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KARLOVY VARY 2024 Proxima :: Review: Nothing in Its Place
How far are people willing to go for their political beliefs, and how much can the ideology of a group influence the behavior of an individual? Nothing in Its Place holds up a mirror to more than one revolution..
KARLOVY VARY 2024 :: Noaz Deshe :: Director of Xoftex :: Interview
"I wanted to document the progression of the mental state of stateless people in a refugee camp." The director tells us more about his new film, in which he portrays refugees filming satirical sketches and preparing for a zombie..
KARLOVY VARY 2024 Competition :: Review: Xoftex
Xoftex is the name of a Greek refugee camp for Syrian and Palestinian asylum seekers. To pass the time, camp inhabitants such as Nasser make satirical short films and prepare to make a zombie film. Noaz Deshe explains how he..
Shanghai IFF 2023 :: A Review of 'Cause of Death: Unknown'
The first film by Ali Zarnegar receives an overall acceptable score. The writer and director's extensive experience, including his frequent involvement in short cinema, writing.., has had a positive impact on the film's quality..
Bahar Lellahi :: 40-year-old Iranian Female filmmaker Murdered in Prison
Bahar Lellahi, an Iranian director and screenwriter from the Northern city of Amol and a resident of Tehran, was killed at the Islamic Republic's detention center and was secretly buried in a cemetery near the city of Karaj..
Dead of Night :: A standout feature by Farhad Vilkiji
“Dead of Night”, a standout feature by Farhad Vilkiji, marking his directorial debut, delves into the struggles of an Iranian intellectual navigating political and personal challenges, promising a poignant exploration of human resilience..
BERLINALE 2024 Encounters :: Interview :: Matías Piñeiro
Matías Piñeiro’s experimental, hour-long film 'You Burn Me', an interesting work based on texts by Cesare Pavese and Sappho about the relationship between two women, was included in this year’s Berlinale Encounters program..
Super Size Me :: A terrific cheeky stunt :: small wonder Morgan Spurlock never matched it
'Super Size Me' director Morgan Spurlock dies aged 53. 'Super Size Me' was his masterpiece – a documentary which really did have an effect and challenged the way we think about food..
Cannes 2024 review :: 'The Seed of the Sacred Fig' - A powerful rebellion in the name of art & freedom
Mohammad Rasoulof examines Iran's contemporary tensions through the internalization of turmoil by a family of four. It's a suspenseful and bold call to arms for those..
Sean Baker’s ‘Anora’ Wins Palme d’Or at 2024 Cannes Film Festival
Sean Baker’s Anora has won the Palme d’Or at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday night (May 25). It marks Baker’s second time in Competition, following 2021’s Red Rocket..
Cannes 2024 :: ‘Grand Tour’ :: Review :: In Search of Lost Time
Closer in spirit to an essay film like "Sans Soleil" than to a conventional love story, this lushly abstract travelogue is as gorgeous as it is impenetrable. Miguel Gomes’ Beguiling Colonial Romance Travels from Saigon to Shanghai in..
Cannes 2024 :: ‘All We Imagine as Light’ :: A Sensual Triumph
India’s First Cannes Competition Title in 30 Years Is a Sensual Triumph. Payal Kapadia captures the way two women in Mumbai move through the world with bracing intimacy. It is both dreamlike and like waking up from a dream..
Cannes 2024 :: Mohammad Rasoulof Speaking to IndieWire
Rasoulof Made It to Cannes for ‘Seed of the Sacred Fig,’ but His Perilous Journey Out of Iran Isn’t Over. "I consider making works of art as my right, and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t fight for this right."..
Cannes 2024 :: Donald Trump Origin Tale ‘The Apprentice’ Gets 11-Minute Ovation At Its Cannes World Premiere
The Trumps were on the red carpet this evening at the Cannes Film Festival — sort of — as Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice world premiered in competition. There was lots of hugs..
Cannes Film Festival 2024 ::
Francis Ford Coppola Finally Talks Megalopolis

