The debut feature by the Asturian director Ángeles Huerta praises the efforts of the actors: “They have done a very difficult job because the film has a tone that can be complicated”
This Sunday, 23 October, the Valladolid International Film Week hosted the RTVE Gala, where the film O corpo aberto (Open Body), the first feature-length fiction film by the Asturian director Ángeles Huerta, premiered, a film in which “the boundaries between countries, languages, male and female gender, and life and death are blurred”, according to Huerta. With this debut feature, the director aims to “reach large crowds”, an objective that she fulfils “from the real and the genuine”. “The closer you get to the concrete, the more universal it is”, she added after the screening at the Teatro Zorrilla.
Set in 1909, it is about Miguel, a young teacher assigned to a small mountain village on the border between Spain and Portugal: Lobosandaus, an inhospitable village with ancestral traditions. He is a man of reason, but he cannot control his passionate desires and, as winter approaches, he feels the darkness take hold of everything around him, while his fascination with the enigmatic Dorinda grows.
Huerta, who expressed her gratitude to both Seminci and RTVE for the opportunity, began her speech by saying that the project arose from a story by Xosé Luis Méndez, which caught her attention because it was a “story of passions beyond death”. “It had the form of a classic genre story, but it also served to talk about many contemporary issues”, explained the Asturian director.
She also pointed out that directing the cast of the film, made up of Tamar Novas, María Vázquez and Federico Pérez Rey, among others, was “very easy” because the actors are “tremendously generous”. “The fact that a person puts their body in front of a camera is already brutally generous”, he said, before highlighting the effort they have all made: “They have done a very difficult job because this film has a tone that can be complicated”.
For his part, Tamar Novas, who plays the role of Professor Miguel, emphasised the “ritual” that Huerta follows when working. “If you approach the work with absolute confidence, you can reach other places that have less to do with everyday life”, the actor emphasised, before saying that the filming has been the “most transcendental” moments in his experience. “Sharing it here today is part of the journey”, he concluded.
María Vázquez, who acknowledged that the whole team that makes up the film is like “a family” and that “the admiration” they feel for each other has been “an asset”, highlighted the director’s consideration when working: “She respects all the processes and even more so in this film; she has let us try, rehearse… It has been a very fun and gratifying process right from the rehearsals”. He also wanted to thank Huerta for the fact that he has used actors who “didn’t have the profile” that A corpo aberto required. “He has broken clichés”, he affirmed.
The actor Federico Pérez agreed with the words of his colleagues and added that it was “marvellous” to have someone like Ángeles Huerta trust in him. “It’s the most beautiful thing about cinema”, he said, before adding that “when you’re pigeonholed in the comedy genre, it’s lucky that they trust you for projects like these”. “The rehearsal and shooting process was marvellous,” he said.
Finally, the director of Film and Fiction at RTVE, José Pastor, who was in charge of introducing the screening and leading the subsequent discussion, said that this is a film with “great potential”, as “you can see in the first scenes”. In addition, on behalf of the public broadcaster, he stated that “although RTVE is not a producer, it does participate in the films”. “It was the Seminci team who saw the potential of A corpo aberto and who wanted to programme it”. “We feel proud”, he concluded.