10/26/2018.-The world of art witnesses a story of friendship between an octogenarian painter plunging into decay, and the owner of the gallery where he exhibits his works. That is how the script writer, director and producer of Mi obra maestra, Gastón Duprat, has described his production during the press conference he gave this morning after the screening of the movie. The film is competing in the Official Section of the 63rd edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival, the SEMINCI.
“The choice was mostly made due to an occupational habit of the script writer. Andrés [Duprat] works as a curator and exhibitions’ coordinator, consequently he is an expert on the subject, although we use his knowledge as background. We haven’t created a story about art, but about friendship”, affirmed the filmmaker when talking about his brother.
Guillermo Francella, who plays Arturo, the gallery owner that befriends Renzo (the second protagonist), has commented that the story could have taken place in any other field, from law to sports. “Some questions are universal. What happens to someone who is brilliant, had a marvellous moment of glory, but doesn’t want to keep up with the latest trends, and therefore, ends up relegated? It is a very up-to-date topic in the technological and networking areas.”
A peculiar feature that makes the world of art different is that sometimes, one needs to die in order to become famous, or that someone starts a transformation via his or her sophistication. Just like Andrés Duprat stated, “something that seems condemnable in another sector, could be incorporated to the art scene to imbue it with worth.” Thus, a show that could be considered a major scam turns out to be a creative and perfect performance. “The accident with Bansky’s work was more elaborated than our movie,” added the script writer, commenting on how the artist destroyed his work in front of the buyer right after selling it at a millionaire auction. The trick was actually devised by Renzo, who shot three times one of his paintings to meet the requirements that the gallery owner had established in order to complete a process of modernization.
“Art is a fraud,” says Renzo at some point during the movie. Gastón Duprat spoke his mind to that respect shortly before arriving to the festival: “The character states that, not the film’s director. It is more of a provocative sentence voiced by the painter, who spends his time suggesting extreme and disturbing ideas, with the sole purpose of annoying. Personally, I do not share that notion.” Actually, the film does not reflect exclusively the director’s perspective. As the producer explained, “we work horizontally, so we add a great number of notes taken by different members of the crew.”
Following this methodology, Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, who have co-directed all their projects, were able to separate their roles for the first time. According to Gastón, “thanks to this approach, the film is ready earlier, and the director only needs to carry out what was planned in advanced.” Cohn, who has played the producer part this time, added: “My role here was more about facilitating rather than drawing the line, something which usually producers are supposed to do.”
Regarding this situation, Gastón had already agreed to the experience. “It has been excellent, very comfortable. Mariano has paved the way so that I could direct the film at ease, and he put within my grasp all that I could possibly need, even more.”
New movie: 4×4
In their next project, however, Mariano Cohn will be the one playing the director’s role, leaving Duprat with the producer’s. The reason for this exchange? “We had two projects in mind, and we decided that to buy ourselves some time, we would share the directing duties, so that one would produce the other’s film and vice versa,” Cohn explained.
The new movie has already got a title, 4×4, and his director has disclosed some of his plans. “Next year we will be back to present this new project, but I will be sitting where Gastón is now.”
SEMINCI, in which El ciudadano ilustre (The Distinguished Citizen) received the Golden Spike in 2016, is a festival where both directors feel comfortable, according to Gastón Duprat’s statement some days prior to their arrival, after he was questioned about his intentions in Valladolid. “I have the best intentions. We like this festival a lot; the program is excellent, with a high level and a wide range of options. We take pride on being back here. We were really happy when we learn that the Spanish premier of our movie would take place at this prestigious festival.”