The Oscar-winning legend has been the subject of deafening rumors about his self-financed new epic. For the first time in public, he finally got to tell his story...
UPDATE :: I exist to narrate :: Mohammad Rasoulof writes about his forced departure from Iran
By publishing a post on his personal Instagram page, he announced his forced departure from Iran. His writing, which you can read here, is a testament to the many artists who were driven..
The Phoenix (Simorgh) is finally online!
The Phoenix (Simorgh) is a short film Written & Directed by Nora Niasari. It follows Mr Farid, an exiled Iranian actor, who teaches drama to reluctant asylum seeker teenagers inside an Australian Detention Centre..
Films Boutique boards Mohammad Rasoulof’s Cannes Competition title
Berlin-based Films Boutique has secured world sales rights to Mohammad Rasoulof’s 'The Seed Of The Sacred Fig' ahead of its premiere in Competition at Cannes, and has closed a distribution deal in France..
Nika's Last Breath :: BBC World Service Documentaries
Secret document says Iran security forces molested and killed teen protester. An Iranian teenager was sexually assaulted and killed by three men working for Iran's security forces, a leaked document understood to have been..
Cannes Film Festival 2024 :: Michel Hazanavicius & Mohammad Rasoulof Movies in Competition Lineup
Cannes Film Festival has added some international titles to Competition Lineup: Hazanavicius‘ 'The Most Precious of Cargoes' and Rasoulof‘s 'The Seed of the Sacred Fig'..
'Biological Terror?!' :: Speculations about Alidoosti's unknown disease
According to some sources, Taraneh told her colleagues that she passed out during her interrogation by IRGC intelligence agents and then, realized that she was injected with an unknown ampoule, after which she felt dizzy..
Taraneh Alidoosti's mother: Pray for her! Her disease is severe!
The celebrated Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti's mother has announced that her daughter is suffering from an illness of "unknown origin". Earlier, there were reports that Taraneh Alidoosti was ill and hospitalized..
‘The Apprentice’ :: A dive into the underbelly of the American empire
The drama charts a young Donald Trump’s ascent to power through a Faustian deal with the influential right-wing lawyer and political fixer Roy Cohn. A first look at the forthcoming film from Ali Abbasi, set to premiere at Cannes..
STOCKFISH 2024 :: Review: Tove’s Room
A new biopic about Danish poet Tove Ditlevsen and her tortured marriage to the sadistic news editor Victor Andreasen. We’re in Copenhagen in 1969, and the entire action of this tense, neurotic – yet very intriguing – kammerspiel takes place..
American Fiction :: Movie Review
Jeffrey Wright gives a knockout performance in this edgy, Oscar-nominated comedy. Cord Jefferson marries broad humour with affecting familial dysfunction and biting observations on race. This season’s edgiest comedy arrives with richly deserved Oscar nominations for..
CPH:DOX 2024 :: Review: Silent Trees
Zwiefka – whose last film, Vika! has enjoyed a healthy festival run and is still travelling the world – now trains her lens on a completely different topic: the story of a Kurdish refugee girl stranded in the no man’s land between Belarus and Poland...
CPH:DOX 2024 :: Review: Immortals
Immortals is a dystopian film that turns into an ode to fragility, and it shows the contrasting feelings of those who allowed themselves the luxury of hoping that David might kill Goliath. Maja Tschumi’s film is built around the hopes and broken dreams, but most of all the..
Exiled Iranian Filmmakers Call Out AMPAS Over Omission
Exiled Iranian Filmmakers (IIFMA) has written to AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) to protest the omission of murdered Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui from the In Memoriam segment of the Academy Award..
Oscar 2024 :: How to Watch Every 2024 Oscar-Nominated Movie
It’s time to fire up your Letterboxd, roller-skate out of the real world, and head off to movie land. The 2024 Oscar nominations have been officially announced, giving you a perfect watchlist for catching up on all the films you..
Berlin: Indie Juries Pick :: ‘Sex’, ‘Dying’ and ‘Cake’
Matthias Glasner's German family epic 'Sterben' (Dying), Iranian feature 'My Favourite Cake,' and Dag Johan Haugerud's Norwegian drama 'Sex' picked up multiple awards from the independent juries at the 74th Berlinale..
BERLINALE 2024 Awards :: Mati Diop’s Dahomey bags the Golden Bear
The 74th Berlinale (15-25 February) was brought to a close tonight by the traditional awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast, which saw the triumph of Mati Diop’s Dahomey, the winner of this year’s Golden Bear..
BERLINALE 2024 :: Competition Review: Architecton
