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Monday, September 26, 2022

Venice Film Festival:Nicolás Giacobone, the Argentine brain behind “Bardo”

Much of the imagery of Bardthe film by Alejandro González Iñárritu that competes for the Golden Lion, and that Griselda Sicilian filmed in Mexico, is due to another Argentine talent. Nicholas GiacoboneOscar winner for co-writing the screenplay for Birdmanreturned to work with the director of the reborn.

Nicolás was until this Saturday at the Lido, accompanied by Mariana Genesio Peña. And now that the premiere is over, we talk at the Lido.

Netflix director Ted Sarandos himself takes a selfie at the "Bardo" gala.  Above, Nicolás, and semi-hidden, Mariana Genesio Peña.

Netflix director Ted Sarandos himself takes a selfie at the “Bardo” gala. Above, Nicolás, and semi-hidden, Mariana Genesio Peña.

-Tell me how the idea for the script for “Bardo” came about: who did it come from, did Alejandro call you to think about it together, how was it?

-The process of Bard It was different from all the scripts I worked on. Alejandro had some images in his head, and in the first meetings he confessed to me that he assumed that those images were surreal reconstructions of conflicts that belonged to his life.

From then on, the weeks we spent together taking notes for the script became a mix of personal confession and developing those memories/dreams through the lens of fiction. I feel that the screenwriter’s job in a project as personal as this was to take each piece of that material made up of anecdotes and dreams and turn it into scenes that organically belong to the story of Silverio, the film’s protagonist.

Griselda Siciliani, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Daniel Giménez Cacho, main performers and director of "Bardo".  AP Photo

Griselda Siciliani, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Daniel Giménez Cacho, main performers and director of “Bardo”. AP Photo

-I guess they worked on the script in the midst of a pandemic. Was it by Zoom, or were you able to travel to Mexico?

-Most of the script was written before the pandemic. We met several times in Los Angeles and Mexico. Production was ready to go when the pandemic started and had to be delayed for a year. That extra time helped us to continue adjusting a script that had a complex construction from the beginning.

friend or partner

-Do you consider Alejandro a friend, or is he a very good co-worker?

-Alejandro is a friend, without a doubt. We’ve known each other for a long time, and we collaborated on three projects, and working together was always very good, even fun, as every script writing should be. If there is no game, it is not worth it. It is true that the script is the only stage in the making of a film where there is no anxiety, where fortunes are not spent every day, and it can be done in pajamas.

Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bó, with their Oscars for "Birdman".

Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bó, with their Oscars for “Birdman”.

-Now yes, the premiere is over, tell me in your own words what are the issues that “Bardo” addresses.

-It is not an easy film to define. The simple, anecdotal answer would be: Bard recounts the intimate journey of Silverio Gama, a well-known Mexican journalist who has lived in the United States for several years, a country where he succeeded as a documentary filmmaker, and who, with the excuse of a prestigious award, has to return to Mexico, without knowing that this simple visit would going to push an existential limit.

But the challenge from the beginning was to tell a story where both time and space could poetically fracture, and where dreams somehow coexist with the reality of the protagonist.

The film develops issues such as identity, both family and national, success, guilt, both religious and family, the history of Mexico in relation to Mexico today, the relationship between Mexico and the United States, mortality, family ties , without defining them, without the intention of finding truths, but describing them in their confusion. We wanted the film to be a state of mind.

The Zocalo.  There, the director of "The Revenant" gives instructions on the filming of "Bardo" to Daniel Giménez Cacho.

The Zocalo. There, the director of “The Revenant” gives instructions on the filming of “Bardo” to Daniel Giménez Cacho.

How Griselda arrives

-Griselda has a leading role.

-Griselda has an essential role for the film, and she does an incredible job.

-How did Alejandro get to her? Did you have any participation in the election, in the casting?

-Alejandro was looking for very particular qualities for the character of Lucía, Silverio’s partner, and he was having a hard time finding the right actress. At one point in the casting, he was interested in meeting Argentine actresses and that is how he came to Griselda. The only thing I told her was that I had worked with her in the last elvis and that he certainly admired her as an artist. Then she had to earn the part on her own.

Griselda Siciliani, when on Thursday, September 1, she arrived at the world premiere of the film.  ANSA photo

Griselda Siciliani, when on Thursday, September 1, she arrived at the world premiere of the film. ANSA photo

-During the filming, were you present on the set? Some days? Never?

-I was not on the set, because it was in the midst of a pandemic and the protocols were very strict. But I always kept close to my cell phone, and if I had any questions, Alejandro would call me.

-Alejandro, do you change things on the fly on the set, or are you strict with the original script?

-The idea is always that the director arrives on the first day of filming with a script worked down to the smallest detail. Then obviously there is room for surprise on set, since a movie is not made until it is shot. The script is a detailed guide to a work of art that has not yet been executed. But in my collaborations I never found moments in the films that were very far from the original version on paper.

All together.  At the photocall, prior to the press conference... Nicolás, the tallest on the right.  AP Photo

All together. In the photocall, prior to the press conference… Nicolás, the tallest on the right. AP Photo

-It seems that you have a contract with Netflix: you wrote the script for “Bardo”, the one for “Hail”…

No, I don’t have a contract with anyone. It’s a coincidence that both movies ended up on Netflix.

-Are you writing something?

-I’m always writing something, be it a book or a script, because if not, the days have no meaning. I don’t really like to talk about what I’m currently writing, because I still don’t know if it’s going to end well, or if it’s going to end at all. I have a couple of projects already written to be produced in the United States, and one for Argentina, of which the only thing I can say is that it is a musical film. This year I also published a novel in Spain, Bum Bum bumwhich will be published in Argentina next year.

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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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