Production Designer Alaine Bainée to Talk during the 24th Edition of the Week of Spanish and Ibero-American Cinema
The twenty-fourth edition of the Week of Spanish and Ibero-American Cinema this year takes place between June 1 and 11. The festival screenings are going to be at Lumiere Lidl Cinema (NDK), Euro Cinema and G-8 Cinema. The program includes titles such as The Queen of Spain starring Penelope Cruz, Barca Dreams, telling the story of the football club of the same name, Altamira with Antonio Banderas and Rupert Everett and many other hit titles. Part of the program is also the title Nobody Wants the Night for which Alaine Bainée- one of the most respected production designers in the European film industry, will tell us more. He has worked with directors such as Pedro Almodóvar (Kika), Woody Allen (Vicky, Christina, Barcelona), Brad Anderson (Transsiberian) and Pablo Berger’s Snow White.
The screening of Nobody Wants the Night and his new future project brings him back to Bulgaria. The interview with him which I will show you, together with some details about this Saturday's projection of the movie, was a real pleasure.
You are not for the first time in Bulgaria. Do you like it?
I like Bulgaria a lot and I like very much Sofia. The spring is amazing in this city. And ''Boyana Film Studios Sofia'' is amazing especially for my work.
What's your definition of success?
If the success is what I am now – to choose my projects, to do what I want, to work the way I want – it is a success, but the meaning of this word is very abstract concept.
How did you decide to work in the cinema industry?
Well, I am an architect and I've worked like one in Paris but I was too bored from the life there, from the French people, so I decided to move in Spain and to find a way to work as an architect there but in the movie business. That’s the way I become a movie designer. Moreover, it was 90-ties, in Spain, everything was great. It was everything I wanted.
Asking him what inspires him, he laughed and answered simply ‘’Life'', adding also movies and photographs - ''Most of my inspirations comes from photographs and painters.’’
Last year you were here because of another movie you worked on - Blanchanieves or in English Snow White, which won over 45 awards – among them Silver Seashell for Best Actress (Macarena Garcia), Special Jury Award nomination for "Golden Seashell" (San Sebastian 2012), nominated for the Grand Prix (Tallinn 2012); nominations Discovery Award and the FIPRESCI (Toronto 2012), 10 awards at the Spanish Film Academy "Goya", and "Gaudi" award - again for production design. For what I saw It combines the characteristic language of documentary, a typical feature of Spanish realist cinema, with other devices from the opposite end of the aesthetic spectrum (fades, magical connections, etc.), typical of black and white, silent film. It was really different for me also to watch such a movie but for sure everybody have to see it.
Yes, the movie is different basically because there is no sound and it's black and white. It is a wonder for an art director working on a film as Snow White, a great satisfaction to transform a tale in a reality.
Speaking of this movie what do you think about the modern, commercial film industry. Does the cinema industry lose from the fact that now the black and white movies are rare? Also a big part of the young people would prefer the modern movies, those with a lot of effects, sound and colours.
It is not popular because a lot of people are not so brave to start such a project. However, movies are about emotions. A lot of people go to the cinema, watch the movie, and 30 seconds after the final subtitles, when they are already out of the cinema, they totally forgot for the movie they've watched and for what it was about. It turns out that the effort of 2 000 people to create something and to choose this green, or the other green is pointless.
Do you think making a black and white movie is harder because you have to put more effort to attract the attention of the audience?
Every movie is hard to do. When you are making a movie you have to concentrate and to do your best. Our job is to to make the audience feel the emotions.
I can't miss the opportunity to ask you about one of my favourites movies - Vicky, Christina, Barcelona. What's the feeling to work with Woody Allen?
It’s great, very polite man. He’s very cool and it’s very easy to work with him.
Still, the challenge for me was big just because it’s Woody Allen. However, it’s one of the easiest movies I did in my life. The most important thing in the movie was to choose the right locations. And it was hard just because he didn’t want to go to far from the hotel where he stayed, so everything has to be closed. That’s was the difficult part- to find the right places which are not too far. Also you have to find place with spirit, with the right atmosphere, that’s the challenge.
The last, but not least. June 10 is the day of the screening of your last movie Nobody wants the night . Tell me more about it.
Nobody wants the night is a co-production between Spain, France and Bulgaria, and in 2015 is chosen to open the 65th edition of the international film festival in Berlin. Last year it was nominated in 9 categories for the Goya Awards and won 4 of them - Best Production Guide, Best Original Soundtrack, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hair.
The actors are the Oscar winner Juliet Binoche, young Japanese Rinko Kikuchi, Golden Globe winner Gabriel Burn, JD Salinger's son Matt Salinger and Bulgarian actor Velizar Binev.
It's a 104 min movie. And it's a story about Josephine (Binoche) who travels to the hostile icy landscape of the remote North in search of her explorer husband. As winter descends and determined not to turn back she finds companionship with an Inuit woman (Kikuchi). With the elements against them and their survival reliant on each other it becomes clear they are waiting for a man they both love.
Nobody Wants the Night is about the relentless icy landscape that separates and draws these two women together during the long, tense wait for the man they both love in such different ways.
What was the hardest part of the work?
Making the snow looking real during July, he laughed. I had to build snow basically from wax – with the right colour and the right consistence to look like the real one.
It’s all about to find the right chemical reaction to make it look real - like the one in North Pole.
Due to the enormous interest in the film No one wants the night in 2016, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain decided to include two new screenings of the film in this year's program of the 24th edition of the Spanish and Ibero-American Film Week. After the first screening of the movie the master of landscaping will reveal how he managed to bring the North Pole into Bulgaria in July and many other things.
You can see the movie this Saturday at G8 Cinema, 18.30h.
Ticket price: BGN 8
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