Author: Dana Knight

Formerly staff writer for The Independent Film Magazine, Dana is a freelance journalist who covers film, tech & startup culture. Between 2013-16, she traveled to film festivals all over the world interviewing filmmakers for a book project on contemporary cinema. Dana holds a BA (Hons) in Film & Media from Birkbeck, University of London (2013), a BA / MA in English & French Language & Literature (2005) and specialist training in bio-medicine.

Video Artist Omer Fast’s REMAINDER is Playing at New Directors New Films NYC Today

REMAINDERBERLINALE2016 REVIEW

If the attributes cold, callous and conceited might not conjure up the image of the most watchable of film heroes, Tom Sturridge’s nameless character in video artist Omer Fast’s feature debut Remainder might strike some as a slight surprise.

201612157_1

Adapted from Tom McCarthy’s cult novel of the same title, Remainder is an intriguing drama of identity and memory with enough thriller elements to keep you wanting to watch more even when the events portrayed become part of a seemingly never-ending repetitive loop. Reminiscent in its basic premise of Nolan’s Memento, and in its reality-fantasy blurring strategy of Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, the film follows a 30-something London professional who receives an exorbitant amount of money in compensation after becoming the victim of an arcane accident that leaves him emotionally shattered and mentally tabula rasa.

201612157_2

With £10 million in the bank and a completely clear conscience as a result of his traumatic memory loss, what does our hero set out to do? Book a flight to an exotic island and live a life of utter indulgence in a state of blissful oblivion, the kind of oblivion that alcohol, sex and drugs, our culture’s panacea, will never be able to induce? No, what kind of film would that be? Instead, in philosophically appropriate fashion, our hero responds to a most powerful inner urge that compels him to find out who he is, an action echoing the ancient adage nosce the ipsum that posits the source of all happiness as lying, irrevocably, in self-knowledge. Using his new wealth and one feeble, fragmentary memory he still detains, that of a small boy at the top of the stairs in an old house reaching out his hand to an old lady on the floor below, the hero goes about his trauma in the most extravagant fashion: he acquires an entire block of apartments and populates it with actors, cats and other such props in order to physically restage the scene again and again and hopefully trigger a more substantial memory that will “cure” his identity loss.

But as every cinema-literate person knows, it’s not about what a character does, but what his actions mean. And the character’s actions in Remainder can mean a lot of things, the film being conceptually very rich. Conceptual without being dry though: the film tackles trauma, mediation, repetition, re-enactment, the unreal nature of reality, even issues of gentrification, with much humour and irony. Visually, it is a real feast: the director’s artful sense of framing, ironic mise-en-scène and the ephemeral beauty of the shallow focus alluding to a character who completely fails to see the bigger picture, make for a very polished, very accomplished first feature.

Remainder is playing today, March 22nd, at New Directors New Films in New York.

201612157_3

 

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In NYC

NYC, March 3-13

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting the 21st edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the celebrated annual showcase of the best in contemporary French film.

rendez-vous-with-french-cinema-today-2016

The Opening Night film is Valley of Love, Guillaume Nicloux’s film starring Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert who play real-life versions of themselves in a completely fictive scenario: as famous French actors Gérard and Isabelle, a long-divorced couple whose son Michael has committed suicide six months before in Death Valley. In an enigmatic letter sent to them some time after Michael’s death, he asks them to visit a series of sites in the area and claims he will appear before them at the end of the tour. Mixing mysticism and skepticism in equal degree, the film intrigues by asking some probing questions about the ultimate nature of reality and delights, in true, open-ended French fashion, by answering none.

For an introduction to the film, read my interview with Guillaume Nicloux taken at Cannes Film Festival 2015.

The exciting programme contains a number of other Cannes 2015-premiered films, including the Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard.

