“EL GENERAL” director, Natalia Almada
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, Jan. 18, 12:00 pm — Temple Theatre, Park City]
Perhaps I am a romantic, but I like to imagine El General being watched in a dark packed theater with an expecting audience. It isn’t only a question of scale, but of ritual. I like the ritual of going to the movies and giving oneself completely over to a film for two hours. I like the collective experience of sitting in a theater full of strangers with all eyes on a screen and hearing someone laugh across the room or someone sniffle in the seat behind me. I think this is a ritual worth preserving and shouldn’t be confused or replaced with the experience of watching something on a small portable screen or in the comfort of one’s home. The new mediums of distribution present exciting opportunities to reach diverse audiences who may not have the access, the time, or the money to go to the movie theater. It is a powerful tool to have at our disposition (to entertain, to call to action, to educate…), but more than imagining the same film being projected in a theater and played on someone’s cell phone while they ride the subway, I find it an exciting challenge to think of how the form and structure of our stories can be molded to take advantage of the small screen or the big screen.