Sunday, 17 May 2015

Interview: Xurxo Chirro


    I contacted director Xurxo Chirro a couple of months ago when I was writing about 'Un impulso colectivo' and needed to track down a way of seeing Une histoire seule. So, when I realised that his film Vikingland (which I had already seen) was screening at Iberodocs, I contacted him again and asked whether he had the time to answer some questions about the film via email - he kindly agreed, and the resulting interview has been published over at Eye for Film (here).

    Where I've had the opportunity to interview directors in the past month, besides asking about the specific film they're promoting, I've also asked about 'el otro cine español' (obviously a topic of ongoing interest for me). In this case, I also asked about a more regional phenomenon - New Galician Cinema (Novo Cinema Galego). I've seen a number of films pertaining to this group but they were presented in isolation, so I don't know very much about the group collectively or how it came into being - i.e. why has there been this cinematic flourishing in the region. So the interview was enlightening for me in that context. But Xurxo's comment about 'el otro cine español' being like an archipelago with filmmakers either working alone or in smaller clusters (rather than a collective movement) also chimes with what I observed in Barcelona, and some of what filmmakers there said in response to similar questions on the general topic (in essence, I think there was another collective cluster detectable among certain films at the D'A Festival this year, in terms of filmmakers who are actively collaborating with each other and who share perspectives and cinematic attitudes). 
    As I've said on here before, I find the overall shape of 'el otro cine español' (as it is written about in Spanish publications) difficult to approach in an analytical way because the range of filmmakers included is broad and unwieldy. My method of breaking it down into a manageable starting point has been to concentrate on the documentaries, but I'm now wondering whether it might be more useful to identify a few of the concentrated clusters of filmmakers and use them as a starting point. I don't think this particularly contradicts what I've written so far on the subject; it is a refinement of my perspective and methods. But I will ponder this some more while I write up things from Barcelona - and I also have a specific topic I want to explore in relation to documentaries by filmmakers such as Víctor Moreno and Pablo Llorca, among others - so this won't be an immediate change in focus, but I may start to change my approach.