Monday, May 16

Carlos Saura: “Every day the sun rises I think: I’m still alive, it’s a miracle”


When the last two winners of the Palme d’Or at Cannes (Julia Ducournau and Bong Joon-Ho) were asked about the directors that have marked them in their career, both mentioned Carlos Saura. The Spanish director has managed to become a cult filmmaker outside of Spain, a country that, according to him, was slow to recognize his cinema. It was the international festivals that began to put on the map a work that radiographed our country in a unique way. Suara’s cinema has shaped our history. From the Civil War to Democracy passing, of course, through the Franco regime. Perhaps for this reason, for what the festivals have meant for him, he always goes to collect any award they give him. On this occasion he has played the Biznaga de Honor in Malaga.

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There he has attended to the press with the same kindness as always and with his inseparable photo camera hanging with which he has even taken a photo of the journalists who asked him. He claims to feel “very proud” of the compliments received from foreign filmmakers, but he prefers not to give too much importance to posterity: “One shouldn’t be too vain. You think you’re very important and they tell you that you’re a genius, but then you take two steps and think, ‘what an idiot I am, how can I be a genius?’ You don’t have to be excessively humble either, that destroys you, you have to find the middle ground”.

At 90 years old, he is still directing and does not intend to stop. He is preparing a documentary on the history of art and in Malaga he presents a short film that recreates The executions of May 3 of Goya. In his portfolio there are many pending projects and he is aware that “unfortunately some of them will never be done”. “I’m older and it already catches me badly,” he says ironically and highlights two films that he would like to be able to do, the adaptation of his novel That light and his eternal postponed project, that of Picasso’s life that always finds a new problem. Now there is “a producer very determined to do it”, and he has rewrote the script focusing on “the relationship between Picasso and Dora Maar”.

I have lived through the brutality of war. I have seen dead in the streets. We never learn. I would like the ‘no to war’ to be unanimous

Carlos Saura
director

When talking about the projects that he will not do, he seems to be conscious of time. That it is not infinite. That is why he begins to think about death. “I am making a documentary on art history with Arsuaga, and José Luis told me one of the things that has touched me the most, and that is that death is a poisoned gift from the human being, because either you are alive or you are dead, and that It has forced me to reflect. I am alive at the moment. I breathe, and breathing is very important. Every day the sun rises I say, I’m still alive, it’s a miracle.”

His Goya May 3 It is an anti-war argument. It is done by someone who lived through the Civil War and who is still surprised that we repeat the same mistakes again. In 2022, again, a war, and Saura is clear that “human beings always make the same mistakes”. “We never learn, since prehistory we are always fighting for the land, to conquer other spaces. Unfortunately the dialog doesn’t always work. What makes me angry is that the US is very cynical, because it seems that they do not remember the bombing of Nagasaki.

“I have lived through the brutality of war. I have lived through the bombings of Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. I have seen a house fall in front of me, split in half. I have seen dead in the streets. We never learn, I would like the ‘no to war’ to be unanimous, to any war. A no to violence, to destruction. The news tells us about the dead, but they don’t talk about the wounded, the traumatized. Those of us who, like me, live through a war, are obsessed”, he ditches.

He is also concerned that Spain has changed so much technologically, but not so much in terms of tension. “There is a lot of aggressiveness. In the congress I see an aggressiveness and a violence that annoys me. We are a country, as Unamuno said, Cainite. We are always at odds. We are envious, resentful… and the Spanish war showed that, the rancor that existed. I hope it doesn’t happen again, but it’s possible, it can explode. What happened in the Ukraine could explode here, be careful”, he says worriedly and stresses again that “the no to war must be resounding”.



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