'Life beats fiction'
Isaki Lacuesta Every Wednesday at 6.30pm on El Punt Avui TV, Marcela interviews prominent English speaking residents in Catalonia or relevant Catalan figures. Here is her recent interview with Isaki Lacuesta.
Your most recent, and seventh film, Murieron por encima de sus posibilidades (Dying Beyond Their Means) was just released in cinemas on April 24. It's a good title.
It was not easy to translate it into English. It comes from an expression that Spanish politicians have used a lot to explain the crisis, trying to make us feel guilty and make us believe we have been living beyond our means; and I was wondering when that happened, because my generation doesn't have any flats or cars, or anything.
So, tell me about the story.
The film is a black comedy which tells the story of five normal citizens, as normal as Spanish citizens can be, five men who escape from a mental asylum. They want to turn the world back to the way it was before the crisis started and so they come up with a plan to change the situation. Their idea is to kidnap the president of the Central Bank, torture him and force him to bring things to back to normal. They want to make the world as it was five years before, when the crisis started, they want to some kind of a reset.
You've got such as star -studded cast: José Coronado, Josep Ma Pou, Ariadna Gil, Albert Pla, Sergi Lopez, Àngela Molina...how did you convince them to take part in the film?
Also Emma Suárez, Luis Tosar, José Sacristan, who is a legend for me, Carmen Machi, etc. We were really lucky to get them and I know I was right to choose them.
You created a cooperative, and the cast and staff will only get paid from what the film earns after release.
Yes, that will depend a lot on the audience. That was the idea, to produce the film ourselves, to make a film without waiting for the general managers of TV channels, or for public funds. We were shooting while we were looking for financing and that was long, we've been shooting for two years and a half, with interruptions.
Is that quite unusual for a production?
It is normal to spend quite long, but we were shooting for three days, then we edited, then looked for more money, then shot another week and so on. It was good because it allowed us to get a great cast and also to write the script in the process. At the beginning we had the idea of torturing a banker but it was not enough, and in the end the political corruption cases started and we put some of that in the film as well; we just worked with the current events. I like to think that the film is like a newspaper, a comical one. If you take any Spanish newspaper, what they report is so crazy; as they say, life beats fiction.
This is not the only project you have in hand; you are also preparing the release of La Propera pell (The Next Skin), a drama, very different from Murieron...
Yes indeed. Truffaut once said that a filmmaker should make films against his previous ones and it's true in my case.
Such a change must be quite difficult though.
Not for me, because all my projects have been different from the ones I had done before. If I had to do another film like Los passos dobles it would be impossible for me today. I find it easier to look forward for new different ways, and it's also far more exciting. Actually, the most exciting way of making movies, and in life in general, is to make new things because you don't know how to do it; you need to learn it. I like to make things I don't know how to do.
You work with Sergi López and Emma Suarez from Murierion.
As well as Àlex Moner, and I was happy to work with Bruno Tedeschino, who is a fétiche actor of Patrice Chéreau's, whom I've admired for a very long time. He has also worked with Michael Haneke and so on. For me he is a real star.
What is the film about?
It is an emotional drama and thriller about a boy who had disappeared in the mountains, in a small village on the border between Catalonia and France. One day, 10 years after, the mother (Emma Suárez)receives a call telling her they found a boy in a minors' centre in France who could be her son. In France it is not necessary to have DNA test and the mother recognises the boy. The plot revolves around the life in this little village.
When is it expected to open?
We have finished the editing, and are working on post production sound at the moment. We'll probably be finishing post production in spring and we'll release the film in cinemas in autumn-winter, to make it coincide with the snow because it is a wintery cold, climatic film, with lots of snow.
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