Hardly surprising that Carmen who chaired the post-screening Q&A session at Cornerhouse last night got the three men mixed up. So many Als to keep track of!
This is the kind of thing Cornerhouse does best; great entertainment, followed by talking to the people involved, usually actors or directors to do with the film. Last night’s talk about El mundo es nuestro was no exception. We’d seen Alfonso Sánchez and Alberto López in the bar earlier, and it was fascinating to see them go from being two perfectly normal and charming men, to the crazy small time crooks they play in the film. Producer Álvaro Alonso joined them for the onstage chat in cinema 1.
El mundo es nuestro is a small budget film with big results, that Alfonso started to write back in 2009, before Spain had a financial crisis. Which just goes to prove how far-sighted he was. (I doubt we can blame Alfonso.) He was pleased that the Manchester audience seemed to ‘get’ his film.
The three Als explained how they got the funding (you can’t make a film with €30,000). People wanted to support them because they were famous, but they reckon that kind of thing only works once. Their feeling is we need more humorous films about the bad economy.
Spanish television didn’t want to screen El mundo es nuestro, and didn’t advertise it at all. It’s forbidden to forbid this kind of thing, so they didn’t. You’d think that the current crisis would encourage more films on the subject, but the Als said they are the only ones.
There have been no nominations for awards for the actors. ‘Strange country, Spain.’ To them it’s important that the film gets distributed internationally, and at home they have offered cheap cinema tickets for various groups, at a variety of venues, including – I think – prisons. The prisoners related well to crooks Cabesa and Culebra; they were just like them.
Their reasons for making the characters stereotypes was to have a small community inside the bank in the film; one that audiences could recognise and identify with. Alfonso said he listened to the actors and let them decide how they wanted to portray their characters. And to save money – I think – he used his own father for the role of the man his own character hits in the film. A bit Freudian, he reckons.
Alfonso didn’t mention this, so Alberto did it for him. He has been given an award for his writing. Well deserved, especially for someone who feels he is no writer, because waking up every morning, getting the coffee, staring out of the window, etc, is so hard.
They love British actors, and the fact that they are respected. In Spain all actors are supposedly ‘reds’ and receive no respect. They aspire to be an Olivier, or a Pacino.
Well, those of us who stayed after the screening loved you. We loved that you tried to speak English to us, and we loved the t-shirts. Please come again, and meanwhile we will tell all our friends (not that we have many) to illegally* download El mundo es nuestro. Or even pay for it, so you can afford to make more films.
(*I only say this because they jokingly said we could. We are very law-abiding here. We have no friends, anyway. And hopefully our money is safe in that Spanish bank we have an account with…)