Interview to Marco Berger – “BUTTERFLY” (MARIPOSA) Director

Maria Cristina Hotel. Some members of the Sebastiane award meet  Marco Berger, winner of the 2015 Sebastiane Latino award and candidate to Sebastiane 2015.

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Sebastiane: Was it difficult to carry out?

Marco: In fact, it was. Mariposa is the second film script I write, trying to move away from the recipe of “this works, that does not”. What happened was that the film was delayed, and in the meantime I filmed “Ausente” and “Hawai”. With this movie I wasn’t trying to leave the subject itself, quite the contrary I was showing a wider palette as a film director. The truth is that now that I feel settled I enjoy what happened to my career. After the first film ( “Plan B” ) people asked me if I had improvised and so. That creates certain insecurity. The main idea about “Mariposa” was showing I was able to do any other thing. And afterwards, while my career was growing I was asked if I feared to be labelled. In fact, I don’t mind.There are thousands of directors filming heterosexual movies. Why do they want me to do the same thing? Those films set the standard. That’s how I want to make movies. If gay people enjoy them, they will keep on watching them. And if the straight public enjoy them as well, they will come to watch them; and those who may dislike, will stop coming. It was nearly a political issue. It disturbed me so much I considered becoming naughty (lol) . I will show dicks being sucked in all movies I film from now on… Don’t try to transform everything into “straight-structured”. I grew and learnt how the festival’s trick works: the success and I didn’t want to fall into signing projects in order to get bigger audiences. I’m not interested in that at all. I want to be coherent with myself by being the first spectator of my own filming.

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Sebastiane: What do you think about being nominated to an LGBT award?

Marco: I love it. There are well-known directors who deny this, but I think they have a personal fear to get such awards  with the idea “it is not a real award indeed”. Quite the contrary! I will be honored to get gay awards not to fall into everybody’s trick. It’s all right if it is the Silver Shell/Concha de Plata but if it’s the Sebastiane award, then you belong to a group. Yes, I do belong to a group.

I was told, when talking about “Plan B” that love stories are old-fashioned. That is a lie. If you don’t agree, I invite you to walk down the street holding hands with a same-sex partner, and check what happens. The dispute is still enormous and will not find an end in many years time, when nobody cares about it seriously. I feel I was cheated as I could not have a boyfriend when I was six at school, or at thirteen in the neighbourhood. Till the whole world doesn’t change, the dispute will continue and it is very important the gay presence at festivals, film markets and awards. The same thing applies when I was asked why the film wasn’t in the “Horizontes Latinos” section, being me a LatinAmerican. It is much better being at Zabaltegi, for the look of being another one among the rest.

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Sebastiane: In your filmography, you show the sexual tension between two men with great truthfulness. How do you build such scenes?

Marco: That situation was quite ordinary to me. There’s a boy who’s over there glancing at me and I know I like him. That weird look even from boys who have a girlfriend. I obviously enjoy reflecting how I see the real life, how I percieve it. The existing history between two men. From the Greco-roman wrestling with men rubbing their bodies, any situation were two men appear grab my attention. I wonder why and where that need and desire repression are born so as to gather in gar bars. Society restricts so much that men find a way, the need to meet other men’s bodies. That’s something which is not allowed in Western culture opposed to the eastern, where petting exists. They sit one over the other, but homosexuality is banned. Behind closed doors, nobody says anything because they don’t have this concepto of God’s look, the idea of God watching you. In my films, I don’t know how I create that sexual tension, I never wondered. I always try to film things the way they are, or copying reality the way it is. In the past I used to search the answers as this is the film’s trademark . As time went by I realized there’s no genuine formula. I just film what I feel  in real time. I know it’s there;  but it is not a mathematical process. Perhaps I need a much closer feeling with the actors. I have no idea about the sexual tension I create.

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Sebastiane: how do you deal with everything?

Marco: I know how the film is. It’s all inside my head and I feel relaxed. As in my first movie, I was advised to get rid of part of the texts in the script so that both the audience and the actors reached the same conclusions the character did. I divide the material in three different tasks. As a script writer, I try to have total freedom. Later, as a director, I grab the film as if I were somebody else, I do what I wish and I forget about the script writer as I understand that process was already finished. I change, modify and add new scenes. And when I edit it is just the same, I start as if it wasn’t mine and retell the best story I can with what I have kept. This task of getting rid of the ego is sometimes difficult. It’s all mine. In order to get the best possible movie.

Sebastiane: “Mariposa” has just been released. Now it comes to San Sebastian’s Zinemaldi. What can you tell su about its track record?

In every country I get to, the public’s reaction is different, each country understands the movie as they please. This is the most difficult film among all the ones I filmed. The previous ones were much more basic. Some people do not understand it which makes me feel alert, though I’d like they could understand it. In reference to Basque audiences, I have many Basque friends and I think they’re very smart people. I want to see Zinemaldi audience’s reaction.

 

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