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Jonás Trueba • Director of You Have to Come and See It

“I applaud Tom Cruise for standing up for the movie theatres”

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- Before taking part in Karlovy Vary, the Madrilenian filmmaker releases his new film, lasting barely one hour but once again using a simple starting point to talk about grander topics, in Spain

Jonás Trueba • Director of You Have to Come and See It

Jonás Trueba talked to this writer just after a press screening of You Have to Come and See It [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
, which is released in Spanish theatres on 17 June, distributed by Atalante, and a good few weeks before it competes in the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. It is toplined by some familiar faces from the director’s previous films: Itsaso Arana (The August Virgin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
), Vito Sanz (The Romantic Exiles [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
) and Francesco Carril (The Reconquest [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonás Trueba
film profile
]
), flanked by Irene Escolar.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cineuropa: Once again, you’ve made a film with scant resources, a tight time frame and some great friends
Jonás Trueba:
Exactly! You’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s a movie about getting back together and feeling like we can still make films like this. We were really eager, at the end of 2020 and after all we’d been through, and we were able to cobble together a small-scale production.

It’s a film with a peculiar title – quite a playful one.
It’s a good thing that we have no reason to try and sell the film under any pretence. Sometimes, movies are sold based on bogus, if not embellished, arguments. And this one is like a calling: go to see a film just because it’s a film, nothing more, nothing less, without trying to sell an image. Quite simply, I found the act of going to see a movie in the cinema very appealing… Even more so in times like these. There you’ve got the verb “to come” and the idea of going somewhere. The laziness that the lead couple feels when going to see their friends’ house is the same laziness that many people feel when considering going to the cinema.

Sadly, yes. At Cannes, Tom Cruise said that he works in film in order to be seen in the theatres. In spite of the obvious differences, you’re doing the same thing but on a tighter budget.
Yes, I really liked the fact that someone of his stature fiercely stood up for that. From his position of privilege, it’s very important that he make that plea in favour of the movie theatres and that he doesn’t simply settle for getting paid by whatever platform is trending at the moment, but rather he makes an effort when others in Hollywood, who are equally as powerful as he is, are not doing so. I applaud him for that.

People are going back to the cinema to see all kinds of films, from colossal blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick to small-scale ones like yours
I like the fact that two things that are such polar opposites can coexist, as well as everything in between. If only we could have varied and rich cinema listings that catered for all tastes!

Films of all shapes and sizes, existing side by side.
Yes, I can make modest, everyday films, with quiet spaces for reflection. This is my most stripped-back film, in contrast with other bigger ones that are overloaded with stuff. I like to make movies with just a few ingredients, as it can give the viewer a different type of sensation. We are concerned with making positive films that focus on showing those spaces, states of mind and small things that other movies don’t portray: like when you get together with three friends, you talk, and you get to this point of rapture or doubt, or a point where you question yourself or the world, even though in the end, everything fades away and vanishes into thin air. It’s a state of mind that props it up, more than a plot.

The plot line is understated, but it touches on some interesting themes
The writing is very subtle: I try to write very little. I wrote two pages of A4 and sent it to the cast and crew as a proposal, followed by a 20-page document, which was not a screenplay, but rather a little scene progression. And we were writing together during the shoot, like we’ve done before.

But we sense topics such as motherhood and major life changes hovering over the scenes.
There’s this continuous questioning: it’s in the air these days, how we reassess the kind of life we lead and how we’re unable to go beyond mere questioning. That’s what the film portrays: how ridiculous we are and how it’s sometimes really hard for us to engage in a critical way of questioning things, but we immediately forget about it and carry on as we were before.

In a kind of limbo, like the title of one of the songs we hear in the movie.
Yes, because it’s easier said than done: what’s all this about altering one’s life or the ingrained attitude of a human being? We’re a mix of selfless and shared sacrifices over time, but at the same time we’re pure selfishness and we have an “every man for himself” attitude. The vast majority of people are stuck there, in that dichotomy: trapped between self-interest and generosity… And we don’t really know which one comes out on top.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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