Several thousand years of architectural history are woven together in Kossakovsky's visionary blockbuster, which almost without dialogue - but with images as sharp as flint and a soundtrack as massive as a pillow - is a total cinematic..
BERLINALE 2024 :: Review: Afterwar
An immersive and uncategorisable film, shot over a period of 15 years, was made in close collaboration with its four Kosovar protagonists. A dark chapter in modern European history draws to a close. Haunted by memories of the past and caught in an uncertain state of limbo..
BERLINALE 2024 Competition :: Review: My Favourite Cake
All eyes were on writer-directors Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha – or, rather, their absence – at the world premiere of their new film, My Favourite Cake, which has just made its debut in the Competition section of..
NAVALNY (2022) :: Navalny’s Plight in a Russian Prison Highlighted
The fact that this documentary movie involves one of the most brazen incidents of state sponsored assassination in memory means this is a unique document of a very singular man. After almost being poisoned to death in 2020..
CPH:DOX 2024 :: The line-up of the 2024 CPH:DOX competitions
CPH:DOX unveils the films nominated across all six award categories. The selection features 66 films in competition, among which 47 are world premieres, 17 international premieres and 2 European premieres..
BERLINALE 2024 :: ‘My Favourite Cake’ Directors Deliver Powerful Message From Iran
‘My Favourite Cake’ Directors Deliver Powerful Message From Iran After Authorities Banned Travel to Berlinale: ‘Like Parents Forbidden From Looking at Their Newborn Child’..
Farshad Hashemi :: Director of 'Me, Maryam, the Children and 26 Others' :: Interview
“I can’t predict the future, but I know this is just the beginning”. The winner of Göteborg’s Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award plays with fact and fiction in his debut film..
BERLINALE 2024 :: EXCLUSIVE :: Trailer for Berlinale Panorama entry 'My Stolen Planet'
The German-Iranian co-production is a diary-style narrative by Farahnaz Sharifi, from her childhood to the 2022 Women, Life, Freedom uprising..
Farshad Hashemi's film wins The Ingmar Bergman Debut Award at Goteborg Film Festival
The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award goes to Farshad Hashemi's feature debut 'Me, Maryam, The Children And 26 Others'. The prize consists of a stay at The Bergman Estate on..
‘Eternal’ :: Rotterdam Review :: A soulful exploration of love and regret
How can you commit to the future when life on earth seems so finite? It is a question that haunts the central character in writer/director Ulaa Salim’s admirably offbeat romance Eternal..
IFFR 2024 Tiger Competition :: 'Me, Maryam, the Children and 26 Others'
Farshad Hashemi's feature debut, Me, Maryam, the Children and 26 Others, which has just world-premiered in IFFR's Tiger Competition, will inevitably inspire associations with Iranian cinema's tradition of intertwining..
Berlinale Calls for Iran to Allow Directors to Attend Festival
The Berlin Film Festival has called on Iran to allow directors Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha to leave the country to attend the world premiere of their new film My Favorite Cake..
"My Favourite Cake" :: to premiere in the Berlinale Competition
Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha’s My Favourite Cake to premiere in the Berlinale Competition. Last year, the pair were banned from travelling in relation to their film..
Asghar Farhadi, Iranian filmmaker :: “I saw how powerful women are”
In a new interview with french newspaper Le Monde, Farhadi reveals he won't be making any new films in Iran, for the time being, as an act of resistance against the regime..
IPADOC 2024 :: Review :: Son of the Mullah
Nahid Persson pays tribute to Rouhollah Zam, an exiled Iranian activist and journalist with a tragic fate, with a moving film about the pursuit of regime opponents. “I had a beautiful life before I left Iran”..
‘Gunda’ :: Berlin Review :: Intensely moving and quite genuinely unique
Anyone who never thought they could imagine the feelings of an animal will have their mind changed here. Viktor Kossakovsky’s extraordinary film is every bit as resonant as Bresson’s ’Balthazar’ or Bela Tarr’s ’Turin Horse’..
BERLINALE 2024 :: “Sons” by Gustav Möller :: Selected for main Competition
BERLIN. “The Guilty” director Gustav Möller's prison drama “Sons” will be celebrating the World premiere in the International Competition strand of the Berlinale as the first Danish-language film in eight years..
BERLINALE 2024 Competition :: Encounters
The Berlinale (15-25 February) has announced the full line-ups of its Competition and Encounters sections. Twenty films will vie for the Golden and Silver Bears, including two debut features..
La chimera :: A fairy tale with a social conscience and plenty of humor
