

In 2010 Chinese developers traveled to Cadaqués - a small costal Spanish fishing town beloved and made famous by Salvador Dalí - to research their plans to build a replica of the Costa Brava city as a holiday destination for 15,000 in Zhangzhou, 6,500 miles away on the other side of the globe.

In Luis Glater’s film, his protagonists - an eccentric Spanish local historian and model boat-builder and a young Chinese business woman waiting for her Xiamen Bay apartment to be completed - drift from one Cadaqués to the other in a blurring of dream and reality, fiction and documentary, original and copy, that mirrors the surreal situation of a town’s teleportation.

If a town has a replica it’s because it can. Because it deserves it. And because of the (more or less objective) fact that Cadaqués, Costa Brava, and Cadaqués, Zhangzhou are about as similar as an egg and a chestnut, the film tries to put things in their place and create a space of understanding where these two, at first unrecognizable, physical places converge through their respective images into a third virtual space, a simulacrum created to exist within the film alone.
- Lluís Galter

Bookended by adverts for the Chinese and Spanish Cadaqués, and folding in elements of the mundane and the mystical, and even the Spaghetti Western, Galter’s imaginative docu-fiction flattens time and space to create a meditative hybrid of the two towns, merging their realities in a cinematic quest for the ‘substance’ of a place.

Spain, 2016, Lluís Galter, 86 min