My King / Mon roi
Maïwenn, France, 2015, DCP, 128m

Disorder
Alice Winocour, France/Belgium, 2015, DCP, 101m

Two Friends / Deux amis
Louis Garrel, France, 2015, DCP, 102m

Winter Song / Chant d’hiver
Otar Iosseliani, France, 2015, DCP, 117m

21 Nights with Pattie / 21 nuits avec Pattie
Jean-Marie & Arnaud Larrieu, France, 2015, DCP, 115m

The Apaches / Des Apaches
Nassim Amaouche, France, 2015, DCP, 97m

Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)
Eva Husson, France, 2016, DCP, 98m

Dark Inclusion / Diamant noir 
Arthur Harari, France/Belgium, 2016, DCP, 115m

A Decent Man / Je ne suis pas un salaud
Emmanuel Finkiel, France, 2015, DCP, 111m

Fatima
Philippe Faucon, France, 2015, DCP, 79m

The Great Game / Le Grand jeu
Nicolas Pariser, France, 2015, DCP, 100m

Lolo
Julie Delpy, France, 2015, DCP, 99m

Much Loved
Nabil Ayouch, France/Morocco, 2015, DCP, 104m

The New Kid / Le Nouveau
Rudi Rosenberg, France, 2015, DCP, 81m

Parisienne / Peur de rien
Danielle Arbid, France, 2015, DCP, 120m

Standing Tall / La Tête haute
Emmanuelle Bercot, France, 2015, DCP, 119m

Story of Judas / Histoire de Judas
Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, France, 2015, DCP, 99m

Summertime / La Belle saison
Catherine Corsini, France/Belgium, 2015, DCP, 105m

Three Sisters / Les Trois soeurs
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, France, 2015, DCP, 110m

“Actors don’t interest me, I don’t make a film with an actor, it’s always the people that interest me.” An interview with Guillaume Nicloux at CANNES 2015

Guillaume Nicloux talks about his new film VALLEY OF LOVE that premiered in competition at CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2015

Knight: The last time we spoke was last year at Berlinale where you presented The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, one of my favourite films of 2014. Valley of Love is a completely different film, both in terms of subject matter and tone. If anything, it brings up some themes you drew on in La religieuse. I was wondering what attracted you to this story and how do you decide on the story you want to tell in general?

Nicloux: It’s a bit strange because I have the impression that I’m not choosing at all, I have the impression that it is being decided for me. Then I am free to accept what this triggers in me or not.  The sure thing is that my first visit to the Valley of Death had an enormous impact on me because I experienced something very powerful and very personal there, I saw my dead father appear in front of my eyes. This inspired me to write this story when I got back. And the events in my personal life influenced my conception of cinema. Starting with La religieuse I tried to achieve a more sincere intimacy by getting rid of some formats, […] certain “pretexts”: the conventions of the genre film, the intrigues of the film noir, of the political film, the black comedy – a very diverse universe but always filtered through an unconscious veil of censorship that prevented me from going straight to what I felt in my guts or in my heart that I should do. But I refuse to intellectualise my desires. This is what I do with my students at La Fémis, the film school where I’m teaching. I want to help them get access to a form of “cinema-writing” that is more automatic, less cerebral, in which we allow the moment to guide us towards something more profound that we cannot rationalise but that confronts us with something more violent or more intriguing because we don’t decide these moments. And this is what ends up in the film usually, things that are more profound and more intimate. With this film I tried to respond to this desire and change that I felt in me.

valleyoflove poster

Knight: I suppose on the level of form this translates into a desire to free yourself from the conventions of cinema and create a more liberated form of writing. 

Nicloux: It’s more about trying to have access to a form of intimacy that is more honest and perhaps more direct by getting rid of conventions that sometimes force me to lock my films in a kind of coldness or distance. In cinema I try to lie the best way I can, because this is what cinema is, telling the most sincere lies.

Knight: The theme of your new film is spirituality. Obviously the couple’s relationship takes centre stage but I had the impression that the subject you really wanted to tackle was spirituality.

Nicloux: Yes my experiences in Death Valley triggered a sort of meditation on spirituality. And also my film La Religieuse deals with the same subject but in a broader way, in a pantheistic way in which faith is not dependent on a monotheistic God. Faith is more about being connected with what is around us, a form of giving up control that allows us access to more profound things. These resonances can give birth to things that can touch us in a more powerful way. We accept to be more open if the timing is good or if we find ourselves in a place that facilitates this process. A desert is an ideal place in this sense. Also if you find yourself in the company of people whom you trust and who allow you to be yourself and be true to the story you’re telling, then you’re in for a beautiful and enriching experience.

Knight: You like mixing reality and fiction in your films. In The Kidnapping, you used the real -life persona of Michel Houellebecq and here you’re drawing on the he real-life personas  of Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu.

