Interview with the director: Guillermo Asensio

How did the idea come about?

The film is based on the play “Crónica de Jose Agarrotado” by the theatre company I was invited to the preview of the play two years ago and I was really impressed by what I saw. From the very beginning I realised that this piece had great potential for film, but obviously not just as filmed theatre.

What differences are there between the play and the film?
I think that theatre and film are media that need to be approached in different ways. My objective was to transmit, through the use of image, similar sensations to the ones I had felt while watching the play. Broadly speaking, the play and the film deal with an impossible relationship, however there are fundamental differences in the narrative and central theme.

What is the central theme of the film?
We are always creating expectations of unknown, future situations. Usually, they are mental projections based on memories and images from past situations, that we modify according to our state of mind. We relive these moments so intensely that, with time, we are not always able to distinguish between what really happened and what was simply imagined. The theme of the film is centred around this mental process.

Some people interpret this as a film about homosexuals, what do you think?
It’s a fairly universal film, open to many interpretations. Despite the fact that the roles are played by two boys, I have always thought of the story as a relationship between a man and a woman. I think that feelings of friendship, love, hate and jealousy are pretty much the same in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. If the parts had been played by a man and a woman, the story would have been interpreted in a more stereotypical way and the idea of friendship would have got lost.

Why do you place so much emphasis on the visual aspect?
The photography in the film is not used gratuitously. To my mind, the editing, composition and camerawork are part and parcel of the creative process that take the spectator through the same emotional journey as the characters. A big chunk of the story is narrated visually, leaving the images to speak for themselves.

What was it like working with the actors?
David and Pablo’s involvement in the project was a key factor in achieving such good quality acting. Although we had a lot of things in common from the start, I was still surprised that they readily accepted that we weren’t going to film their play, but create something completely different.