October 20, 2021


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The ‘official competition’ gets the San Sebastian press conference

5 min read

One week after receiving the Volpi Cup Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival, Penelope Cruz and her “official contest” co-stars Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martinez were in San Sebastian on Friday evening for the Spanish premiere of the film, where the trio staged a press conference. MediaPro’s CEO, producer Jaum Roures, and the film’s composition-director duo Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohen via a video stream.

Discussing his appreciation of Duprat and the bride’s ability to ease the difficult task of shooting comedy, Cruz said he would reunite with the Argentine pair in the future.

“Sometimes when viewers leave the theater after a comedy, they think it’s easier to make those films than dramas, but that’s not the case. I really appreciate the work of Mariano and Gaston … which they do with such charm and intelligence. In fact, we have plans to do more of this together. ”

Cruz specifically named their 201 multi-award-winning feature “The Distinguished Citizen”, citing his “official competition” co-star Martinez as one of his favorites. Cohen himself referred to the film, which won Martinez the Best Actor award in Venice that year, as an example of his and DuPont’s unique approach to the comedy industry.

“We decided on a kind of uncomfortable comedy for the melody of this film, which we did in the past with Oscar in ‘The Distinguished Citizen’ and which depends on the input of our actors,” he recalls. “We didn’t want them to act as if they were doing a comedy, but to play their parts in a dramatic style. It’s almost as if they’re making a documentary, and the discomfort and comedy comes from the situation.

Lazy loaded pictures

Oscar Martinez, Antonio Banderas
Credit: Montsey Castillo

The initial questions of the half-hour conference focused on how closely the film was related to their on-screen counterparts, a dark comedy meta romp, in which Cruz played the fancy Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker Lola Cuvas, who hired a billionaire, a prestigious U.P. Adapt to a cultural mega-hit that will ensure his lasting legacy before his death. Banderas and Martinez are featured as his two oil-water-leading men, none of which is clear for the specific type of film they were tasked with producing.

“The scenes in the film are not exaggerated,” Banderas said. “Something worse happened at the rehearsal. Actors are sometimes stupid. Gaston and Mariano got it right when criticizing certain behaviors in the film world.

“There are some moments that may seem ridiculous to someone who is not in our profession; “Of all the actors, we do some weird things,” Cruz added. “But what makes this film different is that the actors cross a line and don’t respect how their behavior is affecting other people’s needs.”

Martinez agrees, adding that “acting is a mixture of thematic, conscious and subconscious, and everyone comes to their part from a different place. But, if the results are good, then everything is good and good.”

None of the three took full credit as inspiration for their roles, questioning where the characters came from. Between the three actors and the two screenwriters in the industry for so many years, there were plenty of sources to choose from.

Duprat explained, “All the characters were the result of working collaboratively.” “The actors were much more involved than just playing a part and everyone had input on the script and even the stage. It was a constant discussion during the photo shoot.

Cruz explained that for the role of director Lola’s claimant, he took inspiration from the filmmakers with whom he had worked in the past. However, “I will not reveal our minds,” he explained, “but the truth is, whatever tribute we paid was done with kindness. What we ended up with is based on the script and who we know.” A kind of Frankenstein.

A question regularly asked about local Spanish talent leaving the world that goes back to San Sebastian is how international stars now view Spanish art more than anyone else in the world. Whether Spain provides adequate support to the screen industry, Cruz acknowledges that this is the answer to a difficult question, and whose answers change frequently.

“It depends on you or the year and who is in power at any given moment,” he noted. He was also quick to acknowledge his own cherished position in the industry, explaining that while he and the two people on the stage next to him were able to freely pick and choose when and where to work, it was a very exception rather than a rule.

“You have to remember that there are many families who make a living in this profession, and my colleagues and I have to acknowledge every day that choosing the projects we create is a huge opportunity,” he explained, just like any other profession that suffers. -1 During a pandemic epidemic, those working in the screen industry now need much more support than ever before.

Martinez used France as an example of how people and governments can preserve and apply their cultural heritage. After reminiscing about the thousands of spectators lined up to welcome him and other actors to the prestigious French event, he noted that “in France they strictly protect and preserve their cultural identity, especially its makers, and this is something the world should emulate.” At the end of the day, it’s more than just paying homage to an artist, it’s recognizing a community that helps create a nation’s identity.

This is not the first time that Banderas has been more specific in expressing his views and dissatisfaction with the relationship between the Spanish government and its cultural industry.

“The truth is that in the last general election, in the debate on TV, there was not a single word… not one… zero, said in the context of culture. Not movies, theater, painting, literature or anything. Therefore, when someone travels to another country and sees what Oscar is talking about, ‘you feel yourself at the hands of God,’ as my mother said.

Although no one would have complained if the press conference had been allowed to continue, time was running out and the actors were forced to say goodbye before preparing for the opening ceremony of the evening.

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