Nicloux:Yes, it’s in the same spirit of being more honest. The actors don’t interest me, I don’t make a film with an actor, it is the people that interest me. I made a film with Gérard Depardieu as man and Isabelle Huppert as woman. It is them that interest me. The characters belong to the script, they know their characters and internalised them. But when I shoot I’m interested in my actors as people. Making a film is about this troubling balance, this very fine and slippery boundary with a lot of interaction that creates an interesting experience where the viewer asks himself if what he is watching is the real life of the actors of whether it is the story they are acting out.  And how the actors are dealing with the intimacy they experienced 35 years ago.

valley of love 2

Knight: Does this mean that you “negotiated” the script with them?

Nicloux: Not at all, I’m not someone who likes to talk a lot. What I’m looking for is this silent communication where you don’t have to explain things, where you just trust your feelings. The moment you start explaining things you lose the spontaneity of interaction, you lose something magic. And the magic is exactly what you’re looking for when you make a film, you want to be surprised, maybe a little troubled by something that happens, situations that you couldn’t predict, to let yourself be carried away by chance events that maybe shake you a little bit.

Knight: In casting Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu, was your intention to reunite them on the big screen? The last time they appeared together was 35 years ago in Pialat’s film Loulou.

Nicloux:Not really because when I first thought of the film I thought of Ryan O’Neal for the lead role, he is a mythical figure among cinephiles. But gradually my heart opened more and I felt the need to have a stronger connection with the father of the film. And when I met Gérard, the choice was obvious, he became the very essence of the film, this connection that I needed to establish with Mosaic Canyon, with what happened in Death Valley, with my own father.

Knight: Isabelle Huppert has been in hundreds of films, 20 of which were actually presented here in Cannes. Why do you think she is the most popular French actress? And can you imagine this film without her?

Nicloux: She is the most popular actress of this generation. That’s because she is the most accomplished actress, she did a lot of theatre and she worked internationally. She has a very broad range, she can do comedy in France and drama in Argentina. She has this curiosity, this openness, this “bulimia” for discoveries. I’m incapable of imagining another film with someone else. The film is a thing of the past now, I’m already somewhere else. The only regret I have is to have met Gérard so late in life. For me meeting him was very important and I’ll do my best to work again with him in the future.

Translated from French by Dana Knight.

BERLINALE 2016.Trending:refugee docs/migration dramas;Going down:almost everything else!

With Europe facing the greatest migration challenge since World War 2, it is probably no wonder that this was the hottest point of debate at Berlinale this year. No sooner had the festival started that at the press conference for Hail, Caesar!the very first of the festival, a journalist bluntly interpellated George Clooney on his reasons for not having already joined in the humanitarian effort of solving Europe’s greatest migration crisis. What’s keeping him? !

The question was so out of context and came so out of left field (the irony of language in this case!) that it left George a bit baffled. However, after a few seconds of silence, his retort came down like thunder: Could the journalist kindly explain what concrete efforts she had made in solving said crisis?! And the ensuing dispute mixing art, film and politics to an extremely confusing effect went on for a while and set the tone for the entire 10 days: Berlinale 2016 – a very politically-charged festival. (Coincidentally, Clooney did have a meeting arranged with Angela Merkel the following day to discuss the refugee crisis, reports The Guardian).

Which is not to insinuate that this year’s Golden Bear winner, Gianfranco Rosi’s Lampedusa-set Fuocoammare was not a completely deserved win. Focusing more on the Forum and Panorama titles,  I only managed to see the film at the festival’s Closing Ceremony and was taken in by the precocious wisdom and vital charm of the central protagonist and the exceptional skill he shows at continually adapting to a conflicted world.  Although a documentary, the film plays very much like a drama and will undoubtedly seduce with the understated urgency of its political message .

