Three years after the loss of one of the most emblematic figures of Argentine culture, Favio: crónica de un director, directed by Alejandro Venturini, premieres at the Documentary Panorama.
"The first time I heard of Leonardo Favio was when my father, who is not a film lover, told me that he had seen Juan Moreira in theatres when it premiered and had been deeply moved. But it wasn’t until I was an adolescent when I saw The Dependent and was truly stunned. From there, I went deep into his cinema. Each film revealed new things, which left me speechless. Afterwards, I ended up considering him the best director in the history of Argentine cinema and one of the best directors of the world”.
When did you start creating Favio: Crónica de un director?
Back in June, 2009, I interviewed Leonardo Favio, because I wanted to make a web site with interviews of Argentine directors, but the project didn’t prosper and the interview was never published. However, I thought it was a selfish thing to keep the record of that meeting to myself, since his words were truly inspiring, and I started thinking that they would also be inspiring for any film student of professional. Then, Favio passed away and I decided to wait a reasonable and respectful time. Two years ago, I went back to that idea and started writing the script, structuring it based on the material I had.
"I thought it was a selfish thing to keep the record of that meeting with Favio to myself, since his words were truly inspiring"
How did you decide on the criteria for the edition?
Each testimony of the interview is the trigger to analyze and link it with different stages of his life. Favio mentions something and, at the same time, he gives an interesting lesson on cinema, which is later taken on by the interviewees who were together with him as director.
When and why did you decide to give Zuhair Jury the role of main narrator of the film?
It was something I didn’t choose, not directly at least, it happened during editing. Zuhair, apart from being his eldest brother, accompanied him throughout his entire career; he was a privileged witness and protagonist of Leonardo Favio’s work, apart from the fact that his prose is virtuous.
What is the cinematographic legacy you think Favio left to the new generations?
Auteur cinema but with the audience in mind. Making quality and singular films, without being elitist as in other times; making accessible films, aiming at entertaining the average audience and delighting film lovers. Favio used to say that he wanted to do for our cinema what Kurosawa had done for Japan’s cinema, and I think he did it. As a matter of fact, Nazareno Cruz and The Wolfis the most watched film in the history of Argentine cinema and it’s absolutely singular.
Which of his films is the one that moves you most, both personally and professionally?
The Dependent, no doubt. Maybe because it’s the first one I saw, though every time I watch it I rediscover something new. I’m drawn to those tender yet dark characters, I’m fascinated by the film’s somber tone. Besides, from an aesthetic point of view, it’s perfect, it has incredibly beautiful shots and the amazing performances of Walter Vidarte and Graciela Borges.
"The actors’ reenactments made us feel part of those amazing sets.”
The most touching moments of the film are when the interviewees deliver fragments of the dialogues or, in the case of Natalia Pelayo, when she reenacts Aniceto’s choreography.
It was very touching; even when the editor sent me the edition of Natalia Pelayo’s choreography of AnicetoI was moved. It was also moving watching it during the shooting; everyone in the crew was stunned watching the reenactments of Diego Puente, Juan José Camero, Graciela Borges and Edgardo Nieva. At the same time, it made us feel part of Leonardo Favio’s amazing sets.
SU 1st, 03.00 PM, PAS 1
MO 2nd, 01.30 PM, PAS 1