Meet the Filmmakers: CARMEN ASLEEP, CARMEN AWAKE
Interview with director Antonio Llamas
Director Antonio Llamas
What is your favorite movie quote?
Inevitably, I have to name two phrases that have had a strong impact on me and that for me go beyond the writing itself and manage to capture something more ethereal and yet strong. One of those phrases appears in GERRY (2002) by Gus Van Sant, and it is: “Yesterday I conquered Thebes”. It’s said by Casey Affleck in front of a small bonfire, when the two characters are absolutely lost in the desert and he remembers a video game he’d played the night before.
The other phrase is “I remember thinking: I will remember this.” It appears in OSLO, AUGUST 31ST (2011) by Joachim Trier, at the beginning of the film, when nostalgic images of the city of Oslo appear and a voiceover painfully recalls fleeting memories of his childhood and his past.
These two phrases seem very generational to me and reflect very sensitively the current state in which we find ourselves, one of nostalgic and impotent vital paralysis that it is necessary to break.
What film would you most like to make a sequel of?
THE TURIN HORSE (2011) by Béla Tarr. It would be nice to imagine what happens next, what images could emerge after the end of that film. Also, I would like to make a sequel to almost any movie in which there is a prominent protagonist who dies or who looks like he may die soon. I find it very interesting and stimulating to imagine those films without them, without the protagonists, to imagine the world around them and what readings can be made of it.
What has been the strangest thing you’ve experienced at a film festival so far?
At the Almería International Festival, I had some of the strangest experiences. All the time we were invited to cocktails, parties, more cocktails, and so on. In the end, you didn't quite remember where you were anymore. After one of those cocktails, they put all the guests on a bus and took us to the center of town. They told us to go and have a little fun, as though we were children who had free time. While a colleague and I were walking through the city, we saw and heard in the distance a couple of directors, completely alone, who were under the metallic structure of a Christmas tree (but without a tree), shouting, “Echo! Echo!” It was like a delusion, and it was very representative of what it is to make movies, shouting “Echo!” in a place where there can be no echo..
A new TV series about studying film needs a title. What title would you choose?
What would you be if you weren’t a filmmaker?
Something that’s very manual, working with wood, with ceramics. Making chairs and doors.
Which person from the film industry would you most like to have a beer with?
With Pedro Costa, although he is, in a way, outside the industry. I think maybe it would be a silent date, and a little dark, but it sure would be interesting.
What was the first film you saw in a movie theater?
I’ve been trying to remember the name for days. I think it was X2: X-MEN UNITED (2003). What I do remember was my father, desperate for the movie, who got up during the movie in the movie theater and told us to leave. It was not the first movie I saw in a cinema, but it is one of my first memories in a cinema. Another of my first memories is ROAD TO PERDITION (2002); I left the cinema very surprised and restless.