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Frank Spano: “Everything that happens may or may not be real. I leave it up to the audience”

The feature film Gauguin and the Canal was presented on Tuesday 25 October at the Museo Patio Herreriano. Present at the screening were Frank Spano, the director, and Sophie Teyssier, one of the main actresses.

Confined to his Tahitian hut by the French colonial authorities in 1903, the painter Paul Gauguin (Roberto Birindelli) is forced to paint a new masterpiece to save his five-year-old native son, while battling illness and torn between madness and sanity. In the course of these events, he has glimpses of the past, especially of his life and work at the Panama Canal, the place where his artistic career began.

Frank Spano.

Spano was keen to emphasise his decision not to make this film as a biopic. “I wanted to get into his head, into that labyrinth of sheets that he had when he painted his pictures. In the confusion of what is real and what is not” and added that “everything that happens may or may not be real. I leave it up to the audience”.

Furthermore, the director described the scenes in which the French artist is painting as “my interpretation of how he painted, observed colours or textures. He was a rebel and thanks to this he found the way to make his works”.

Regarding the psychological charge of the film, present in different parts, Frank Spano has stressed that “his psychological delirium was the debts, the guilt and the self-judgement. The real trial finally detonates in the psychological trial” and invited the people of Valladolid to visit the exhibition of the film, which has works and props used in the film and will be on display until 14 November.

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