BERLINALE 2016 highlights and interviews:

From COMPETITION:

L’AVENIR

1. Interview with Isabelle Huppert

2. Interview with Mia Hansen-Love

BORIS SANS BEATRICE

3. Interview with Denis Côté

24 WEEKS

4. Interview with Anne Zohra Berrached

From PANORAMA

5. Remainder – Omer Fast Interview

6. Starve Your Dog – Hicham Lasri Interview

7. I, Olga Hepnarova – Tomas Weinreb Interview

From PANORAMA DOCUMENTS

8. Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures – Randy Barbato & Fenton Bailey Interview  in Dazed & Confused

9. HOTEL DALLAS – Livia Ungur & Sherng-Lee Huang Interview – DoR magazine

From FORUM

10. YARD – Måns Månsson Interview

111. KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE – Robert Greene & Kate Lyn Sheil Interview

12. P.S.JERUSALEM – Danae Elon Interview

13. WE ARE NEVER ALONE  Petr Vaclav Interview

14. ILLEGITIMATE – Adrian Sitaru Interview – VICE Romania

15. TA’ANG – Wang Bing Interview

16. FANTASTIC – Offer Egozy Interview

GENERATION

17. MELLOW MUD – Renārs Vimba Interview

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

18. LIEBMANN – Jules Herrmann Interview (best Berlinale 2016 film discovery!)

Much Ado About Nothing:Interview with Chilean Filmmaker Alejandro Fernández Almendras

One of the most challenging films that premiered in the World Cinema Competition at Sundance this year was Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ Much Ado About Nothing, (Spanish title: Aquí no ha pasado nada), the second in a trilogy on justice (or the lack of) in present-day Chile.

Much Ado About Nothing is also screening as part of the PANORAMA section at the upcoming BERLINALE 2016.

The following interview with Alejandro Fernández Almendras was taken in January 2016 during SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. 

Dana Knight: Much Ado About Nothing is a film that is not very dissimilar, in its theme and general focus, to your previous film, To Kill A Man, that was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance two years ago. You obviously feel very strongly about the theme of justice in Chile.

Alejandro Fernández Almendras: That’s true. In the way that To Kill A Man dealt with justice for the working class, this one deals with the theme of justice for the rich. I wanted to make this film because what happened in the real case that inspired the movie was a clear case of abuse of the law and the justice system, of the privilege that money gives certain people. Much Ado About Nothing is the second part of a trilogy about justice. The third part will deal with justice for the big corporations. So if this deals with personal justice, the third film will move into the social sphere, the focus won’t be on the individual but on the corporations and the community.

alejandro-fernandez-almendras (1)

Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Fernandez Almendras

Knight: And do you think, anticipating slightly, that the conclusion to all these films will be that there is no justice because “there is no truth”. This is a striking line from Much Ado About Nothing…

Almendras: Exactly. The third film is not inspired by true events but is pretty much what I imagine, what I know is happening in the corporate world. The question I ask myself if: when you think you are fighting for something, what are you really fighting for?And how we are led to believe in things like the environment, the rights of indigenous communities, and how behind that speech and well intentions are more powerful interests at play. The whole picture this paints is not different from what any person would conclude after reading the news and living in the world. We are living in a society, in a system that is really unfair, that creates a good life for a few who achieve those levels where they know they are going to be safe in terms of social security, in terms of justice, in terms of access to education. The system is wrong and many people around the world think that. That is what want to tell in a way that is cinematic, that makes you feel frustration at what you see on screen. It is very important for me to put the viewer in that uncomfortable position and realising that things are not right.

Knight: Social injustice is widespread in the world, it’s not specific to Chile but would you say it is much worse in Chile than anywhere else?

Almendras: In Chile you have a great disparity in social status, income, that leads to differences in how people are treated. Because you have the worst case of inequality in terms of how much money the rich people make compared to poor people. In Chile we have a big debate about market loss, the fact that you can defraud a public company, send it to bankruptcy, steal millions and millions of dollars from the public funds and the punishment for that is like a slap on the wrist, probably a very small fine, nothing of serious importance. These losses were made during the time of Pinochet or made by the same people who were ruling the country at that time and who are now involved in big economic corporations. Every week we have a new case, the three major pharmacy chains control 90% of the market and they set the prices for 10 years, for the drugs that people need every month. And they make hundred of millions of dollars and no one ended up in jail. So yes, I think inequality in Chile is much worse than in other countries.

