Juan Cavestany portrays emotional confinement in Madrid, interior
- While stuck in self-isolation, the filmmaker has directed and edited a movie developed over one month, with contributions from countless friends, family members, celebrities and even strangers
An urgent, timely film depicting an unprecedented reality and the various emotional states brought on by its peculiarities. That is Madrid, interior [+see also:
film profile], a movie in the guise of a documentary that Juan Cavestany (People in Places [+see also:
film profile]) directed, edited and produced from 24 March to 24 April 2020 thanks to contributions from his friends, some of whom are famous – such as actors José Coronado, Pepón Nieto, Nathalie Seseña and Antonio de la Torre, musician Coque Malla and author Juan José Millás – and others less so. Nevertheless, they all filmed themselves with their mobile phones during their self-isolation at home. The result – which also includes a number of scenes shot in London, New York, Seville, Barcelona and Valencia – is already available to watch on the website of the newspaper El País.
We got in touch with the filmmaker to talk about his movie. “We were in a quandary as to whether we should bring it out quickly, whether it was worth doing now, or whether to hang onto it and work on it some more, in order to show it off later. Both options had pros and cons, but only El País could pull it off so quickly. The project is very time-specific, and that’s why I wanted to get it out there now, and so I accepted the newspaper option. The film is not 100% finished, but I wanted to let the public see it before the lockdown-easing process started: it was shot right up to the moment when people could start gradually going out again. I will take it down from El País in a week’s time, and I’ll finish improving the image and sound – although it already looks quite good – so that it can have a little run around the festival circuit (provided they’re ever held again, of course),” states Cavestany.
Indeed, Madrid, interior is a one-of-a-kind testimony. “For me, it’s a reminder that we can live differently, more calmly and in a less hectic way: since the last crisis, everything has turned into this race to see who can do more for less. I hope people’s perspectives change now,” asserts the director of Dispongo de barcos [+see also:
But how did he come up with the idea for the film? “I started recording myself and receiving videos from Luis Bermejo (Magical Girl [+see also:
interview: Carlos Vermut
film profile]), with no script, but with a premise: we’re all stuck at home and can’t go out,” he replies. “I didn’t know where it was all going to lead, so I asked the participants to record themselves doing as little as possible and to send me the images. As I began amassing those moments, I gradually saw where there were other things that were needed, so I suggested bits and pieces to some of them, but I didn’t know how they were going to make them – and that resulted in several surprises.”
And to round off this telephone conversation, we asked him what genre Madrid, interior fits into. “I had a strange contradiction on my hands: I was caught between being gripped by this horrible fear and feeling very well indeed, and that’s why both emotions make an appearance. I also steered clear of making a comedy of manners and conveying a terrible feeling of depression, nor did I want to spread a sense of helplessness or loneliness: and that’s a state that I like,” sums up Cavestany.
Madrid, interior is a Cuidado con el perro production.
(Translated from Spanish)
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