Carlos Saura: "I felt betrayed by Antonio Banderas"
At 87, the filmmaker Carlos Saura continues with a frantic activity. He has finished filming the musical 'The King of the World', his return to fiction after 10 years. D
At 87, the filmmaker Carlos Saura continues with a frantic activity. He has finished filming the musical 'The King of the World', his return to fiction after 10 years. From his peaceful house in the Madrid town of Collado Mediano, he relieves his fears in these uncertain times.How does a child grow in the middle of the Civil War? I think it's in my movies, somehow. All the memories of the war are really distressing moments, but more for the reflection of my parents than for myself. In Barcelona, there were quite strong bombings, but I was already accustomed to those in Madrid. Then I saw them almost as a diversion, it would be too much to say, but as a fascinating thing. Did you ever imagine that you would become a cult director? These things scare me. Not at all, how are you going to imagine that? My cinematographic vocation has been very slow. I started with photography and then I made documentaries. Later, I needed to tell stories and I went to fiction cinema. What is the key to taking a good picture? I have never worried about taking a good picture. It is an instinctive thing. The moment you press the shutter of a camera, when you have a certain trade, you know perfectly well if that photo is right or wrong. Thanks to Instagram, we have all become photographers. There has been such a huge technical revolution in recent years. years, that is a brutal thing. Photography has been democratized. Before it was very complicated. Being a photographer was almost like being God. Now, when you're going to cover an event, you meet 20 people who make you the competition by recording the news with your mobile. The biggest surprise I've been doing in this last film in Mexico, The King of the World , is to see Vittorio Storaro, one of the greatest illuminators of the cinema, who was taking pictures with a mobile. I would say: "But, man, Vittorio, you too? It's a shame." And I answered that I had enough quality for what I was doing and what I was going to do with a bigger pot. What did Luis Buñuel mean to you? A friend, above all. I found the work of Luis Buñuel in Montpellier, because in Spain it was impossible to know him. Then, later, when I started going to film festivals, in the 60s, I had the opportunity to meet him. We invite you to the screening of Los gulfs and came to see it. From there, we had a friendly relationship. Was working with Elías Querejeta a blessing or torture? No, never torture. He never messed with anything in my two movies. In addition, I would not have allowed it. Disdain the public or take it into account when filming? Having a success is great. But I think you have to be very careful how far you can lower your pants. It is not so difficult to flatter the public because there is a relatively simple mechanics. We see it every day on television. I, in principle, reject those resources because they seem to me ignoble. You play too much with the easy feelings of people. In general, right now, we lower our pants too much, don't I think there is a lack of quality requirements, perhaps because of that kind of banalization of all things. We are in a very superficial world, where advertising sends too much, a very tricky advertising, which uses women as an object. Both talk about feminism and it is allowed that most of the things we see on television use women as an object, both in the programs of the heart, and in advertising. We are living in a period where it is very difficult to have a personality and prove it. Come back to fiction after ten years with the musical 'The King of the World'. Do you prefer dancers to actors? In between I have made a couple of musical films and directed a couple of plays. That is, I have never been away from fiction. I tried to write several fiction works that didn't find a producer. Carlos Saura has scripts in the drawer? I have six or seven scripts that have never been done. How is your Picasso movie project with Antonio Banderas going? With Antonio Banderas, wrong, but the Picasso is fine. Bad because I have felt betrayed when Antonio Banderas has agreed to make the Picasso version for the 'National Geographic'. It seems to me that it is a mistake. Is that project stepped on with yours? It is stepped on in the sense that the possibility of doing so at that time was canceled. They were much more powerful than me. In addition, Antonio Banderas earned much more money than he could charge with me and left to do this because he was economically interested, I suppose. I saw it as a kind of betrayal. If Banderas had really put a strong interest in making the film, it would have been done. But well, I admire Antonio as an actor and as a person. But, I was surprised. He told me, things as they are, and he said he wanted to do that. And in the end, is your Picasso going to roll? It seems that it is going to be done. Now the engines are warming up, but without flags. I wouldn't do it with Banderas anymore. What actor has taken him out of his boxes? I've had problems with singers, but never with actors. I've done some Carmen, where there was a tenor who was an unbearable moron. I ignored anything he indicated. He said he did that all his life and that I wasn't going to teach him how to do it. And I replied that I did not want to teach him to sing, but