How did ‘Lamentable Stories’ come about?
While moving I came across a script from the year 86 that I had written when I was 22 years old. I no longer remembered him. I reread it and it made me a little blush. But it made me think of the innocence I had when I did it, of that spark you have when everything is about to be learned and you are not afraid to screw up.
You want to go back to your beginnings.
Yes, because in recent times I had given more importance to what was happening in the movies and not so much in the way of telling it. And in Lamentable Stories I have had the opportunity to work on the script, the story and the characters, as well as the visual and technical aspect.
It gives me the feeling that it is a more naughty and uncomfortable movie than the previous ones.
I think it’s still a very familiar movie. But it is true that we have kept that look more hooligan and uninhibited of the original script.
It is a film that confronts us with our miseries as a society, with our hypocrisy.
It has a gallery of characters that carry many failures. But it is that I look at myself and the people around me, and we are all full of imperfections. And that is what makes us learn, because successes teach little. The bet of the film is that, instead of hiding and covering up all these miseries, we put them in evidence to take away their gravity. We live in a society that punishes error and failure, that only understands success. And all that bothers me. Every day I accumulate a collection of small, medium and big mistakes, but those mistakes have more to do with who I really am than when things turn out well for me.
That is said by one of the highest grossing directors in the history of Spanish cinema.
For me, the success of Campeones is that the film has changed the gaze of certain viewers towards the group of people with intellectual disabilities. From now on, I naturally integrate all of that into my life. In Lamentable Stories there are three Champions actors and they are not because of their disability, but because of their ability. When I start to write, my little world now inhabits people that I did not consider before. But about what you comment, I will tell you that one can never plan for a movie to give you so much satisfaction, because if you plan it, you can’t.
Spanish comedy suffers from a certain degree of stagnation. Too many ‘remakes’ of foreign films. Where’s the pedigree humor?
What happens is that I have never felt identified with the concept of Spanish comedy. I don’t really like labels and I don’t see my movies in the same box as others. The difference for me is that humor is not a goal for me. It is not the end, it is more a consequence.
What did you want to touch on the film?
The stories that are reflected a priori are not funny. Parents who need to admire their son, children who need the recognition of their father, men who are marked by the bullying they suffered during their childhood, stories of loneliness … The film takes advantage of this sad landscape to push the characters to the limit and watch them explode. But since deep down I love them, in the end there is a little hope.
How do you think the distributors have taken that the film is released directly on Amazon Prime Video Spain?
We have taken the initiative and we have decided that the film should come out now.
What future do the rooms have?
It is time to explore new paths. I am sure that the two forms of distribution are not only not going to be in competition, but that they can enhance each other. In the end, the only thing we who make films have to work on is to make stories that reach and interest the public.