Knight: Going back to the film, while the events are based on a real life case, I assume the characters are fictionalised. How did you go about constructing Vicente and the other characters?

much ado still 1

Almendras: I have these very strong opinions about what things are and the direction they should go into. But despite that I know that I’m making films and I’m not running for a political office. So the important thing is to create scenarios that are involving enough for you to feel and understand the other side, the side you know is going to be wrong from the very beginning.  I did the same with  To Kill A Man, that guy was killing for revenge. You know he is doing a wrong thing but I wanted to understand why he was doing that. In the case of Much Ado About Nothing, I did the same thing, I created this character of Vicente as someone who has been put in a situation where he is forced by circumstances to admit something that is detrimental to him but beneficial for the bad people. So I started with that point of view and then I said I’m going to construct a character that is like a young kid today. A kid that transcends class. And you see that a lot in an upper class kid, but also in a middle class kid or even lower class: the way they relate to each other, the way they construct their relationships, the way they go about friendship and love and companionship and family. I think it’s the same everywhere you look: higher class or lower class, it’s the same. Everything has to be immediate, everything has to be clear and simple. Which is a very egotistic, selfish way of living, the instant gratification and how something is going to be useful and good for me. And not caring for anyone else. And morally these types of characters are very vulnerable to manipulation. Because if they don’t care about anyone, friends, family, etc, they will care even less for the rest of the population or for the society.

Knight: I know that in writing this script you collaborated with a lawyer, how did that go?

Almendras: I did, yes. Jerónimo (Rodríguez) is a friend, we’ve known each other for 15 years, we worked together on almost all my films, he helped me edit one and write another. And I helped him in his own endeavours of making films. He is a lawyer, he never practiced law but he knows a lot about the legal system and the thinking of a lawyer. Then we consulted with a lot of people, public defenders, prosecutors, to create a plausible, realistic, accurate story. At today’s screening there a few lawyers who came to see the film and they commented on how they face that kind of thing almost daily. One of them was a criminal prosecutor and he was saying he was hoping for the kid to not surrender, to tell the truth and what happened. But she also saw it was inevitable for the surrender to happen. […] It took us a long time to find a plausible case and decide how we’re going to cast all the parts, the script is very accurate in legal terms.…

Knight: Did the main actors contribute ideas to the creation of their characters too?Agustín Silva is a young rising star in Chilean cinema, how did you know he was the right one for the role?

Agustin Silva  film poster

Chilean actor Agustin Silva – center

Almendras: I met Agustín a month before the shooting, we had a few drinks and I knew right away. I had the experience of being a middle class kid going to a very high class school with a scholarship. So I was relating to those kinds of people in my teenage years, I know that world but I never felt part of it, I’ve always been kind of observing that. So I have the ear for the right accent, the right way to relate. It is very common in Chile to ask people what is your last name, what high school you went to, because that places you in a certain context. So when I met Agustin, I think the first question we asked each other is what high school we went to! So I immediately thought he was the kind of person I was looking for. And I pushed him to be a little more like that, not to reflect too much about the character but to let the character exist.

Knight: How about the other kids in the cast?

Almendras: The same thing, basically. Most of them are coming from rich families, they live in that world.

Knight: So they are non-actors?

Almendras: No, actually they are all professional actors, fresh out of school, most of them.

Knight: Were they troubled at all by the way you’re representing their world?

Almendras: No, because in a way it is a fair portrait. At the end of the day, because of what they do and the role they play, you’re probably judging them but the movie is not judging them. But at the beginning they are just having fun, and I think we have all been in that situation. We’ve all been partying late and drinking, dancing, doing drugs or whatever. So the movie celebrates their youth until something happens. Which changes the narrative of the film into something more serious and objective.

Knight: You’re saying the movie celebrates their youth but the opening sequence is a bit disturbing: the kids are watching a video of someone who had an accident and they are kind of laughing it off, as if it’s something amusing.

Almendras: Yes, I agree, they are watching the screen and saying things like, “What do you care, nothing really happened to him”. But they are like that, they watch videos on Youtube and the whole film is full of online interaction and watching things on the internet.

Knight: There’s a lot of social media inserted into this film.

much ado 3

Almendras: Exactly.  At the beginning they are watching a viral video and at the end of the film we see a lot of tweets coming up on the screen. And many of those tweets came from the real case that inspired the movie, it’s the same things that people wrote on social media about the case, like “let’s kill this guy”, “let’s raise enough money to kill him”, “let’s dump him somewhere”. Because Twitter and all social media are very violent. Very small worlds but very violent. Also after they are having sex they are watching a porn video, another viral video. And there’s a lot of texting. So there’s a lot of this new different layer of communication that I wanted to put in the film, to add a new layer to the narrative. Usually when texting occurs in a film, they are using it instead of a phone call. People today use a text message as a substitute for a phone call, it’s really funny. I’m wondering why we prefer to text instead of talk. It’s probably because texting creates all this parallel universe so instead of this person being 5 min with you, they are all day with you. So you got the feeling that you’re building relationships with people who seem to be there but they are not. Which is different from phoning someone. So I wanted to have this in the film to create this new narrative layer, to comment on things you see in the film, to talk about people you see in the film.

