email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on LinkedIn share on reddit pin on Pinterest


Aritz Moreno • Director of Flies

"Putting this character through suffering for 90 minutes is fun to do... and fun for the viewer to watch"


- After Advantages of Travelling by Train, the Spanish director returns with another convoluted fable, bursting with black humour, shot in Buenos Aires

Aritz Moreno  • Director of Flies

Advantages of Travelling by Train [+see also:
film review
film profile
was nominated in the European Comedy category at the 2020 European Film Awards. Now its director from San Sebastian, Aritz Moreno, returns to the Sitges Film Festival to present Flies [+see also:
film review
interview: Aritz Moreno
film profile
, a Spanish-Argentine production starring Ernesto Alterio, an actor from Buenos Aires who lives in Madrid.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cineuropa: What is a Basque like you doing filming in a Buenos Aires like this Flies?
Aritz Moreno:
(Laughs) Good question. That's the way this world works. I didn't see it coming either, I’d never been to Argentina until we landed there to film. And I think it’s been good for the film, it has made it grow, because the original novel, Que de lejos parecen moscas, is written by a guy from Buenos Aires, Kike Ferrari, and is set in this country. The shoot was very enriching, it's an amazing city, the location scout did an amazing job and I think the city was portrayed phenomenally well.

Did the co-production come before the desire to film in Buenos Aires?
Yes, once the project became a Vix Original they were interested in working in Latin America and it made sense to return to the land of the novel.

Advantages of Travelling by Train was also a book (by Antonio Orejudo). Are you inspired by literature? And what attracted you to Ferrari?
I read a lot for pleasure and as I'm not a screenwriter, this is how I discover stories. I desperately wanted to make a second film, although I don't think I'll ever do better than Advantages of Travelling by Train. That's why I needed to open up the spectrum and I was looking for a more classic thriller, although Flies isn’t overly conventional either.

Neither conventional nor classic because, at the end of the screening I attended, the attendees compared you to Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie and the Coen brothers...
I like them all! For me, David Fincher is more present, although he is diluted, we wanted to shoot like him. But you get to know Argentina and what it offers you; and there’s Ernesto Alterio, who does a fantastic job, with a completely over-the-top character. Tarantino is also present in the film, and if any of that is noticeable then it’s a win.

Alterio was in your previous feature film. Has he become your go-to actor?
When I worked with him on Advantages of Travelling by Train I saw how great he was and that he could do anything. I knew I had to choose him because the main character in Flies had to be Argentinean, although Ernesto has lived in Spain since he was seven years old and has had to work on his Buenos Aires accent. He is an absolute beast, amazing and at the same time I have to keep up with him.

Flies shows the descent into hell of a guy who thinks he is all-powerful, a kind of poetic justice. Does fiction serve to bring the bad guys to justice?
The protagonist being so negative and provoking such rejection from the audience was a challenge to sustain the film. Putting him through suffering for 90 minutes is fun to do... and fun for the viewer to watch.

But it even makes you feel sorry for him...
That's what you want a film to do, to provoke this contradiction.

The camera in Flies, like these insects, flutters around, gets very close and almost lands on the faces of the actors, in the style of Sergio Leone in his spaghetti westerns...
Perhaps because of my innate insecurity, I'm a planning freak, and with the cinematographer we designed all the sequences before shooting with references, photos and videos. It's all been thought out.

Also, as in your first feature film, the narrative structure here is jumpy, now divided into episodes named after the characters in the plot.
We’ve respected the structure of the novel. I like it and it gives a certain playfulness to the narrative.

Black humour is a key ingredient in this tragedy of a ridiculous man.
Yes, I can't help it. I enjoy black humour and it’s a powerful tool to discuss serious things from another point. I like films that make me uncomfortable and challenge me as a viewer. I also like torturing the audience a bit...

Are you a sadistic filmmaker?
Yes, but always from a wholesome perspective.

No malice.
Exactly (laughs). Nothing personal.

But you’ll agree with me that there are people who don't agree with the kind of jokes in your filmography.
Of course! In fact, I would say the vast majority. But what can I do... That's why I think Flies fits in at Sitges, where it will face a room full of sadists.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.

See also

Privacy Policy