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Suddenly, all the songs talk about our love and all the movies about our confinement. Vivarium is, in all probability, the extreme example. It is not only the first film of importance, so to speak, which opens on April 8 on the online platform (salavirtualdecine.com, Movistar +. Vodafona and Rakutenm for 6.95 euros), but not in cinema, during this endless quarantine but its plot, development and hopefully not the outcome (we will not say which one) registers a sufficient number of coincidences with what we are experiencing that we can already say that the Irish film Lorcan Finnegan is us.
"It is all so strange. The film that was first seen in Cannes is the same that is released now and yet it is completely different," says the Irish director on the other side of the Zoom application between cryptic and almost formal. Dublin where he is being held. Like everyone. Then, already on the phone, Jesse Eisenberg , the protagonist, will only agree with him: "You think you're making a movie and when it opens it turns out it's another one." The latter makes the comment from Indiana. The two, yes, use a good part of the respective interviews to worry about what is happening in Spain. "Does it make sense that we talk about cinema with what is happening?" Asks the actor and answers: "Perhaps now and with a film like this it makes more sense than ever . "
And with that said and for the sake of clarity, it is the director who lists the rare catalog of parallels between reality and fiction: "On the one hand, there is the obvious. Yes, Vivarium 'tells the story of a couple trapped in a She is marrying a child. But if you think about it, it is so scary by chance: the character played by Jesse (Eisenberg) develops a disease that manifests itself as a mysterious cough. Bags of corpses appear somewhat inexplicably. The couple receives everything what he needs as a messenger. And then, and this already borders on the paranormal, in the illustrations in the book that Gemma (Imogen Poots) reads to her son, a man, a woman and a child appear under a kind of symbol that he remembers with fidelity The drawing of the coronavirus itself becomes sick and we are sick of seeing it from all sides. " And at this point, they almost make you want to ask the director for responsibility for the trouble he's gotten us into. "It's a little creepy, to say the least," he concludes, leans back in the chair, and finally laughs.
Talking about the Apocalypse has become an obligation of this timeJesse Eisenberg
The film, to situate ourselves, tells the story (or kidnapping) more than likely of a couple in search of something as innocent as a house, a house to live, where to have children, where to buy on Amazon, where to watch Netflix, where, in short, isolate yourself from the world and be what you always wanted to be. Of course, doing the same as everyone else in a strange global solipsistic community replicated urbanization by urbanization. "In fact," recalls Eissenberg, "the script I read was almost exclusively a social commentary on the housing bubble that Ireland, Europe and the whole world experienced and which triggered the past crisis. But, of course, now it is something else, much less conjunctural, more universal and timeless. "
The result of which the actor speaks, and without giving more clues than what Vivarium's own presentation of himself already announces, is a brilliant and very murky tribute to films such as The Exterminating Angel of Buñuel or, why not, The Mercero's cabin , within a surreal and metaphysical space that takes the viewer to the back of Magritte's obverse . Or from De Chirico. "I am aware of my influences," says Finnegan just before offering a detailed list of much of almost everything that goes through the film and his own eyes. And there they appear from the Swedish filmmaker Roy Anderson or the Japanese Hiroshi Teshigahara to the photographer Andreas Gursky or the painter Edward Hopper . "And I am very clear," he adds, "that the cabin is basic. It is curious, but it is rare to speak to journalists who know ' The cabin '. We always talk about The Unknown Dimension or, more modernly, Black Mirror , but the film de Mercero is, for me, the key. "
What is clear is that we either change our way of life or this way of life ends usLorcan Finnegan
Be that as it may, and we return to the beginning, what counts is the coincidence, the mirror effect with which we are living right now. "It is as if," Eisenberg now takes the floor, "to speak of the Apocalypse would have become an obligation, as if there was a need to anticipate it in the cinema to perhaps avoid it." Not surprisingly, the actor who has been Lex Luthor already carries, as he reminds us, this and a couple of zombie movies. All convinced that we are doing things very badly. "There is a kind of subconscious current that connects all of our anxieties. I recently saw The Pit and, in its own way, it also talks about the same thing as Vivarium . I would not dare to talk about anything prophetic, but about alarm bells. Although I am Pessimistic about it, I think what is clear is that we either change our way of life or this way of life ends us . "
Eisenberg reflects on the surreal atmosphere of the film and says that something has changed in him without anyone noticing. "At the beginning, when we filmed Vivarium , the concern was not to overdo it. It was important that our performance, that of Imogen and mine, was naturalistic so that, despite the setting, the viewer would identify with us," he says. And Finnegan ends his reasoning: "The paranoid thing is that reality has taken the lead. Everything we imagine as strange now is even normal. Everything has changed in a week. It is becoming instinctive that we cross the street if we go to meeting someone we don't know, or that we wash our hands every five minutes. My fear when we filmed is that whoever saw the film would accept as normal the change in attitude of the characters who are locked in a world they don't understand and, Instead of going crazy, they adapt. Well, with the coronavirus it has been shown that we adapt. "
Will we change after this? Eisenberg merely says that everything is too complex. "I have no idea. Let's think about getting over it first," he says. And Finnegan does not detract from his reason. Nor does he give it to him. "I don't know. We're struggling to get back to normal as soon as possible before we forget what was normal. But who knows what we'll be like? We're social creatures. How many Zoom conversations can we have before we go crazy? We need a little contact".
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