Magazine article Screen International

IFFR Tiger Directors: Pedro Aguilera on 'Sister of Mine (Demonios Sus Ojos)'

Magazine article Screen International

IFFR Tiger Directors: Pedro Aguilera on 'Sister of Mine (Demonios Sus Ojos)'

Article excerpt

Spanish director Pedro Aguilera made a striking debut with his austere Carlos Reygadas co-produced 2007 drama La Influencia.

His latest film is an edgy psychodrama about a film director who returns to Spain from Los Angeles with his private life in a mess. His life spirals out of control further when he begins spying on his sister with a webcam.

Ciudad Lunar Producciones and Carmelita Films produced with Stray Dogs handling international sales. We spoke to director Aguilera about the film.

How did you get into filmmaking?

I never studied Cinema, I studied Fine arts. I was supposed to be a painter till I was 20 or so. I bought a video camera then and started to play with it, and finally did some short films. But as soon as I started to work on the audio-visual I felt that was the perfect way for me to express myself, better than painting, so naturally, in an organic process I leftpainting. I didn't have any experience on filmmaking or contacts when I started so I made a lot of mistakes by trying to develop my short films. I realised I needed advice and also to learn about how the films are made.

Not about the ideas or the stories I wanted to tell but about how to build a crew, what is a shooting process, or how to produce films. So I met several directors in Spain like Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Daniel Calparsoro. And by talking to them I just got a job in their shootings. After that I met Carlos Reygadas and joined him in his second feature film Battle In Heaven, later with Amat Escalante, so there I knew the way of shooting that fit myself, and the kind of people I wanted to work with. So everything came naturally, it was trial and error. Not intellectual or academic but an intuitive way of learning.

What was your inspiration for making 'Sister Of Mine (Demonios sus ojos)'?

I never have a rational starting point, or self-conscious working process. I mean I did not sit on a table and start to write about some issues, it just comes naturally. Sometimes the starting point is an abstract idea, sometimes just an image. In that case I think there were two concepts or scenes. A film director that is trying to push everything around him to the limits, and finally finds that the last limit is his own family. His identity. The idea of creating cinema outside of the film industry. Somebody is creating an audio-visual Icon but just for himself, he is not showing it to the world, it's a private cinema creation.

Was this projects developed through any labs (for example Torino Film Lab)? …

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