Knight: I was struck by your decision to insert the content of these text messages directly on the screen. You’re basically writing on the screen.

Almendras: Yes, I decided to go that way because it’s a new form of communication that is still not well integrated into films. It’s so different than actual, physical communication. I remember in the late 90s and early 2000 when the cell phones were starting to appear, it took movies at least 10 years to stop showing pay phones.

Knight: That’s because pay phones are so much more cinematic!

Almendras: Maybe! So most characters from movies of that period would still go to a pay phone and call someone. But narratively you would think: why didn’t that character call that person from a cell phone? And I think some filmmakers deliberately set the action of the film 10 years into the past only to avoid dealing with a cell phone! It was so new to be able to communicate with someone from anywhere. For us now it’s the same with texting. But the way I used texting in the film is different, I wanted these texts to tell part of the story and talk about something you have not seen on  the screen. I don’t know how many of my friends said to me, “this guy or this girl broke up with me over whatsapp!” or “he sent me a text saying that it’s over”. It’s so dry to send a text message to say something that is emotionally important for the other person. This type of communication is so different from what it used to be! And this is what I wanted to emphasise in the film.

Knight: I actually enjoyed seeing all these messages silently displayed on the screen, it was as if you were able to read the characters’ minds.

Almendras:  Exactly. But this changes a lot of things from a practical filmmaking point of view. Instead of having someone say “I miss you, I love you” in a scene, you have that message displayed on the screen. And I’m always curious what people are talking about in all those texts! There was this case once in the Parliament in Chile, this congressman was texting during a hearing in the Congress, he was having three separate sex conversations with three different guys. So you see this Congressman working away in the Congress, but what is going on in reality is something entirely different! So this is a medium I would like to explore more because it speaks volumes about the character, the way the character relates to other people and to the world.

Knight: Talking about the internet and social media, there is also a documentary by Werner Herzog on this topic in Sundance 2016. In an interview I recently did in Havana with NYC filmmaker Sam Pressman who knows him well, Herzog was quoted as saying: “This table is a revolutionary object because we can sit around it and have a conversation but Twitter is not!”. A very contentious, controversial statement,  just as we like them!

Almendras: (laughing) Well, I agree! Also Twitter is such a sterile form of communication, such a bad tool of communication. We created language but on Twitter we’re limited to using 140 characters. This will always end up with people fighting or misunderstanding each other. Because 140 characters is no way you can make yourself understood. And what is also disturbing is that we are using a means of communication created by people who were unable to communicate in the real world. We are using systems created by, many of them, sociopaths. Zuckerberg created a tool to judge women’s hotness in a dorm in a university, which is probably the worst environment. And we’re using the same tool to communicate with friends?Obviously we are doing something wrong!So I’m very critical of that, I don’t think it’s healthy to relate to people in this way, that’s why I used it a lot in the film.

Knight: The title of the film in Spanish translates into “Nothing happened here” but the English title is Much Ado About Nothing. Why was it important to find an equivalent expression for the English title instead of a literal translation?

much ado still 2

Almendras: Yes, the Chilean title means “Nothing really happened here” and we use it when you have a big mess and then you kind of fix it a little bit and then you say that nothing actually happened. And we have a similar expression to Much Ado About Nothing in Spanish, the literal meaning is: “all this noise cracking nuts but there is nothing inside”. In other words, all this fuss around something that is nothing in the end. Which is what happened in Chile with the legal case the film is based on: there was a lot of “noise”, a lot of tweeting, a lot of press and at the end all the kids were freed, except this person that no one cares about. So that’s why we decided to go with that title.

Knight: Basically you have a free but powerless press in Chile!

Almendras: Exactly, the press represents the same powers and what happens is this weird thing where they condemn things publicly but there is no real accountability for what they are doing.  A lot of noise and nothing really happens as a result of that.