Alice Rohrwacher's film is clever, ambitious, and funny throughout, but it also works as an intelligent meditation on our attitudes toward life, love, and death. Get used to her name, because she will be sticking around well after..
Iran: PEN International Calls for investigation over Baktash Abtin’s tragic death
PEN International holds the Iranian authorities fully responsible for the death of the prominent writer, poet, and filmmaker Baktash Abtin and calls for an urgent investigation into..
GOLDEN GLOBES 2024 :: 'Anatomy of a Fall' wins two Golden Globes
Justine Triet’s film shone bright at the ceremony, at which the main winners were Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, which also boast European participation..
Tótem :: A dazzling, vibrant child’s-eye view of jubilation and tragedy
Lila Avilés’s latest film is filtered largely through the perspective of a seven-year-old girl who experiences the ups and downs of life in a day with her big and beautiful family.. A co-production between Mexico, Denmark and..
Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers Is a Holiday Triumph
Alexander Payne's new film The Holdovers, starring Paul Giamatti, is the kind of wonderful comedy-drama we used to take for granted. Today it feels like a cinematic miracle. In Payne’s work, one individual’s failings..
Film Orgs call on Iranian authorities to drop charges against two movie directors
Some 30 film organizations, festivals and professionals have signed an open letter calling on Iranian authorities to immediately drop all charges against directors Maryam Moghadam..
Absence :: Ali Mosaffa's mystical thriller
An Iranian man, while investigating into his father's youth in Prague, finds himself in the shoes of a third man who is almost dead and happens to be his half-brother. Absence is an attempt to shed light on a forgotten corner..
‘Cafe’ :: Review :: Screened at 64th Thessaloniki Int. Film Festival 2023
May seem absurdist, but it is at least partially autobiographical. Like his countryman Jafar Panahi, a ban on filmmaking didn’t stop Mihandoust and, in the three years he was waiting for the sentence to be enacted, he..
Stockholm International Film Festival Awards 2023
Best Film: “The Settlers” by Felipe Gálvez Haberle. In a remarkable triumph, Chilean maestro Felipe Gálvez’s brutal western clinched the coveted Best Film award. The film delves into the annals of Chilean colonization and..
36th TIFF :: Tokyo 2023 :: Winners
Family drama Snow Leopard, directed by the late Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden, has won the Tokyo Grand Prix, the top prize at this year’s Tokyo Film Festival. Tatami by Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Guy Nattiv won the Special Jury Prize, also the award for Best Actress for Zar Amir..
Tokyo Film Festival 2023
The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), set to run October 23 to November 1, revealed the lineup for its 36th edition, including 20 world premieres across its two competition strands. The festival features 15 titles in its main Competition section led by Japan and China..
GoCritic! Animest 2023 :: Review :: The Siren
As shown through the eyes of a teenage boy, Sepideh Farsi's animated film shows both the horrors and kindness that wartime brings. A striking, bleakly beautiful account of living in a war zone, which captures a traumatic and..
LONDON 2023 :: Review :: Celluloid Underground
Unsuitable films were burned after the Islamic regime took over Iran. But one man stashed away reels and reels of banned and western movies – to thrill a new generation in secret film clubs.. A salute to the underground film lovers..
Golshifteh Farahani On the Shocking News of One of Iran's most prominent film-makers' Murder
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Noted Iranian film director and his wife found stabbed to death in their home
Fans of the celebrated Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui have woken to the shocking news of his murder at home by an unknown assailant. He was 83. He was a co-founder of Iran’s film new wave in the early 1970s..
ORCA :: A Protest Against Hate, Intolerance and Dehumanization
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Copenhagen Cinematheque :: 'Leila's Brothers' :: Film of the Month in October
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LOCARNO 2023 :: Radu Jude :: Interview :: It's Later Than You Think
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OSCARS 2024 :: European titles submitted for the Oscars race
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Oscars 2024 :: Denmark Picks ‘The Promised Land’ for Best International Feature Category
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Female Freedom Fighters :: The Politics of Women's Hair
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LOCARNO 2023 Competition
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“There’s a lot of beautiful films made on 16 mm”

