Mateo Gil wraps the shoot for futuristic Spanish-French co-production Project Lazarus
by Alfonso Rivera
- The third film by the director from the Canary Islands is an ambitious English-language sci-fi movie, boasting an international cast that includes Oona Chaplin and Tom Hughes
Project Lazarus [+see also:
film profile] is the third feature film directed by Mateo Gil, following the thriller Nobody Knows Anybody and the twilight western Blackthorn [+see also:
film profile], both of which starred Eduardo Noriega. This time around, his actor of choice has relinquished the lead roles to Oona Chaplin, Tom Hughes, Charlotte Le Bon and Barry Ward. The shoot – which has been taking place in Barcelona and Tenerife, the latter of which is a haven for film productions thanks to its tax-break scheme (read the news) – is due to wrap today. The movie is produced by Spanish outfit Arcadia Motion Pictures and French company Noodles Production, with the involvement of Canal +, TVE and Canary Islands public television – in addition to backing from Eurimages – while international sales are handled by Dreamcatchers.
Gil describes this sci-fi drama with an added sprinkling of horror as “a film about death, decline and the life that we insist on planning for our future selves: it’s about the serious mistake that this can turn out to be. Linked in some ways to the legend of Frankenstein, it will take on the format of a diary of the journey to purgatory, narrated in first person by the lead character, a monster, and interspersed with his memories, although these will be tinged with an aura of romanticism. That will determine the aesthetics of the film: the past will be vibrant and bursting with colour, in search of excitement, while the scenes set in the future will be more sober and distant, taking place in sterile settings. The plot unfolds in 2074, within a single building, where prominent figures in the field of clinical technology and experts in cryogenic preservation have gathered.”
Likewise, the director acknowledges that the idea for this film arose during the writing of the screenplays for Open Your Eyes and The Sea Inside [+see also:
film profile], both of which were directed by Alejandro Amenábar; he also claims that audiences will notice the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and HP Lovecraft coming through in the title. Among his most well-known references in terms of the aesthetics and the storyline are such films as Johnny Got His Gun, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [+see also:
film profile], Gattaca and The Tree of Life.
(Translated from Spanish)