Ramón Salazar • Director
"I’m starting from scratch"
by Alfonso Rivera
- Malaga-born filmmaker world-premieres his new film at the Seville European Film Festival, after three years of production
Eight years after the release of 20 centimeters [+see also:
film profile], Ramón Salazar comes back to filmmaking presenting his third feature 10.000 noches en ninguna parte [+see also:
interview: Ramón Salazar
film profile] in Seville Eruopean Film Festival’s official section, an intense, emotional and refreshing journey he also wrote and coproduced, starring Andrés Gertrúdix, Lola Dueñas, Susi Sánchez and Najwa Nimri.
Cineuropa: Where has Ramón Salazar gone all this time without releasing a film?
Ramón Salazar: I’ve been teaching acting lessons in several cities: three of my students participate in 10.000 noches... And I’ve also adapted Moccia (in Three meters above the sky [+see also:
interview: Ramón Salazar
film profile] and Tengo ganas de ti [+see also:
film profile]), and, as a director, I needed to come back to me as a person, and realize why I was doing this. What happened with Stones and 20 centimeters was so fast and shocking, I was only 27 years old and already at the Berlin Film Festival – to look at myself stuck into an industry and to think that everything would be that way from then on. These eight years have helped me put my feet back on the ground and start from scratch – to make the film that could be my new first film.
So, do you feel more freedom with this film than with the previous ones?
Absolutely. I don’t intend to make only these films from now on, but there was a voice that yelled at me: “We have to do it!” As a result of our work with the actors, the biographies we wrote for each character – instead of scripts -, of trying to explore other ways of directing and getting to the story, I’ve felt more free, and that’s priceless. Filming this way has given me a clear view of what I want and don’t want to do from now on.
It seems there’s a lot of you in Andrés Gertrúdix’s lead character...
Yes, I’m basically Andrés making this journey. This film is that journey being done by me, a kind of inner voyage. It wasn’t anything planned, but I realized that right now, things ought to be done differently, and instead of that being something negative, it has to be made positive. For instance, using the advantages of a digital camera that is able to caress characters, or using biographies instead of a script. We’re at a moment in which we no longer can write a story and think we’ll find the funding – we have to take into account how we’ll find it from when we write the very first word.
Perhaps a reduced crew facilitated the agility of the camera...
Yes, it was about exploring what the profits were of having a small crew: for instance, when you work with less than eleven people, you needn’t ask for filming permissions. As long as you don’t use a tripod, you can film wherever you want. This way, you start to outline the shoot in some ways that are advantages, if you keep them in mind from the beginning. The worst is if they show up without any warning. If Lola Dueñas dives into the river Seine, what’s the fine? We found out it was 11 euros – we then said: “Let’s do it!”
The character’s voyage starts in a sinister-looking Madrid...
The global idea of the voyage’s appearance was important. Madrid had to be a frozen city, where the character is locked up and only in contact with his family – formed by his mother and sister. As the journey follows, he turns it towards light: Paris becomes a game and Berlin is absolutely bright, almost similar to a summer camp. Those kind of aesthetic and atmospheric aspects had to be foreseen in order to improvise everything else. We had to know how the film’s emotion would evolve; because I want every viewer to decide what exists and what doesn’t from what he sees on the screen. Each of them is going to value it as they feel, to understand it depending on their own experiences.
(Translated from Spanish)
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