Trained in Hispanic Philology, Comparative Literature and Literature Theory, and Art History, the filmmaker Albert Serra has presented his films in museums and in cinematographic contexts. Far removed from the more conventional circuits, he is one of the leading exponents of contemporary European auteur cinema. With a language that eludes all genres, Serra practices a kind of arthouse filmmaking that often draws on a range of characters, including historical ones like Louis XIV, literary ones like Don Quixote or legendary ones like the Three Wise Men. He usually works with amateur actors, without a closed script or text, thus letting the evolving situations created by the actors lead the scenes, which he then reworks in a long, painstaking editing process. More akin to performance than to cinema, his films have a high degree of formal complexity. With a marked dilation of time and considerable slowness, their stand-out features are mystery, ambiguity, the beauty of the images and a touch of the baroque.
His films have been screened at renowned international film festivals, such as Cannes (2006 and 2008), Toronto (2016), Locarno (2013), where he was awarded the prize for the best film, and Marseille (2018), where he also won the prize for the best film. Institutions like Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona (2010), the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2013), Cinematek in Brussels (2013) and the Tate Modern in London (2015) have held retrospectives of his work. He has taken part in major international art events like documenta in Kassel (2012) and the Venice Biennale (2015), where he represented Catalonia. His work can be found in the collections of MoMA in New York or MACBA in Barcelona.