A lecture hall in a university for arts and humanities. A professor of philology dispenses his poetry lecture to a group of mostly female students. With this educational project that calls upon the ancient muses to establish a poetic and amorous ethical code, the students gradually submit, dizzy and passionate, to this game embodied by an academy of the muses. A utopic project? Unrealistic? Controversial? One after the other are games of smoke and mirrors, games of power, seduction and desire, where everyone plays their role, where false hooks up with true, and where flirtatious banter and satire blend exquisitely under the auspices of Dante, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Orpheus and Eurydice.
Shadows and reflections navigate between the corridors of the University of Barcelona and the foothills of Vesuvius, creating this new space-time that becomes the film, where the fictional subject and reality observe each other. In this journey, the bodies, words and thoughts liberate themselves from one another, and the allegories break free. The women challenge the fetters to which poetry and literature often reduce them, launching into a mad pursuit of desire and beauty and the definition of pure thought, as they try to understand the truth about the utopia of Love.
Born in Barcelona in 1960, José Luis Guerín is a quirky, unpredictable and self-taught director with many feathers in his cap. “Since I never went to film school, my only training has been as an audience, so I’ve acquired an imagination peopled with filmmakers who’ve helped me discover the world”, he claims. For most of his films, he plays the role of scriptwriter, producer, editor and director of photography. He made his first feature, “Los Motivos de Berta” in 1984. Since then, he has alternated between documentaries and fiction. In 2000, “En Construccion”, which describes peoples’ lives through the construction of a building in Barcelona, met with huge success. This was followed by “Dans la ville de Sylvia” (2007), selected at Venice, and “Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia” (2007). In 2010, his documentary “Guest” was presented at Venice. He co-directed “Correspondencia Jonas Mekas - J.L. Guerin” with Mekas in 2011 and the same year, made “Recuerdos de una mañana”. “L’Académie des muses” was presented in the Signs of Life section at Locarno in 2015.