Amor idiota (ES/AD)

Directed by Ventura Pons
Sant Cugat (Barcellona), July 2004

Ventura Pons – Director
This film is based on a book called “Amor de idiota” by Lluís Anton Baulenas, a writer I like very much and whose work I’ve followed for many years. He published this novel which tells a fascinating, highly interesting story, but which above all has a universal content, namely the necessity for others, the different, in a context and through a story with great impact. It’s the story of a character who thinks he’s an idiot… OK, so everyone’s an idiot, but the difference is that this idiot is aware of it. At a certain point in the story he gets completely carried away by a woman and he does everything he can to get her. It seemed to me that this story was very funny, tragicomic, but at the same time it had profound and universal content and it was about one of the great common themes: how we relate to others, how we can talk about our desires, our frustrations and the necessity for others.
I like writing screenplays enormously, because what I enjoy most is finding the idea to make into a film. There are three things in a film: a good story, a good cast and above all a concept of cinema. The three things go together.

 

Aintza Serra – Director of Production
“Idiot Love” is the provisional title for the film. It’s an adaptation of the novel by Lluís Anton Baulenas, a Catalan writer with whom Ventura has already worked in the past on a number of film adaptations, like for instance Anita no piede el tren (Anita Takes a Chance), based on the story called Bones obres. So far as the production is concerned, this is a co-production between Spain and Andorra, with some of the cast and crew from Andorra. It’s a contemporary, character-driven tale, set almost entirely in Barcelona, with the exception of one or two scenes in Buenos Aires. We shot almost all the scenes in Barcelona, but also in Buenos Aires, in Argentina. There are some Argentinian characters and so we have Argentinian actors, too.
It wasn’t a very complicated film to shoot, or perhaps I should say it doesn’t look like it, but in fact there were some complications, since we had 84 scenes to shoot over almost 7 weeks. So we had many changes of set, many locations, a lot of moving around to do… and that’s only the logistics of shooting. Apart from that, this is a film with a lot of dialogue, very much cast-driven. I’d say it’s a love story, fairly dramatic but with a hint of comedy, bitter-sweet. Very beautiful and very interesting.

 

Mario Montero – Director of Photography
I’m the director of photography. My work is to do light and plan the scenes in accordance with the narrative codes set by the director, following what he has in mind. After which we work together and do the lighting for each scene, I think of the camera movements, etc. It’s the first time I’ve worked on a film of this special kind, where we’re working in 16mm, something we do a lot of for commercials in fact. We shoot on film then transfer to digital, we work on the video, do an internegative and then make a final print for screening.
The only advantage in all that, which is also the narrative code for this film, is how versatile the camera is. The whole film was thought out camera in hand. That’s nothing new in filmmaking, people are always going on about hand-held cameras, but in this case what’s involved is an aesthetic close to documentary and I like that a lot, it allows me to be very agile in what I shoot. The lighting for this film is very elaborate, but not as carefully planned as in other films.

 

Cayetana Guillén Cuervo – Actress
The girl in the film, she’s called Sandra. She’s from the suburbs, very radical. She’s going through a very serene and tranquil period in her life. She’s moved from Madrid to Barcelona, and three years ago she got married to a man who loves her. She’s perfectly OK until Pere Lluc, the character played by Santi Millán, bursts into her life, after which everything is turned upside down and complicated, and she has to begin all over again.
I didn’t seek inspiration in any particular model. One thing I do constantly is to observe people a good deal. Observing different types of girls I found details and ways of behaving that fitted Sandra, too. I’m very interested by visceral, spontaneous people, who say what they think whatever the consequences, who look at content instead of form, even if the way it’s expressed is simple. I’m interested by people who behave differently from those who control their emotions. Sandra is a girl from the suburbs and she does what she wants how she wants, without thinking of the consequences.

 

Santi Millán – Actor
He’s a strange guy because he’s pushing 35 and he realises he’s got no future either romantically or professionally, or in anything else for that matter. He’s practically brain dead. The situation is complicated even more when a friend of his dies in Argentina, someone he kept in touch with at a distance, but always saw once a year. He says that friendship made him feel less of an idiot, because he’s convinced he’s an idiot, you see. Pere Lluc is certain he’s an idiot, which makes him that bit more intelligent, because the fact that he realises he’s an idiot puts him a peg above the rest. We’re all idiots in the end, but the problem is that some of us aren’t aware of it. Pere Lluc is a guy without illusions. He works under his little boss in a professional consultancy office… OK, so he makes a bit of money, but he doesn’t care about his job. He doesn’t have a girlfriend, but things change when he celebrates, as it were, his friend’s death: he gets drunk, goes out and stumbles on Sandra’s stairway.
The truth is I work very well with Ventura. It was he who called me up, saying he had a story he’d like me to be in. And that, whether you like it or not, is something you have to be proud of. Ventura calling you up to offer you a part… then you wonder, hey, what’s going on? He gave me the script, I read it and I’ve got to say I liked the story a lot.