«I wanted to show the band without being nostalgic about it»

One Hundred Paths is the second part of this documentary about Suárez -the first one, Entre dos luces, was presented at the 31st edition of the Festival- where Fernando Blanco, the director and a band's follower, compiles images as is it were a family album: a silent camera who captures the group playing live, hanging out, staying at hotels and walking around the cities.  
 
Exactly as in Entre dos Luces, One Hundred Paths shows a very genuine approach to the band from the camera. There is a found footage atmosphere in what is seen. How did you collect and select the material?

In the case of this second part, there is another look that is, mostly, the look of Pablo Córdoba, Gonzalo Córdoba's brother and the band's guitar player. He went to Spain on tour with them and documented it all. In addition to that footage, there is plenty of material shot by fans and the footage we shot with our friends and followers at Mar del Plata International Film Festival, at Konex and in Chile. Another difference is that, in this case, we had over twice as much material in several formats.
 
 
 
 
Disconnected from the classical documentary format, the film does not incorporate testimonies and voices that do not belong to the band's dynamics. There is a change of registry in terms of what is possible, as in the documenting of how the band spends their free time on tour. What was it that interested you the most about that way of making a documentary?

My favorite documentaries are those by the Maysles brothers, D.A.  Pennebacker and the more contemporary David Markey. In those, instead of a lineal narrative of historical facts, off-screen voiced narratives and interviews, there is a camera witnessing isolated moments that demand the spectator to take part in a deeper way. I like the situation of feeling “adrift”, which makes the film sensorial, rather than a mental process.
 
Many documentaries about rock bands try to construct an epic perspective about the group. In One Hundred Paths there is no room for heroics. How did you manage to resist that temptation when approaching a cult band like Suárez?
 
I watch documentaries about rock or music in general and I see they always have this same fixed structure including emotional scenes, depressing scenes and bittersweet endings.  If I wasn't such a melomaniac, they would make me sick in the stomach. I don't like pretentious films. The most important thing for me is to show a band that existed twenty years ago without being nostalgic about it. That doesn't mean it lacks sensitivity, it's just that that arises naturally. I don't like textbook effectism.

From your perspective, what was so singular about Suárez that attracted you in the 90's?

For me, Suárez was the most interesting band in many senses, not only musically. There was a genuine artistic search. They have something other artists lack sometimes, which is being truly concerned with their work's concept. Every album is unique as regards sound and aesthetics. Every show was unique. Besides, they had a more low-profile attitude than the rest of their contemporaries. They were one of the first bands to self-manage instead of waiting for the “appropriate” situations to record. And, above all, they have beautiful, perennial songs.

 

Gustavo Toba

 

Screenings
Today, tue 21, 10.30 pm, ALD 2
Wed 22, 7.50 pm, ALD 2
Thu 23, 2.30 pm, ALD 2

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