'Petra': Marisa Paredes and Barbara Lennie, lights for a gloomy film | Culture

'Petra': Marisa Paredes and Barbara Lennie, lights for a gloomy film | Culture

Shortly before midnight, the show stopped. And, suddenly, the fourth wall of the Comedy Theater was coming down. Actors and audience gathered, with champagne and grapes, for the countdown to the new year. Three, two, one. Applause, hugs. It was already 1962, and each returned to his role: the interpreters to resume the work. The spectators, to continue enjoying it. That day, little Marisa Paredes (Madrid, 1946) was one of those who returned to the stage. He was 15 years old and played Pilar, a maid, in Tonight, either, by José López Rubio. More than five decades later, her eyes still shine when she recounts one of her earliest memories as an actress. At his side, Barbara Lennie is excited: "How beautiful!". Although his debut on the tables was not bad either. "I was doing Cleopatra, in a sample of the end of the course. I put on a wig, a great red suit, I fanned myself, I walked and danced a little. He must have been nine or 10 years old. And it seemed the most ", recalls the interpreter (Madrid, 1984).

Both have come a long way since then. And after those papers have arrived dozens of films, shows and awards. Paredes this year has been awarded the Goya of Honor. Lennie, just 34 years old, is already awarded "to his career" awards. A polar star and a star that every day shines more. Hence, the director Jaime Rosales will have a lot of light for his latest movie, Petra, where he brings together both actresses. The film arrives in theaters today Friday.

Although in reality the work moves rather in the shadows. After years building a filmography rendered to auteur cinema, Rosales seems to take a small step towards the public: he has shot a Greek tragedy set in the Catalan coast, where secrets and lies torment the protagonists. The young Petra (Lennie) goes to visit an implacable artist, who chases the money and avoids contact with other humans, except to hurt them. In theory, women have to make an artistic stay, to learn from the creator. In practice, the lessons will be much deeper and tougher.

Complicated was also the filming, full of rigid sequence shots. Maybe that's why its protagonists describe it with such sincerity. Rosales said in some interviews that he must have been one of the filmmakers with whom Paredes suffered the most. And she confirms it: "He is the most special. And the most difficult to find your world. The keys he gives are not like anything I've had in my career. " The director measures his project to the millimeter and knows well what he likes and what he does not want. Forbidden, for example, to blindly follow the script – he prefers what he calls "directed improvisation" – to go to the filming before you are summoned or to see something of the filmed material. "It was jumping into the pool. I thought: 'He will know, because I do not know'. I felt lost, it does not leave you any way out. In the first meeting I told him that I did not know if I could do what I was thinking, "adds Paredes. They remained in that, if it did not work, they would cut immediately, without rancor. But there is the actress on the big screen. "It has been an exercise in resistance. I stopped suffering because I knew how it worked: 'Now he's going to tell me a lot of things, let's stop 25 minutes'. The important thing was to hold on. And if he could, enjoy. I had another experience much worse, where I did feel destroyed. And I said to myself: 'One and no more,' adds Lennie.

At the same time, both actresses take the opportunity to celebrate their co-star. Lennie admires that Paredes has gotten "in such a mess", with such a career in his curriculum. And the Goya de Honor maintains that his colleague shows "a new way of acting".

In addition to Petra, both seem to share ideas about the feminist struggle and its advances. "I am optimistic. You can not go back, it would be turning your back on history, "says Paredes. And Lennie completes the concept: "Although it is not necessary to take for granted that it is already. It costs a lot to do things and little to erase them. It is an uncertain road. Sometimes you agree with voices that supposedly defend your gender and others do not. We do not have to have an equal speech all ".

If the subject is changed, the synergy is repeated, but the other way around. The film also faces the theme of the ego. Is it something very present in the cinema? Paredes passes the baton to Lennie, who affirms: "We live in the actuality of the ego, of the narcissus, of the exposition of the supposed oneself. It is in the day to day of everyone, not just the actors. In any place of the world what more there is is people taking photos to upload them to the networks ". And then Paredes adds: "Andy Warhol prophesied that in the future everyone would be famous 15 minutes. That portrays the moment we are living. "

She gave herself a caress to the ego, and memory, recently. He walked through the Madrid street of Moyano, searching among the famous stands of used books. And then he found a copy of that far Tonight either, that she had lost. He looked for the page of the distribution and there it was: "Marisa Paredes, in the role of Pilar". It was the last copy. He is already at home.


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