Locked up on a paradisiacal island, fled from an international congress, four dentists (three men and one woman) become a brutal reflection of emotional miseries. “Well, the human being is like that,” says the creator of that microcosm, Carlos Cuarón (Mexico City, 54 years old), of the characters in his third feature film, Amalgam, which competes in the official section of the Malaga festival. “As in good dramas, they are heroes and villains of themselves. And they teach the absurdity of the human condition.
The filmmaker assures that the stories can only emanate from the characters, as he has struggled to show in his career as a producer, as a screenwriter – alone or with other collaborators, such as his brother Alfonso, with whom he co-wrote Only with your partner Y And Your Mother Too- and as director –Rude and Corny (2008) and Sugar kisses (2013)–: “They must have body, bones and soul. If something is missing, they won’t feel human. ” And those dentists are. “The main theme of the movie is pain. And if you say loud dentist, everyone shrinks with a grin. It may be unfair to them, because at the end of their day they heal us, but the universal perception of that profession links it with pain, ”he reflects. On Amalgam These dentists do not make you suffer, they suffer. “In the cinema they are marked by prejudices, they are portrayed as torturers. They are there Marathon Man, The Little Shop of Horrors or How to kill your boss and after investigating, I discovered that they were human beings ”, he laughs. “What’s more, they endure great pressure because of their relationship with patients, often based on that pain. I read an American statistic that reflected that the profession with the most suicides was that of a dentist ”.
The idea of Amalgam It occurred to Cuarón in 2010, when visiting the idyllic islands of Rosario (Colombia) with actor Manolo Cardona. “But the first version of Sugar kisses. And then I was slow because I couldn’t find the characters. First I included a politician, another pain killer, and that distracted me for a while. It did not work, it bothered the friendship of the protagonists. And I parked it. I will turn my contempt for politicians in another movie. Then I thought of an international cast, with production from four different countries, and in English. Did not work. It only flowed when I went back to Spanish, ”he recalls. Curiously, Cardona returned to Amalgam after an audition, and became a producer when part of the budget was missing. “Manolo explained to me how to set up a co-production with the Dominican Republic,” explains Cuarón. And about the sadness that emanates from his film, the filmmaker points out: “He blames the pathos of the human being and that sometimes the screen is a mirror”.
Politicians as animals to be portrayed
Carlos Cuarón is keen on politics. “What was going to be my first feature in 1998 was going around, and it fell because the people who were going to finance it discovered that I was talking about them,” he recalls. “We were still in the PRI ruling party in those years. And in Mexico politics and economics are confused. The producers had read the script, but it took them a while to realize that the calluses we were stepping on were theirs. Now I am rewriting it ”.
And the conversation reaches the legislative elections that this Sunday mark the political evolution of Mexico. Cuarón warms up: “Power brings corruption, so the most corrupt country is the United States, but in Mexico we are experiencing a special rottenness. And this electoral campaign I have suffered with deep disgust. Luckily, I am in Spain and I am not going to vote, because you choose between two stinking shits: the corrupt ones of the past and those of the present. The current government lies when it defines itself on the left, since its projects are neoliberal and its soul, conservative. It is clear to him: “Politicians, in general, are populists, messianic and narcissistic. And President López Obrador surpasses it. He exercises autocracy at the levels of biblical onanism ”.
2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Cuarón’s debut on the big screen with Only with your partner and 20 of the premiere of And Your Mother Too, which provided them with an Oscar nomination for best screenplay: “I don’t look much back, but at the beginning of this year, when someone told me about those anniversaries, I did. My brother and I are working to make both available to everyone. We are in the middle of the technical-bureaucratic process ”. Only with your partner it was complicated to put together. “It is always difficult to start a race, but in Mexico it was even worse three decades ago. That year only five to eight films were produced. ” And the filmmaker enters a certain melancholy: “I do miss the unconsciousness with which I wrote it and with which Alfonso directed it. That freshness, that bravery, will never return. That only happens once. “