BERLINALE 2024 Encounters
Interview: Matías Piñeiro (You Burn Me)
“There’s a lot of beautiful films made on 16 mm”

Nataliia Serebriakova, International Cinephile Society (ICS)
June 5, 2024

You know, sometimes cinema gives you the excuse to get close to a writer. It’s somewhat like André Bazin used to say, that even if the adaptation is bad, at least people are more aware of the original writer, of somebody like Flaubert, you know? To me, that’s a good thing about films.

Matías Piñeiro’s experimental, hour-long film You Burn Me, an interesting work based on texts by Cesare Pavese and Sappho about the relationship between two women, was included in this year’s Berlinale Encounters program.

Tú me abrasas is an adaptation of “Sea Foam”, a chapter from Cesare Pavese’s “Dialoghi con Leucò” in which the Greek poet Sappho and the nymph Britomartis talk of desire and death.

The film has a lot of text, with choppy editing in the style of Jonas Mekas, and the audience is left to its own devices when it comes to figuring out the film.



Nataliia Serebriakova spoke with the director about the sources of his inspiration, the Bolex camera, and working in 16 mm.

Nataliia Serebriakova: I like your style and the fact that this is an experimental form. My first question is about Cesare Pavese, can you please explain how he influenced you?

Matías Piñeiro: Cesare Pavese is a writer from the first part of the 20th century. I learned about him through Antonioni’s Le amiche, the film that he adapted based on Pavese’s novel Among Women Only. When I was in film school I read that novel, and so I was aware of Pavese, but I didn’t delve very deep into his work. Then, through the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Daniel Huillier, his name came up again, specifically with his novel Dialogues with Leucò, and its dialogue and also its mise-en-scène got me curious. It was very intriguing for me; very hard, but interesting. So that was my excuse. You know, sometimes cinema gives you the excuse to get close to a writer. It’s somewhat like André Bazin used to say, that even if the adaptation is bad, at least people are more aware of the original writer, of somebody like Flaubert, you know? To me, that’s a good thing about films.

NS: How did his prose make you feel?

MP: I didn’t really know him before, but cinema pushed me to read the text. Initially that text was hard because it’s full of mythological figures. And it is very conceptual, very short, and with a very condensed meaning. It’s extremely condensed, and so it is not an easy text to get through. Yet at the same time I think that Pavese was aware of that; he wrote multiple prefaces, like prologues to the book itself and then to each chapter, to try and give context. It was a challenging read, but there is something in that challenge, in that resistance of the text, that I’m attracted to. So I made the effort, and then all of a sudden when I reached the sea foam story, the one that I adapted, it came very close. There was something about these two women. I think that is one of the few texts in which both women speak.

