Madrid through the films of Jonás Trueba. A conversation with the director about his creative processes and the links between his cinema and the city.
On the occasion of the première of La Virgen de Agosto (The August Virgin) during the summer of 2019, Madrid Film Office presents the audiovisual work “Un paseo por el Madrid de Jonás Trueba” (“A stroll through the Madrid of Jonás Trueba”), a conversation with the director about his creative processes and the relationship between his films and the city of Madrid.
Produced by Los Ilusos Films and shot in Madrid during the summer of 2018, with the festivities of San Cayetano, San Lorenzo and la Virgen de la Paloma as a backdrop, Jonás Trueba’s fifth film becomes part of the filmography of a director who has portrayed the city with curiosity and great fondness in almost all of his works. From the sentimental comings and goings of the protagonist of Todas las Canciones Hablan de Mí (All the Songs Talk about Me) (2010) through Las Vistillas Gardens and the Quevedo area, to the protagonists of La Reconquista (The Reconquest) (2016) who fall in and out of love in the area around the Cuesta de los Ciegos, to the characters of Los ilusos (The Wishful Thinkers) (2013) as they drift through the narrow streets of Lavapiés, his cinema has explored Madrid with an attentive look at its spaces, capturing its atmospheres and bearing witness to its changes.
His is a very peculiar Madrid, which emerges from the encounter between the places through which the author moves in his day-to-day life and the spaces that he finds in his creative drifting, accompanied by friends and colleagues such as Miguel Angel Rebollo, his art director. A Madrid that finds its starting point in Las Vistillas Gardens and its favourite settings in the popular neighbourhoods of Lavapiés and La Latina, to which he returns again and again. The August Virgin also takes place in these locations, as the main character strolls through Madrid in the summer as if she were a tourist in her own city. A perfect excuse to rediscover some of the city’s most iconic places and, above all, to revisit some of the filmmaker’s usual haunts, all dressed up for the occasion.
A cinema of drifting and conversations that reflects the identity of a city that, according to the director, lends itself to the idea of getting lost in its streets. A city that he sets out to discover before each production, in search of spaces and sensations, and which he unexpectedly stumbles upon in the editing room when he reviews images that have been touched by a reality that the director has invited to participate in the final result, transforming it and enhancing it.
We were keen to take a stroll with Jonás Trueba to chat about all this. The audiovisual work that we present below emerged from that encounter, in which the director talks about his relationship with the urban and human fabric of Madrid, his fascination with the light and skies of the city, his creative processes, how he approaches the production of his films and his way of understanding cinema, or at least his own cinema. As the conversation was quite lengthy, the video is accompanied by a transcription of his statements, ordered according to the topics addressed.