Two women, one ambition
by Carlo D'Ursi
- Two women united by a common ambition challenge all taboos with a smile on their lips
Cineuropa: As an introduction, I have to express my curiosity about the title of your comedy. Why 'Semen'?
Inés París: Semen is the story of a drop, a single drop with a crucial influence on all the characters. This morning, the taxi driver who drove me here told me there were new posters in town announcing the release of a film called 'Semen' which obviously was not one of these 'adult movies', otherwise there would not be posters on every wall. This anecdote proves that we reached our goal. Semen, a Love Sample is twofold: the first part of the title may seem shocking but as the second part announces, the film has romantic developments.
The aesthetics of the film reminded me of Amelie. Was it intentional or it is just because both films have some themes in common?
Daniela Fejerman: We had this film in mind as a possible aesthetic reference, which we discussed with the team, but we also felt like finding our own style. The general conclusion of our discussions was that we liked the aesthetics of Amélie but not the mawkish tone in which the story is told. This movie is actually one of the few visual references we chose for Semen. What is interesting in both films is that they represent a typically European quest for a new aesthetics, for we cannot keep making films the way we did in the 80's. Contemporary literature is not as realistic as it used to be. The stories told are different, so the way of telling them must change too. Spain is an ideal place to experiment with new forms; despite the lack of financial means, there are excellent professionals here who can create stunning images.
Following the success of My Mother Likes Women, you chose to work together again. There is indeed no point in changing a good team, is there?
Inés París: We have known each other, professionally and personally, for many years. We have a similar background of studies and we both started by acting before moving on to film direction. We have been working together as script-writers for seven years, creating some features and many TV fictions. The themes they have in common suit us fine and make us both very happy.
Thanks to all these years spent working together, I reckon we have a high level of mutual understanding. Daniela and I have been an inseparable team for seven years, although we are not against working separately, which may happen in the near future.
You have just said it is not easy to make films in Spain. Is it even harder for two female directors? Daniela Fejerman: If I told you all the things we went through... but it is in the past now. Obviously, being a woman is not a problem anymore once you are a director for good; it is when you are trying to become one. Now we have the same difficulties and the same privileges as our male colleagues. Still, it was hard to get there, for becoming a director is not something you can be taught and in Spain, women are not raised to be able to create things by themselves, let alone leading a team of professional technicians. The working woman is still something relatively new here; even now, there are very few woman with high responsabilities.
Inés París and Daniela Fejerman graduated, respectively, in Philosophy and Psychology. There were both stage-actresses before becoming a director (Inès) and a script-writer (Daniela).
They have been working together for eleven years as script-writers for the television as well as the cinema, with such films as Se quién eres by Patricia Ferreira.
Their first feature, My Mother Likes Women (starring Rosa María Sardá and Leonor Watling), was a success with the public and the critics, and this not only in Spain.
Semen, una historia de amor is the second feature they have directed.
2005 - Semen, a Love Sample
2002 - A mi madre le gustan las mujeres (My Mother Likes Women)
1999 - Vamos a Dejarlo (short film)
1997 - A mí quien me manda meterme en esto (short film)