Iguana Hunter
Iguana Hunter
Interview with the director: Guillermo Asensio

Is "Absent" a film for women?

Obviously it’s easier for women to identify with the main character, but for me the short deals with much broader issues that also affect men, such as loneliness, lack of communication and the passing of time. Perhaps nature and society are less harsh on men and so we can trick ourselves for longer, but sooner or later we are plagued by the same doubts.

How is the narrative structure different to your last short Yellow Fever?
My new film marks a return to the type of narrative style that I’m interested in developing in my work: less linear and more expressionistic. In this sense I’ve gone back to the idea of playing with different levels of reality, something that I first explored in "Are you there?" I suppose what’s new is that "Absent" has a cyclical structure, it starts and finishes in the same way.

What would you highlight about Mònica Muntaner’s performance?
Mònica is introspective by nature and that gave her character great depth. After writing the script I instantly thought of her for the part because I saw certain parallels with the doubt-ridden character in her solo "Momunt". When I offered her the role she accepted immediately, almost without thinking. Afterwards she confessed that the text seemed very abstract to her at first. Gradually she began to make the words and character her own, adding small details here and there until she finally reached the state of mind that we were aiming for.

What role does the music play?
Right from the start I decided that this short film needed a weighty soundtrack, something that would reflect the cyclical element and the character’s state of mind. By coincidence, I came across a beautiful piece of music composed by Sergio Moure for the Spanish feature film "Inconscientes" directed by Joaquín Oristrell. When I approached Sergio about my project he was instantly enthusiastic about collaborating and set to work straight away. Using a rough cut of the opening sequence with Mònica walking to beat of a waltz, he quickly composed a piece that I couldn’t get out of my head and that summed up the feelings of the character in a mere matter of seconds.