by Mazzino Montinari
18/02/2003 - Be sure and watch the making of Recha's latest film.
Catalonian director, Marc Recha is one of European cinema’s most interesting filmmakers. He is just 33 and has three features under his belt: El Cielo Sube – Heaven Rises (1991), El Arbol de Las Cerezas (The Cherry Tree – 1998), Pau i el seu germa (Pablo and his Brother – 2000). The fourth, Les Mains Vides (Empty Hands) is set in the south of France, close to the border with Catalonia, is still in production. Recha’s CV is quite a surprise: he began his film career at 14 and has made numerous short films. Recha won a scholarship to study cinema and directed his first feature at 21: it was screened in Locarno and Venice. Seven years later he won the FIPRESCI Award in Locarno for The Cherry Tree. His third feature, Pablo and His Brother was selected for competition in Cannes.
Recha’s points of reference are obvious and they range from Rossellini to Kiarostami, Bresson and Godard. “Audiences have changed and so has the way we produce films. But the filmmaker’s eye has never changed. There is nothing new in the Dogma Manifesto, Rossellini said everything there was to say a long time ago.” Strong words that give one the measure of the man. Recha is an angry and pugnacious man, not given to moderating his tone. More than loveable, he is interesting.
Realism is patently obvious in his decision not to dub his actors, all of whom are asked to use their native language or dialect. In Spain, Recha’s films are subtitled - even from Catalonian to Castillian. The clothes his actors wear are the ones they came to work in. Pablo And His Brother was supposed to have been about three woodcutters. During a rewrite and the first scene, a new factor entered the equation: “The local authorities in the mountainous regions I was filming in began to build a road from the village to the city. That is when I changed my screenplay to fit in with the environmental changes going on around me and I turned the woodcutters into road workers.”
Last of all, the movements that the camera makes must never be exasperated. He did not come up with the idea of so many lingering sequential shots to show off his virtuosity but rather to rebuild a kind of choreography. “I believe in reality cinema where the meaning of the story must emerge as a result of the respect and affection the director has for his actors and their ability to express their feelings.”