NS: How did you come up with the idea of ​​making a film based on Pavese’s prose?

MP: I’m used to this idea of dialogue. I used to work with Shakespeare adaptations, which is dialogue, and here you also have a novel that is in fact only a form of dialogue. There is this hybrid element that I enjoy, and there’s actually a shot in the film where the book itself is written. At the start, it was me who wrote, “With this book, with this chapter, I think I can make a short film“. I didn’t know how the film was to be edited. But it was not only about the editing, but also about how to shoot it. I was attracted to the text, but I had no idea how to shoot it. I couldn’t use the techniques that I usually use, like long shots and panning, and I knew that my usual style would not be a good fit.

I have been making films for a couple of years, and somehow I was ending this cycle of Shakespearean films that I was making. And so the challenge was to try something new, also with regards to mise-en-scène, something to experiment with, to find out who I am as a filmmaker. I just knew that with my theater experience and with this conversational style I could do it. The attraction to do something different was magnetic. So it was Pavese, someone that I was not at all familiar with but whose text was so close to me, who gave me an interesting place to start over again in the way I think about cinema.

NS: How did another literary image, Sappho, come into play?

MP: Through Pavese’s text, Sappho appeared as another interest. I shared my interest in his text with one of the actresses, and she asked me if I had read the poems of Sappho. She pointed me to the translation by Anne Carson. Once I got hold of that adaptation I got very interested in Sappho, and I figured that by merging these two interests I could maybe find a way to shoot the film.

NS: You use footnotes in the film, a very original thing to do.

MP: Through reading Pavese, and with the text being so tight and condensed, the experience of reading not just the text but also its footnotes became familiar to me, because the footnotes really open up the text. So when he speaks of Tindari, through the footnotes and the prefaces you learn that is actually talking about Helen of Troy. At that point the challenge became, how can cinema relate to these other pieces of information in a way that is dynamic, that is dialectic, and that opens up the film and understands that knowledge is beautiful and seductive and like a fresh fruit. So in a sense, this idea of a film that is more hybrid. The text itself is not dramatic, it is conceptual. It is a dialogue, like Plato, like Voltaire, like Diderot. You don’t get immersed in the psychology of the character, it is more a conceptual work. So between the conceptual, the idea of the footnotes, and then understanding this thing of going back to analog film through the Bolex camera that provides you only very short shots, the idea of fragmentation was embedded in both technology and form.

NS: Can you please tell me more about your work with the Bolex, and what was the concept behind the shoot?

MP: I was not in the ‘machine of cinema’, so to say, I was not forcing myself. It was just the limitation that the camera gave me and that I could use in order to have a fragmented experience of the materials that I was working with. But there was something about making the film that also had to do with not having full control, of not knowing everything.

This idea of knowledge as something that is sensitive, emotional, beautiful. It’s not something I tell and teach you; no, it is about sharing and mingling and about combining things together that at first you wouldn’t think would work together. For instance, the idea that the sea in the text very much recalls a place of death piqued my interest, because in art the ocean is often a symbol for fertility. So there’s a paradox there. Britomartis and Sappho are somehow in this exchange; they’re like opposites, and they are in dialogue with each other, trying to listen to each other and understand themselves a little better. I was reduced by that ambiguity. In that dialogue, both characters are not ambiguous, they’re in a conversation. They’re not fighting to convince each other, even though they ask. There’s always questions that are asked. And I was asking myself also, like, how should I shoot this? If I went by the traditional route of shot / reverse shot, you’d have a 30-minute film, but that would not be truthful to how hard Pavese’s text is. How can you make it bloom? By adding new information? How can you open it up without analyzing, without explaining it either, but by just adding more layers? How can we interpret these two women, these two concepts of love/desire and death, the ideas of suicide? It’s not the idea of fragmentation and of loss, but still this loss being a win.

