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Isabel Coixet • Director

"It’s easy for me to put myself in the shoes of a teenage girl"


- Director Isabel Coixet debuts in the psychological thriller genre with the Spanish-British co-production filmed in English Another Me

Isabel Coixet  • Director

Director Isabel Coixet debuts in the psychological thriller genre with the Spanish-British co-production filmed in English Another Me [+see also:
film review
interview: Isabel Coixet
film profile
and Cineuropa speaks to her about the film.

Cineuropa: Did you also shoot in the two countries that produced the film?
Isabel Coixet: Yes. We filmed the outdoor scenes in Cardiff and the indoor scenes in Barcelona. The English city, with its decadent dregs, seems ideal for this film: when we were on location, all of the sites seemed perfect to me, because they had that sinister air that we needed for Another Me.

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Is it true that shooting the film was a kind of guerrilla filmmaking, with you managing the camera?
Yes. We were a small team, but I really like to take the camera: it’s something I do often. I believe that every film should be tailor-made and I feel just as comfortable with a team of four people as with a team of ten... or fifty. The experience helps to achieve a decent piece of work. I’ve always placed emphasis on sound: in Map of the Sound of Tokyo [+see also:
film profile
it was a key element, and likewise in Another Me, where it’s very polished.

Which films and directors have inspired you this time round?
I'm a very generous viewer: I watch all types of movies and mine probably has elements from other directors and genres. Many of the usual genre elements feature, such as the father’s illness, the absent mother or the presence of ghosts, which are very typical. And, of course, I adore Polanski and Hitchcock – who doesn’t like the director of Psycho – but I haven’t reached that level yet.

How did you tackle the adaptation of a novel, intended for a young audience?
Every movie has an opinion and a voice. Just like I’ve no problem putting myself in the shoes of a man, it’s easy for me to put myself in the shoes of a teenage girl: that’s not difficult for me.

Why the interest in changes, like the transition from adolescence to adulthood?
Because they’re key stages in life and we tend to ignore them, whereas they define what we become later in life; and the fact of not living adolescence to the full also prevents us from living other things intensely later on as adults.

How did you create the atmosphere of the film?
There’s a recurring element -trees- taken from Macbeth, which I’ve always considered a fantastic screenplay, where the forest moves. In some way it’s a parable to say: it’s impossible that your dead twin has survived, but then she survives. I believe that there is life out there: I haven’t seen it, but I don’t rule it out; likewise I haven’t seen aliens, but I want to believe that they exist.

You almost link your projects, what are you working on at the moment?
We began preparing Another Me almost five years ago, developing the screenplay and looking for financing. Well the same goes for the current film: it’s called Nobody Wants the Night. We started filming in Norway, then in Bulgaria and now in Tenerife (the Canary Islands). The protagonists are Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne and Rinko Kikuchi – who already worked with me in Map...- and it’s set in 1909: it’s the true story of Josephine, the wife of Robert Perry, the man who discovered the North Pole.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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