A FANTASTIC WOMAN
Interview With Sebastian Lelio
How did you conceive A FANTASTIC WOMAN?
I like to think that the film, like Marina, its central character, is not
afraid of pleasure and like
her, has a striking and shiny surface. It tries to combine the narrative and the
visual pleasure in
games of appearances that want to captivate. A sort of Trojan horse loaded with
What is your crusade, or your challenge, as the director of A FANTASTIC WOMAN?
I would like the viewer to end up intimately tied to Marina. So, regardless of
his or her beliefs,
values, or vision of the world, watching her so much on screen, the viewer ends
up feeling like
her. And from empathizing with her so much, the viewer wants to see her survive
Film invites us to feel like others, to experiment emotions that are often new
to us, and these
discoveries occur not within the films, but within the viewers themselves. Film
prepares us for
life and allows us to explore our spiritual elasticity. I would like the viewer
to surrender him or
herself to a challenging journey, and to do so with open arms. I would also like
the viewer to feel
that he or she has seen something beautiful. To feel that he or she was in
contact with beauty.
What has the journey from Gloria to A FANTASTIC WOMAN been like?
I feel that in some ways this film is a more complex construction than Gloria
is several films at the same time. But in spite of the fact that A FANTASTIC
WOMAN exists in
a different cinematographic territory that operates far beyond realism, it has,
just as with Gloria,
a higher inclination towards questions than towards answers. At the same time,
it examines and
exalts a powerful female character, yet for several reasons, A FANTASTIC WOMAN
more than a film about a woman.
At a moment in time in which the transgender issue is being discussed around
where on the map is A FANTASTIC WOMAN?
I don't like judging while filming. I don't like looking down when filming,
feeling that the
characters are wrong or inferior to me. I need to situate myself in a place from
which I can
understand them, even the antagonists. When we began writing this film, the
hadn't exploded in popular culture like it did a year and half ago. Suddenly,
figure moved from a misunderstood marginality to installing itself in a central
place in our
current collective imagery. I think that the film communes intimately with its
identity. In Spanish, the word that is used to refer to sexual identity is the
same one that is used
to allude to narrative style: genre. In this sense, the film itself is
"trans-genre". It's a romance
film, a ghost film, a fantasy film, a film about humiliation and revenge, a
document of reality, a
character study. The identity of the film itself fluctuates, it doesn't set, it
doesn't stop, and it
refuses to be reduced to one single thing. The fact that it can't be explained
in any single way is
perhaps one of A FANTASTIC WOMAN'S most contemporary aspects.
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