Elena López Riera, filmmaker: “It bothers me a lot that women have to modulate their voices depending on who they talk to” | Culture | EUROtoday

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On Wednesday, March 27, the filmmaker Elena López Riera (Orihuela, Alicante, 42 years outdated) confirmed associates for the primary time Brides of the South, the “most difficult and most personal” movie he had ever made in his life. “All the people told me: 'My God, this is not understood', what they always tell me: 'There are a lot of movies together, you get lost, go home and reflect and then maybe…',” Riera remembers with a gesture. vulnerability. She did that: she went to her city, she thought, she known as her editor: “Aunt, I'm 42 years old, I've been hearing this about my work for 20 years. I will make these concessions that they ask of me when they give me, hopefully, a ten million euro film. But this is something I have done alone. I understand that it still sucks, but it's my shit.” Two days later, The brides of the south It was selected, as is, for the Critics' Week at the Cannes Film Festival.

This little anecdote exposes a lot of López Riera's torrential personality and that personality is the cornerstone of his work. For years as an academic, researcher, professor at universities in Geneva, San Sebastián and Madrid, as well as a video artist who has exhibited at the PS1 MoMA in New York, Riera has, since 2022, been labeled a breakthrough filmmaker thanks to Water, his first feature film, a cult film that also passed through Cannes to applause. The little anecdote is typical of her because, first, it is something that anyone else would keep quiet about; because the people, so important in its iconography, appear (“My grandparents did not have anything to eat in the post-war period and I have been able to study at a university in Switzerland, I am clearly an example of the Spain of democracy, but I do not stop being a people”) and since it locations López doubtful, and never in authority, one thing that’s extra fascinating as a result of doubtful there’s room for others and in certainty there’s not.

Before the premiere of The brides of the south In theaters, the artist projects a video piece within the Mayrit festival (until August 25), All storms have the name of a saint, “about this very dodgy idea of ​​nature that we have been taught.”

Ask. He said that the headlines have given him problems. Is she very reckless?

Answer. The attitude of being afraid of public opinion, of not saying what you think for fear of being disliked, bothers me a lot. I talk to you here as if we had met over a beer because I have no other way of relating to the world. I have no notion of hierarchy or, on the contrary, I have it very marked and I rebel. Because of my origins, because of my family, because I come from a village: it really bothered me to see in my house that my grandparents always changed the way they spoke depending on who they were addressing. Changing your speech, your tone, even your volume depending on who you're talking to… I've seen it too much and I don't want to reproduce it.

P. It's not just your grandparents.

R. It makes me very upset and I try to change it not only with my films, but in my daily life. I try not to speak softly: I speak very loudly, they also criticize me for it, but the thing is… I'm fed up with the fact that women, or people of any type of gender but from a different social or geographical condition, have to speak differently. People who force themselves to change their accent so that they don't think they are a redneck or a lollipop. My obsession is that how we modulate our voice has a lot to do with personal, loving, sentimental, gender, even economic circumstances.

P. We could say that you are the stereotype of what people who hate Spanish cinema (conservative institutions like the PP or Vox) hate. Woman, feminist, author of social cinema… Do you recognize yourself in that portrait?

R. I’ve many associates who vote for Vox. Because eight generations have been road distributors in my household and I come from a Phoenician city within the southern japanese Mediterranean the place we’re used to residing collectively. My militant associates in Madrid, who’re from the capital, inform me: “We are already tired of doing political or feminist pedagogy. I no longer have any friends who are not on my side…” Maybe they're right, but I didn't grow up in Madrid, but in a town where the people there were were the people there were. You can't change gangs. I am very used to living with people of completely different political ideologies.

P. Is the search for the other a personal trait or just one of your cinema?

R. It makes me laugh a little when people call me “my cinema.” I've made some films. I work by two mechanisms: going and returning. Going exterior with out considering, all the time, that's why I discuss like that and why I've dared to do issues since I used to be little or no, after which come again and see what that does to me inside. Sometimes it hurts me, typically it does me good. But it's going forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards on a regular basis. In my work there are these points, the within and the skin, the sunshine and the shadow..

