The press function of “the heart of the moon” Y Aldo Salvini He responds patiently in each of the interviews of the media present. Before there was a talk with them, but all together at a press conference. Salvini —director of the film— spoke accompanied by his cast (two actors) and production managers from CREA, the audiovisual production unit of the University of Lima. It is Thursday, October 20, and Haydeé Cáceres has come down the stairs of the room with tears in her eyes. The veteran actress plays the central character, a lonely old potato carrier who strikes up a friendship with a robot straight out of TV fantasies. She is “M” and Bruno Balbuena, her co-star, is “Yawar-bot”. However, we know this from external data, since the film —without being silent— lacks dialogue.
Salvini’s tape has a taste of revenge. After having directed a handful of short films celebrated with the patronage of people like Francisco Lombardi, Salvini (Bogotá, 1964) made the leap to feature films with “Bala Perdida” in 2001 and was able to develop a more extensive film work, but, with a bankrupt, there were no more spaces and ended up in television production.
He returned to his own with the documentary “El caudillo pardo” in 2005 and then directed, in 2018, two sequels to the popular “Django” saga, starring Giovanni Ciccia. With his careful technical finish, play on textures, oversaturated colors and careful sound editing, “El corazón de la luna” seems to be the manifesto of everything that Salvini always wanted to do and couldn’t.
— “El corazón de la luna” seems like a drama with fantastic touches, what is your personal definition?
— It is a psychological drama with a fantasy touch, and also with horror elements. It is not a science fiction movie at all, it is a psychological drama with fantasy, yes, because all the drama that this woman (M) experiences is mental.
– Having so many elements of genres intermingled, it feels like – throughout your career – you have collected many things that you could not do and you have put them in this story. Your old earrings.
– It can be, definitely. If one had the opportunity to make more movies, more often… I really like horror movies, fantastic movies, but I also love crime movies, for example; It is the genre that I consume the most and I would love to make police films. But well, this story came up, I started working on it, and obviously my taste for horror, for Italian cinema, is going to surface, be it Italian horror cinema or the cinema of (Federico) Fellini or Vittorio de Sica , as “Umberto D.” (1952), for example —it is a referent—, or (Ettore) Scola. Also (David) Lynch, who in some way is also dreamlike, but who also has some very disturbing things, very scary.
— What was the most difficult technical aspect to achieve?
— The combat scenes in ‘stop motion’ (volume animation). In order to make them, we recorded them in the studio with Bruno (Balbuena) and César Chirinos dressed in green, to be able to do the movements of the little figures that come out there and so that later the animator can animate it, frame by frame, which is a joke . There are a lot of the ants that are there that really weren’t there. They are not 3D ants, they are ants that are recorded, ‘chromed’, which was also a joke because it seems that they were there and they are not. There was nothing 3D, everything is ‘stop motion’ or handcrafted. Those are the most technically complex parts for the shoot, because later I was lucky that Julio (Wissar, executive producer) and Macarena (Coello, general producer) protected the direction work a lot, that I could do what I really wanted and that he had written not only in the literary script, but in the technical script. And I am super grateful.
— I was asking you about the technical issue. A theme of yours is that of colors. What is the color blue for you? It is present in all your films, in “Bala Perdida”, in your work at Iguana Producciones.
— It must be because my favorite color is the one I use the most, also in my clothes.
— But you like it bright, you like it to stand out, like it gives the atmosphere to practically all of your creations.
— Yes, I like saturated colors; I mean, yeah, when I’ve worked on both Django and this movie…
“But what do you mean by that?” If you could bring it down to earth…
— No, I don’t think I have an answer to say “means such a thing”. They are impulses that have to do with sensations. Red gives me a certain feeling; green, for example, which is supposed to be a color of tranquility, I always associate it with something more sordid, right? So, in “Stray Bullet”, for example, in the character, green was the color of the father, of the main character.
— And here you also use it in the sequences where we are in the underworld.
– Yes, in the underworld. In the last of “Django” or in the character of Rodrigo Sánchez (in “Stray Bullet”), who is —let’s say— “the villain”, he is also always painted with a green light, right? Yes, I always look for colors to have a connotation, but at a sensory level.
— Another thing that is striking is that, perhaps due to technical limitations, perhaps due to lack of ambition, in national cinema we do not see details such as those you have emphasized: the raindrops and those color games and dreamlike editions.
— No, I think it’s a personal matter. I think that one has to be demanding with his job, from the moment you start writing until you finish, not even just when editing, but even in those moments; I mean, you have to push yourself to the max. I always asked for all the streets to be wet in the film, so everyone had to be wetting the streets and wetting the streets and the windows, and the robot was always wet or kind of had drips. I like humidity and I always wanted it to be that way because, if not, you start to lose what you were looking for, which is this thing about this humid city where it doesn’t rain, but it’s humid. This is a city that at night is orange due to the mist or is a city of white or blue lights.
— Was it difficult to write the script?
— No. I’ve had more problems with others. This is a 40-page script, so there’s no dialogue, I think deep down it was easier. But, of course, it was always mutating in some way, even until the end. With the filming too (the same thing happened). When you find a location that you say: “Wow, it’s not in the script, but it’s going to add something to the film”. This little devil that appears in the film was a man from the street who I turned into a more fantastic thing that has to do with demons, with these mannequins and these things that appeared later in the technical script work.
— This infernal sequence with the doll… how to interpret it? Are the demons of M?
She is a psychotic woman, she sees things, she is schizophrenic… These people appear to her who are building a kind of golem (animated mythological being) and then this deformed Frankenstein-style mannequin arrives, which makes it impossible for her to reach her goal. It’s all in her head.
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