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SAN SEBASTIAN 2022 Competition

Jaime Rosales • Director of Wild Flowers

"There is something so attractive about meeting someone who is untamed"

by 

- The Catalan filmmaker competes for the Golden Shell with his seventh feature film, a three-part chronicle of the sentimental experience of a young single mother

Jaime Rosales • Director of Wild Flowers
(© Jorge Fuembuena/SSIFF)

Following on from Petra [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaime Rosales
film profile
]
, the new film from Jaime Rosales, Wild Flowers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaime Rosales
film profile
]
, is presented in the official section of the 70th San Sebastian Film Festival. In front of the beautiful La Concha beach, in Hotel de Londres, the Catalan filmmaker talks to this journalist.

Cineuropa: It's been a while (four years) since your previous film...
Jaime Rosales:
Because of the pandemic as well. I would have liked to have beaten that by a year, but films take time to make. Making it in less than two years is almost a miracle. You have to have a very well-oiled machine, like Woody Allen, for example, with films that are very similar to each other, with the same mould.

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Wild Flowers is perhaps a sibling to your previous Beautiful Youth [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaime Rosales
film profile
]
?
They share a setting and age of the characters: yes, there are echoes. But where there were questions, answers are drawn here, but a film is a soliloquy between the spectator and the work; the director has to be careful not to get in the way of this.

Why focus on the story of a woman in a relationship with three men and not the other way around?
It could have been the other way around and it would have been interesting too... who knows, maybe in the next film. I was interested in the complexity of love relationships, at a time when roles mutate and have to be adapted. But that's how the story came about, with the woman's gaze on the men.

One of the concepts that is most often discussed when watching it is toxic masculinity: do men come off badly in your film, perhaps because they are immature?
We have three types of men in the film, but they are all different. The first is an abuser and the second is blocked, but the third is modern and ethical: he takes on the responsibility of raising the children, has a profession, is caring towards the protagonist and helps her to progress in her professional dreams.

She learns to know what she doesn't want.
The film has many interpretations: it is not my job to decipher them, because I think the viewer will do that for themselves. But the text says a lot: she transforms and matures throughout the film. She ends up with a man that is very different from the first. And you can't lump them all together. The first is archaic, but many of them are and, strangely enough, they are successful with women: I don't know what these lowlifes offer them, but they end up trapped in that web. I was also interested in giving them warnings: beware, danger, when you see these signs in your partners!

Have we been following the wrong models for generations?
That’s why it seems archaic to me. This type of abusive character alternates, between light and shadow, and the light is very attractive, as when he assertively reassures the protagonist. And he is affectionate: of all her partners, he is the one who gives her the worst time, but also the best, like in the club scene, where they have an amazing physical connection. But watch out though, because the higher you go, the harder you fall.

But as my grandmother used to say: “When love flows, a shit is a rose” Is love blind or, at least, short-sighted: does it not see far?
There is something so attractive about meeting someone who is untamed: the urge to believe that we’ll be able to tame them, to change them. It is a very human thing, a mixture of ego (you’ll be able to tame it) and at the same time generosity (teaching someone to do good is a good thing). The truth is that this does not usually happen: the tree is already very twisted and impossible to straighten. Love has that blind side and I agree with your grandmother's saying, I like it!

There is also a type of person who does not know how to be alone.
I find the theme of loneliness and companionship very interesting too. You can be physically with someone and feel lonely, and you can, at certain times, not be with someone, but if you are in a good relationship you don't feel lonely. I think the right way is to establish a deep and solid relationship where you can have time to do things separately. Real companionship is desirable: I don’t believe in the benefits of radical emancipation, because life in good company is what it’s all about, as we’re social animals.

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(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

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