The filmmaker Elena López Riera, in CentroCentro, in Madrid.
The filmmaker Elena López Riera, in CentroCentro, in Madrid.Jaime Villanueva

P. They say about his cinema that it’s poetic. Is it political?

R. I do know that different folks will see it, who’re those who must obtain it, it could appear tremendous Pharisee to say it. But there’s something that appears extra necessary to me than making militant or social-themed movies: that the folks in my filming don’t undergo. I'm not saying I all the time get it, as a result of I'm very bossy. Although I attempt to respect the unions, the hours, the salaries…

P. Do you say bossy as a self-criticism?

R. Cinema, or at the very least the cinema that I apply, is by no means consensual. It's tremendous private. I ship it. I train my energy, I'm not afraid to say it.

P. Speaking of recklessness…

R. … speak about energy, now. But I’ve no drawback wanting energy and exercising it on a shoot. In each energy there’s additionally a duty and I’m liable for what it means to have the final phrase. I’m formidable. A woman from a city in Vega Baja del Segura who was born in 1982, if she will not be formidable, she doesn’t make movies. I don't know why I shouldn't be or why that might make me a foul individual. There is an entire grey scale between saying: “I assume the power I have by being a film director” and being an abuser or a dictator. I come from a creative collective, I do know what it’s to work as a group.

P. Along with the truth that they make it tough for girls to entry energy, there’s, in small print, the truth that it additionally doesn’t look good when they need it.

R. That's why I specific it on a regular basis! I'm fed up with the entire “We want to destroy power and we want everything to be horizontal…” factor. No, dude, rattling it.

P. That the whole lot is horizontal?

R. This right-thinking discourse of rejecting energy and different issues attributed to males… is infantilizing ladies and paternalizing them, as a result of how can we wish that, with the fickle folks that we’re. I don't need my movies to be horizontal. Sorry, I wish to determine.

P. Ask Coppola if he likes his movies to be horizontal.

R. Coppola let's see what he tells you now, as a result of the bulk discourse is completely different. Coppola within the seventies would have advised you: “Pa cool, cool me.” How can I not have the appropriate, in a film that I've been making an attempt to make for 5 years, to determine the shot I need? In quick, energy and violence are very complicated issues and addressing them in an interview may be very suicidal.

P. The violence?

R. They are completely different and never so completely different themes, energy and violence. The phrase violence has misplaced nuances. Zero tolerance for violence, go forward, clearly I don't need anybody to be mistreated, neither bodily nor psychologically. But now we have all absolutely exercised psychological violence. In all human relationships, I might inform you, there’s violence. There is not any horizontality between a mom or a daughter, nor a pair, nor between you and me, proper now there’s an train of energy as a result of I’m talking greater than you.

P. That is, like energy.

R. If we expect that violence is simply bodily, or psychological abuse in a pair, or in a piece relationship, we’re ignoring that violence is all over the place. And that is what worries me. Simplify issues a lot that we don’t speak about them and that we can’t see that the true hazard is within the on a regular basis, within the fixed, that we consistently train energy, that we train violence, and we’re victims of violence, consistently.

P. When I described All storms have the identify of a saint, stated that it represents “this very dodgy idea of ​​nature that we have been taught.” Dodgy nature?

R. In the Western world, panorama and the notion of nature have been invented within the seventeenth century. We are nonetheless in that Enlightenment story of romanticized nature, of the panorama as one thing that precedes the existence of the human being, one thing that we’re there to ponder. It isn't true. Postnatural discourses are starting to steadiness that the human doesn’t exist as a determine indifferent from nature. This pursuits me with the annoying issue of being from a city within the east that lives from agriculture.

P. Nature, sure: ours.

R. The orange timber and the lemon timber and the palm timber didn’t seem within the east by spontaneous technology: I’ve grown up in a panorama and a nature that could be a postcard utterly manufactured, designed and drawn by people. With rows of timber, with rivers which have been redirected by cement. I really like and love this nature domesticated by people, this nature filled with shit and contaminated and, on the identical time, the character now we have. To me, I suppose as a result of I grew up there, I discover it extraordinarily lovely. Beautiful or fascinating. I don't know.

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