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Martín Rosete • Director of Remember Me

“This is a profession that’s born of passion”

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- Los Angeles-based Spaniard Martín Rosete put his faith in Bruce Dern as the star of Remember Me, in which he appeals to primitive emotions and the power of memory

Martín Rosete  • Director of Remember Me

Remember Me [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martín Rosete
film profile
]
, shot in the USA, France and Spain (its three producing countries) in both English and Spanish, is the second movie by Madrilenian Martín Rosete, who is based in the USA, where he filmed his feature debut, the thriller Money. Once again, he has put his faith in English-speaking actors (Bruce Dern, Brian Cox and Sienna Gillory), flanked by Spaniards (Verónica Forqué, Jesús Vidal and Isabel García Lorca), for his new outing, which broaches the delicate topic of memory loss. We talked to him about the movie.

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Cineuropa: How was your transition from Spain – where you were nominated for the Goya Award for your short fiction film Voice Over in 2013 – to the USA?
Martín Rosete:
In 2006, once I’d already shot various short films that had won awards at festivals, I applied for a grant, and I received an offer to make an English-language film. In 2007, I came to New York to study for my Master in Film, one thing led to another, and now I’ve been here for 12 years. But I still have a direct link with Spain via my production company, Kamel Films, and we even tried to film Money there, but in the end, we had to shoot it in New York. I try to stay connected to my home country – in fact, with Remember Me, I lived there for about four months in total.

Remember Me is a co-production between three countries. Will it be released in Spain first?
It will hit Spanish screens on 2 August, courtesy of Filmax. And it’s already been sold to Israel and Japan; in addition, we’re currently negotiating the worldwide distribution.

What was it that appealed to you about the screenplay penned by Rafa Russo (Love in Self Defense)? What made you take the plunge and shoot this story starring elderly characters?
I really like the way Rafa writes, and one day, while we were chatting, he told me he wanted some of his scripts to be shot in English, so that they would have potential for the international market. We were talking over the phone, and he told me ten stories that he’d thought up, and as soon as he mentioned Remember Me, I was hooked because I thought it was sweet, entertaining and original, and it was a very beautiful way of approaching a love story between senior citizens. I told him, “We’ll do everything in our power to make it see the light of day,” and so we’re happy that it’s finally being released.

Do you have to be a bit of a risk taker to steer clear of the commercial route whereby films are aimed at young audiences?
Yes, we’re very aware of that, but because this is a profession that’s born of passion, this was the story that really had that spark, and we just went for it. The people at the distributors tell us that what’s being filmed now is geared towards a young audience, but they also tell us that older people are still going to the movie theatres, and therefore this film could secure a slot. We think it has an audience, and let’s hope that it hangs around in theatres long enough for word of mouth to have an effect, and that it connects with that potential audience.

Being able to rely on Bruce Dern as one of your lead actors is quite a luxury...
It’s also a huge responsibility because here’s this actor telling you thousands of anecdotes about when, for instance, he worked with Alfred Hitchcock on Family Plot. He asked us to wrap two days early so that he could go and appear in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, where he had three scenes with Brad Pitt. He’s also worked with Alexander Payne, who’s one of my favourite filmmakers. We didn’t have any time to rehearse, he arrived one day before the start of the shoot, but he’s so brilliant that he takes you places and evokes emotions that were not even in the script. He told us that he loved the screenplay, and he came all excited because he had not played a lead role since Nebraska in 2013: that’s why he was especially thrilled about it, and he slogged his guts out to give his all.

The movie also shows the connection between the granddaughter’s younger generation and the older one that the grandfather belongs to.
I was brought up around my maternal grandparents and lived with them until they passed away, and as a consequence, I understand that mutual understanding between grandparents and their grandchildren, so the character of Tania and Serena Kennedy, the Irish actress who plays her, really fascinate me. Bruce always said that that girl would go far.

Lastly, will your next projects bring you to Europe once again?
I have one in the works in Spain with production outfit Bowfinger, and we’ve acquired the rights to a huge science-fiction film here in the States: it remains to be seen whether we can get it off the ground with my Spanish production company and my US partner.

(Translated from Spanish)

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