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“In Argentina We’re Always Under Some Kind of Crisis”: Director Valeria Bertuccelli | Queen of Fear

The Queen of Fear

As you made your film during the increasingly chaotic backdrop of the last year, how did you as a filmmaker control, ignore, give in to or, conversely, perhaps creatively exploit the wild and unpredictable? What roles did chaos and order play in your films?

Order works as a placebo for me. I often try to establish it to remain calm and aware. But I am certain that things that turn out OK have usually little to do with order or plans. I’d say it’s closer to a state of mind we all need to eventually submit to.

Speaking of shooting, there are some specific scenes whose mise-en-scène is very clear to me just by reading them on the screenplay. Most of them, however, only become clear when we are much closer to the shooting. And there’s a third kind of scene that I just don’t know how will they be until they are actually shot. When it comes to rehearsing, of course there are things I need to practice and repeat. But there are also these places that I don’t want to mess around with until we’re finally there.

Honestly, some magic has to take place for me to feel it’s actually going OK. That magic means suddenly understanding or feeling something of the characters or the story in the exact moment when we are shooting. Some truth needs to be revealed during the rehearsing or the shooting. There’s a moment when that just happens, and I’ve always felt it like a domino effect subsequently affecting everyone in the crew. What’s essential is to give yourself in and stay focused at the same time. If you’re able to achieve that, then you can work both in order and chaos, and almost any accident can be drawn upon.

Last year was a difficult one, for sure. But in Argentina we’re always under some kind of crisis. And, like many other countries, we’re used to finding a way out of tough circumstances. I’m not saying one needs to be in crisis to be creative, but in a way crises are always an interesting and challenging field. You cannot remain still or comfortable, so you search restlessly and you are more awaken than ever. And there is much about that feeling that makes me think of the act of shooting a film

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, January 21 at 5:30pm — Prospector]

 

Sundance 2018 Responses

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