to move from here to there. Nothing else. Filmmaker Felix Viscarret argues that there are two types of directors: the educated and the screaming. What kind are you? I never scream. That's for sure. It screams out of nerves or insecurity. One of the advantages I have is that I am used to improvising. I come from a very cheap film school, where you had to improvise naturally. I have always maintained it. I think a screaming director is lost. Do you feel better treated outside of Spain than inside? Yes. Now I can not say so much because they see me very old and think that I will die soon ... Some young people love me, something that surprises me quite a bit. But in my time, when I was in film school, we always thought to see if those old directors of the regime died at once and left us the space to work. I think that has changed. Now I am recognized in Spain much more than before. I even love him. What has been the biggest stick that has been taken in his career? Now they say that Hunting is my best movie. When we did the screening, a critic came, I'm not going to tell you who he is, and he said: 'What a shit of a movie you've done!' How honest! No, I was very depressed because I thought I wasn't going to never make another film. He has said that there was a generation that cruelly criticized the author's cinema that you made. Yes, it was an absurd generation. I don't say who they are because I don't want to be vindictive. But there was a whole era where author's cinema was considered a bore. They, on the other hand, were going to make a movie much more fun and that it was going to have great success, which also didn't happen. Do you have a mobile phone? They say that now luxury is not having a mobile. Me, as if I didn't have it. With watches, it happens the same. This is a Casio that cost me 23 euros. I have a Rolex that Antonio Gades gave me and that is worth a fortune. I can't think of wearing it because this watch is much better. It is much more accurate. How do the Rolex people hear you? I belong to the Rolex Foundation and make beautiful watches. Once, a person told me: "Look, don't take a Rolex out there because they can cut your hand." And then I said that I would never take it again. Why do you think the Civil War can be repeated again? This is a very barbaric country. In Spain, despite everything, there is a kind of strange fire below that, from time to time, revives things that already seemed past. More and more conflicts are being prepared. In Spain, the extreme right appears again. Everything, for the moment, very softened because we are in another era. But you never know if there is any moron who suddenly thinks he is a dictator and decides that this is what must be done. Is there a real danger? What scares me is the breeding ground that is being created in Europe and throughout the world. If one thinks that the last world war 60 million people died, it is as if to be afraid. The human being is contradictory. What are his contradictions? I have never liked to do self-analysis. I had a brother-in-law who was a psychoanalyst and I have been in many sessions with him. I dressed as a doctor and let me listen. In short, the Catholic religion invented the confession that is the same. A great invention. He has stated that he has always done what women have wanted, is he considered feminist, neither macho nor feminist. I don't like these nomenclatures too much. Women are right in large part of their claims, which will change the world. The only thing I reproach them is that they make the same mistakes as men. I thought that if women came to power they would be as softer. But of course! There was the Thatcher! They are fierce, worse than men or equals. He has also confessed that he is sometimes afraid to comment on these issues in case he is called a macho. My wife, who is actress Eulalia Ramón, immediately tells me that I am a macho. And it is? I can't say I'm macho, because I've never been. On the contrary, I think it is wonderful to be accompanied by a woman and that a love relationship be established. The problem is that this love relationship, unfortunately, usually lasts too long. Because those marriages that last a lifetime are an exception, right? It is very difficult for two people, especially men and women, to grow at the same time in every way: mentally, sexually, bodily ... It is difficult for couples to survive. I am worried about feminism now and, I mean it because I see it, it is that a kind of hatred of man begins to be born. That seems as worrisome as it would be. More and more lesbian girls appear because they understand that it is much easier to have sexual pleasure with women than with men who are going to be a problem. This is something that is not talked about much, but I think it is a problem. It is true that there are many beasts, murderers and children of Satan, of course, but there are also others that are not. The normal man who has a respect for women is not talked about. Do you think then that there is a boom in relations between women in this climate? Come on, if I were a woman, I would also think about it very slowly. Being able to have a sexual realization with another woman that I like, why am I going to complicate my life? But, well, there everyone. Frank Sinatra's says that "the best is yet to come! What would you put in your epitaph? No, I don't think the best is yet to come. The worst is yet to come."
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