Por Ana Mengotti |
Miami, (EFE).- The Argentine filmmaker Juan José Campanella, winner of an Oscar in 2010, has not definitively said goodbye to the cinema, but has sought refuge in the theater and its platform-proof “magic”, which he accuses to “kill” the seventh art.
In an interview with EFE in Miami, where this Wednesday he will receive a tribute from the Ibero American Film Festival (IAFFM), Campanella confesses that he no longer watches movies and, when asked about his projects, he answers that he is writing a play.
“I used to like going to the movies in the dark room, with the screen dominating me and 300 other people laughing at the same time,” he says sadly.
This Oscar winner for best international film with “The Secret in Their Eyes” in 2010 does not like empty halls, but, on the contrary, he is enthusiastic about full theaters, such as the Politeama, which he built from scratch together with his partners on Corrientes street, the Broadway of Buenos Aires and Latin America.
«Historically I liked the theater a lot. I lived 20 years in New York and went to the theater a lot, not only on Broadway but off and off off (alternative rooms) », he says.
The sadness of empty cinemas
Back in Argentina, in the 1980s, he also did some things in theater. “Then -he adds- life took me to the cinema and I forgot it (to the theater), let’s say, as a director, but never as a spectator”.
Until after his animated film “Football” (2013), Campanella considered that he “wanted to do something in theater, return to the source” and released “Parque Lezama” in 2013, an adaptation he made of a comedy in English and that ten years later triumphs in a new staging at the Politeama theater with Luis Brandoni and Eduardo Blanco as protagonists.
“Not only was it a great success (…) a great passion awoke in me, because something very magical happens in the theater, each performance is unique, anything can happen, there is suspense,” he says.
Now his passion for the scene has been reinforced by his disgust with what is happening with the cinema, for which he directly blames the business model of audiovisual platforms.
“Cinema audiences began to be lost, which is an issue that worries me a lot, because I like to work for the audience, but also with the audience,” he stresses.
Cinema versus cinema seen on television
The director of “El hijo de la novia” and “Luna de Avellaneda”, among other films, believes that the platforms “have been truly revolutionary and very beneficial for the television experience, but their business model conspires against the cinema, because it practically does not consider it as part of the thing».
In his opinion, “they only premiere in theaters to win an award, in order to qualify for the awards. And, well, it is very difficult for the audience to go see something that they know they will have on their television in two weeks.
For this reason, he is a refugee and “happy” in the theater, a safe ground for him, since he does not believe that something similar to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon will emerge for the scene.
«The recorded theater -he says- looks like painted cardboard to you. The magic is broken, the convention is broken and it all starts to seem exaggerated and fake.
The impact of the platforms in the seventh art does not only translate into the loss of audiences in theaters, he says.
«The emotion is not the same in a big screen cinema as it is on television. The humor, the laughter, are not the same. The proof is that they have stopped making comedies. Comedies are no longer made in the cinema ”, emphasizes a director who precisely loves that genre.
However, he answers no when asked if movie lovers can say goodbye to new Campanella movies. “Look, there is always the possibility that the thing will be reversed,” she emphasizes.
Campanella is “very happy” about the nomination of “Argentina, 1985”, by Santiago Mitre, for the Oscar for best international film, but regrets the short time it has remained on the film billboard.
He trusts that it will be replenished in some theaters thanks to the possibility of winning the Oscar, but he does not know if those who want to see it will choose to go to the cinema or subscribe to Amazon.
And it seems to him “a sin” that the German film “All Quiet on the Western Front”, by Edward Berger, which he considers a “masterpiece” and is also nominated for an international Oscar, has practically not been in theaters.
Campanella points out that another disadvantage of this way of watching movies is that stars are no longer created. “Not anymore, there isn’t. There are practically no stars because on the small screen, a small star and on the big screen, a big star».