Alejandro Amenábar • Réalisateur de La Fortuna
“Pourquoi ne pas revenir à ces émotions qu’on a ressenties au cinéma enfant ?”
par Alfonso Rivera
- Entretien avec le cinéaste espagnol, qui présente au festival basque sa première série, inspirée d’un roman graphique et riche en aventures, produite par Movistar +
Cet article est disponible en anglais.
La Fortuna [+lire aussi :
interview : Alejandro Amenábar
fiche série] is a series in six 45-minute episodes, starring Ana Polvorosa, Álvaro Mel, Karra Elejalde and Stanley Tucci. Behind the glossy exterior stands director Alejandro Amenábar, ably supported by Fernando Bovaira (Mod), AMC and Movistar +, on whose platform the show will air from 30 September. In the run-up to the pilot, it’s screening out of competition in the official section of the 69th San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Cineuropa: You’ve taken part in the festival before with your earlier feature films (Regression [+lire aussi :
interview : Alejandro Amenábar
fiche film] and While at War [+lire aussi :
interview : Alejandro Amenabar
fiche film]), and now you’re back with a series: has the world of television finally sucked you in?
Alejandro Amenábar: The format was a natural choice for this particular project. The minute I first came across the comic El tesoro del Cisne Negro (The Treasure of the Black Swan) by Paco Roca and Guillermo Corral, I wanted to adapt it for the screen. My first thought was to make a feature film, just because that’s what I’ve always done. But once we really got stuck in, my co-writer Alejandro Hernández and I realised that it might work better as a two-part series — then it was three parts, and then we ended up with six. It was a very organic process from my perspective. We were able to give more time to various aspects of the comic that are dealt with only in passing, and to develop some of the characters more fully.
Watching La Fortuna feels a bit like watching a classic adventure film.
It does, and why can’t we go back to the emotions we felt at the cinema as children? The spark for the project was an adventure comic, somewhat “Tintin-esque” and with a whiff of James Cameron or Steven Spielberg about it. I wanted the series to have all of that: it’s a bit of a mash-up, with a lot going on. There are moments where it almost becomes a courtroom drama, like the ones I enjoy myself.
It’s also got some political elements, with the diplomatic rivalry between countries.
While at War was all about tolerance: we all have different political leanings and we all need to live together. That diversity is the bedrock of our democracy. Here, I wanted to express that through the relationship between the characters, who have different ideas about politics and gradually come around to the other’s point of view. The series is also about exploring the differences between the Hispanic and the English-speaking worlds, in all their light, shadow and contrast — for example showing how meetings look different in Spain and North America. Thanks to my career I have a foot in each culture, and the character’s journey to the USA resonated with me, that sense of alienation.
What commonalities do you share with Álex, the main character, apart from your name and that cross-cultural experience?
Whenever we see a superhero film, we all tend to identify with the characters. Besides that, when I first read the original comic I had the feeling that I too had experienced my own David-and-Goliath-type struggle, because I took on a lot of responsibility at a very young age, making films with Hollywood stars (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) and dealing with the Weinstein brothers. It’s something I know how to portray on screen.
How did you pull off the balance between epic historical reconstructions and the intimacy of the main characters’ deepest emotions?
That combination is what gives the show its edge. Even in The Sea Inside [+lire aussi :
fiche film], which addressed big themes like Life, Death and Dignity, we wanted to keep everything understated and down-to-earth, so that people could connect with it and apply it to their lives. Later, in Agora [+lire aussi :
fiche film], which had more than one layer to it, there was a lot about astronomy and the demise of the classical world, which meant we had to tell the story on multiple levels. In this case, making the series was also a thing of many layers. One moment you can be watching Álex’s drama unfold, only to be thrown into the plot of an international thriller, but the common link is always the audience’s connection with what the characters are seeing. When you’re in the moment, travelling with Álex, exploring all of these worlds comes naturally.
In the series, we see modern-day pirates from North America seize a wrecked submarine and turn it into a treasure that ultimately makes them rich. Perhaps in Spain we don’t have the resources for that, but they have the knowledge to profit from something we possess but can’t benefit from...
I’m very big on the concept of culture. Something buried at the bottom of the sea is more than just a money pit; a wreck represents a country’s history and may even be a mass grave. In this case, the series shows that you can’t get away with anything. You might have the resources to salvage a lost treasure, but it’s not a free-for-all. Wrecks, buried or otherwise, are the property of the country concerned.
(Traduit de l'espagnol)
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