Nisimazine San Sebastian
20th - 28th September 2013
Fernando Franco & Marian Ă lvarez
picture of the day
Eftihia Stefanidi (UK/Greece)
The thought of transcribing the San Sebastian film festival in pictures appeared as an easy, if not a privileged task. Its appealing setting was already a given: city of cart-postal vistas, exquisite strip of sea, alluring architecture, Michelin star gastronomy. But one can face a quandary: how to capture the spirit of an annual cinephile congregation when most of its guests are seated in a dark room? While delegates spent hours orbiting between screenings and pinchos, I chose to participate in the life happening nearby, on the sunny streets of Donostia, where my 10-day flaneurie manifested. The camera became the official observational tool of the local characters’ quotidian habits juxtaposed next to its international guests, which is essentially what gives this festival a distinctive identity. On the hunt for the decisive moment, I’ve noted the following: 1. Admirably the majority of locals are aware of the festival and attend screenings 2. Playing cards is a popular teen activity during “dead time” 3. Film directors are camera nervous and resemble their films 4. Diego Luna is good looking 5. Everyone licks ice cream between 5-8pm. 6. A significant number of surfer hipsters emerge daily during swell hour 7. Festival parties are easy to crash if you hold a camera 8. Life is stranger than fiction For what could appear surreal, Jean-Luc Godard’s distant voice reassuringly defends transparency: “Photography is truth. And cinema is truth twenty-four times a second.”
NISIMAZINE SAN SEBASTIAN
20th - 28th September 2013 # 4
A magazine published by NISI MASA in the framework of a film journalism workshop for young Europeans.
Director Fernando Vasquez Layout Lucía Ros Photography Eftihia Stefanidi
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Júlia de Balle, Ana Martínez, Eftihia Stefanidi
99, rue du Faubourg Saint-Dénis 75010, Paris, France Phone: +33 (0)1 48 01 65 31 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nisimasa.com
Alfredo Soderguit (Uruguay-Colombia) – Horizontes Latinos Anina Yatay Salas is a 10 year old girl who bears the unusual burden of having three concatenated palindromes to conform her full name. Angry with her parents for not having been satisfied with the sum of their surnames (they also felt obliged to give her a first name that would follow the rule and complete the “capicua” series), Anina initially fails to perceive this decision as the love present it really is. Inspired from homonymous book by Uruguayan author Sergio López, it was Soderguit himself who illustrated the novel and then decided to adapt it to the screen, making it his first feature. It’s not a surprise that his large experience –he has illustrated around 40 books– plays a leading role here, in both the character’s design and the whole made up world appearance. Looking at a still frame one can almost notice as if a thick sheet of paper was supporting it from behind. This is why in terms of visual style the lines and the looks truly resemble what could be found within the pages of a fine quality children’s book. Yet the film goes even further. The colours are rich and generous, sometimes showing up where they’re not expected: a bench under the rain is not only grey and blue, but also orange and purple; yet they’re received as a pleasant and well-thought proposal. The characters’ and camera movements also accomplish to create a gracious animation with its own rhythm. The motion is fairly slow but synchronizes well with the story and doesn’t hesitate to speed up when required.
However, what’s most outstanding is that the film discusses important issues like emigration and prejudice in a not overdramatized way and without the slightest trace of indoctrination. Education is portrayed as an indispensable element in order to help children mature freely, but it is also described as being rule-free. I reckon it’s not too daring to say Anina is a worthy heir of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall anthem. In fact, the musical sequence portraying a nightmare in which Anina is accused of not obeying the school principal’s punishment clearly recalls the mise-en-scène of The Wall, although in a significantly less brutal way. Anina helps us notice how damaging some established conducts are and, more importantly, how they can be changed for good. It is enjoyable and meaningful for all the family. Makes us ask for more. by Júlia de Balle (Spain)
impulsive rage, the drug abuse, the eating disorder, the suicidal tendencies, and above all, the fear of being neglected (conflict with her boyfriend), the self-harm (cuts and burns) and the extreme isolationism (her room is like a bunker where she isolates herself from her mother.