There’s a gap. So that is why I felt that the film needed to be a very fragmented one, and one that I was not able to fully control. It needed to be something that I would have to think about it, edit it, then think about it more, and repeat that process many times over to get an idea how it might work better. I had hints and ideas, I had pathways into it, but then many times these pathways were abandoned, and it was a matter of compressing, repeatedly. And in a way the film gives a lot of information that is also compressed.

NS: Did you shoot on 16mm before?

MP: My first two features, The Stolen Man (El hombre robado), which is in black and white, and They all lie (Todos mienten) were shot on 16mm and Super 16. But I was not the cinematographer on those films, that was Fernando Lockett, a collaborator of mine for many years. But in this case, I chose to use the Bolex camera, which doesn’t use electricity, and it allowed for a more intimate sort of shooting. It was very intimate with Fernando as well, but here it was also the challenge of putting myself in somebdoy else’s shoes. There was this need for me to change something, to be a physical part of the shooting. I didn’t need to be next to the camera, I needed to be behind it. You know, when you are not the camera operator, you are next to the camera. And here I needed to put myself in that other position and learn how to actually use the camera. It felt a bit like making a documentary of how I learned to use the camera, with my mistakes, with my findings, and with being able to improvise a little bit more. The film turned out the way it did by being very present. So that’s why I had a challenging relationship with conventional writing. I consider myself the writer of the film, but in a different way. And which way is that? One that includes the shooting also.

NS: Do you think that analog shooting has become a fashionable thing to do now?

MP: For many years I didn’t want to shoot in analog because it was more expensive and because I thought that it had become a little bit of a fetish, you know, like a movement against digital. So I was not really interested in that, even though there’s great, beautiful films in 16mm being made. But I felt that I didn’t need to. Yet for this one, I needed to challenge myself and place myself in a different position also, and having to learn the camera made me go slowly. I had to be slower, because I needed to check everything, and measure, and measure again just in case, and keep an eye on the focus, and this and that. And since I had to do all of that myself, it slowed me down but also gave me more time to think, to be more conscious, to be more in the present.

NS: Your film and its style reminds me of the films of Frank Beauvais. Can you see that?

MP: Well, it’s an honor to be compared to him, because I like his films and he is a big cinephile. I think there is this idea of re-appropriating these things that we love, like rearranging and immersing ourselves and also sharing. I think that there is a love of sharing in his films, of combining and creating new meaning and being playful, and of being a little bit radical. Maybe not radical, but a little bit experimental. Yes, very experimental, but also a little bit funny.

NS: And the rhythm of editing reminds me of Jonas Mekas

MP: The editor, Gerard Borràs, is another key part of the film. He is a young editor whose work I saw in other people’s films, like in a film that played recently in Rotterdam that’s called Historia de pastores. That film was made by another friend from Spain, Jaime Puertas Castillo. I saw that film and thought that it was very interestingly edited, so I thought working with Gerard would turn out well. There was this approach that had to do with combining images in regard to the actions that are happening in it. We wanted to make a film where not everything is an evocation. I want to see someone crossing the street. I want to see someone looking at an orange. Basic things, very minimal things that you capture. Gestures, even. I wanted a few gestures. I also admire Jonas Mekas’ films, but it was not something that I had specifically in mind. I come from a much more narrative side; I always call my films alternative narratives because they are not that conventional. But at the same time I’m interested in narrative. I don’t go as far as these other filmmakers like Mekas who are more radical, I think. I’m very interested in their radicality and they are very inspiring, but then again I feel that I’m always interested in connecting and this sort of more dramatic flirting with drama. Jonas Mekas is very much alive in all of his shots and all his diary ideas, and my film is a little bit of a diary. It’s a diary of how I learned to work with the camera. It gets more into the diary form, filmed from the heart, with no fiction elements. He is also very lyrical with these fragments of reality, he is always a filmmaker of fragmentation. So I can understand the connection, but I also see the huge difference between us.



Night Train To Lisbon
Annette Focks


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