Fernando Franco (Spain) - Official Competition Wounded is not a plot with a beginning, middle and end, it´s a story about an emotionally and physically damaged woman. Ana is a 28 year old girl who works at a patient transport unit. Her job is a way of escaping her problems and the only environment where she is happy. The first film of Fernando Franco, winner of the Special Jury Prize, thoroughly analyses Borderline Personality Disorder, which is incarnated in the amazing interpretation of Marian Álvarez, herself the winner of the Silver Shell for best actress. The mental disorder is broken down perfectly in the film: the
Aesthetically the filmmaker choose the hand-held camera style to add realism to the action, alongside medium close up and close up shots to enter Ana’s world, as well long shot angles, which reminds us of Bela Tarr’s cinematography style. These are scenes that consist of following the foreshortening. Nonetheless, Fernando Franco has not the same magnetism than the Hungarian author. The main problem is the composition of the shots, as the director does not create a deep enough perspective during the long walks of Ana, failing to involve the spectator in the action. Even so, Wounded has outstanding visual moments. Regarding the editing, David Pinillos has the contrary style of Fernando Franco. The editor of Wounded makes an invisible editing, while Fernando Franco knows how take advantage of this tool. In Blancanieves, Franco captivates the spectator with his editing: the abrupt cuts, the music in the exact moment and the rhythm. This atmosphere doesn’t appear in Wounded. Even though there is not a great captivating environment, Wounded is all Marian Álvarez´s performance, she is perfect: excellent construction of the character and splendid interpretation. by Ana Martínez (Spain)
interview You directed this film after a great success as editor in Pablo Berger´s Blancanieves. Do you see yourself as a director or editor? Fernando Franco: I always wanted to be a filmmaker. I signed up for film school and eventually I chose film editing because I thought that I would learn more in the assembly part of filmmaking, with the material of a movie compared to in a classroom analyzing scenes. Were you influenced by your editing experience while directing Wounded? F: I make a strong distinction between the film direction and the film editing. If I’m editing a movie I’ll never question the decisions of the director.
Fernando Franco & Marian Álvarez Director and actress of ‘Wounded’ (Spain) - Official Competition
Wounded, a film about the struggles of living with Borderline Personality Disorder , was one of the most talked about Spanish productions on the main competition at this year´s edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival. Ana Martinez caught up with the director, Fernando Franco, and the Actress, Marian Álvarez, who in the end took the best actress award, to discover the process of making such a powerful film. How did you research your character? Did you know anyone with this psychological disorder? Marián Álvarez: I was gathering information on psychology books and above all on the Internet. In the forums I managed to find out a lot as I could follow people with this kind of disorder. At some point Fernando and me decided not to contact these people directly, as we run the risk of hurting them. Ethically speaking that would be the wrong thing to do.
What was the hardest part of your role? M: For me the hardest part of being Ana was portraying a pain that is so incredibly big and constant. It is a very deep wound indeed. The physicals wounds are more obvious. Besides Ana suffers from a disorder, but one that she doesn’t know of. She is constantly walking on the line. I think that this was the most complicated aspect of the character.
Is that why you did not edit this film? F: Yes. I think that the film editor is a necessary figure because you are more objective in relation to the material of the film and that is very important. I think that if I would edit a sequence in a specific way with nobody confronting me I would not realize my mistakes. Wounded is the first Spanish début which is in the Official Selection. How does that make you feel? F: Very well! The normal path would have taken us to the New Directors section, but when they told me that we were in the Official Selection with other filmmakers like Tavernier or Martin Cuenca, well, we felt very proud, in a certain way it´s like a prize in itself. It has been a pleasant surprise because the crew didn’t know how people were going to receive the film. Interview by Ana Martínez (Spain) Photo by Eftihia Stefanidi (UK/Greece)