Cannes title ‘The Beasts’: Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s short comments

From the 100-second tracking shot to the throbbing music that opens “The Realm” to the slugfest finale of “May God Save Us,” Oscar-nominated Rodrigo Sorogoyen (“Mother”) filmed some of the most exciting shots in recent Spanish Movie theater.

His status as a filmmaker cemented by a series, Movistar Plus’ Riot Police, The Beasts (“As Bestas”), premiering in Cannes, is considered one of, if not the, most anticipated Spanish film of the year 2022.

From a brief synopsis, it might seem like a return to one of Sorogoyen’s central obsessions: violence. But this is most likely a half truth. Based on true events, The Beasts, written by Sorogoyen and co-author Isabel Peña, follows a married couple, Vincent and Olga (Denis Menochet and Marina Fois), who have settled in a small village in Galicia, in Spain’s green northwest. They grow vegetables and renovate abandoned shacks.

However, as they disrupt established village power structures, their presence is resented, particularly by brothers Xan and Lorenzo. When the couple refuse to support a wind farm that would be a windfall for the villagers, tensions rise to the point of no return.

However, Sorogoyen’s supposed works on violence are all quite different statements. 2016’s “May God Save Us” was about men’s inability to control their violence, “Riot Police” about their struggle to live up to society’s expectations of what it means to be a man . From what is known about The Beasts, the focus shifts yet again.

“The Beasts” is sold by Latido Films and produced from Spain by Ibon Cormenzana, Ignasi Estapé y Sandra Tapia at Arcadia and Sorogoyen and Eduardo Villanueva at Caballo Films and in France by Thomas Pibarot, Jean Labadie and Anne-Laure Labadie at Le Pacte .

diversity snapped Sorogoyen for a few minutes in Cannes to ask what audiences can expect from such an awaited film.

A lot of people might say that in The Beasts you come back to the subject of violence. But from what we know of the film, that appears to be part of a far larger resonant theme: hoe people negotiate confrontation….

I’m very glad you say that and like me and Isabel Peña think! That’s one of the central themes of the film and I think it becomes quite evident in later sections. It would be very boring if Isabel and I always did the same film.

Her cinema often takes genres or even subgenres and twists or develops them into new effects, as in May God Save Us, a procedural film-turned-vengeance thriller. Could “As Bestas” be the western you said you would write a few years ago?

Yes, it starts out like a western and then evolves. But it starts out like a western, or western subgenre: the misfit taking on locals who question the way he is and thinks. There’s a bar that’s like the saloon in a western town where the worst of the elements reside.

And does that work right down to shot setups?

Yes, when it came to filming those early scenes, I decided to accentuate that Western feel by shooting with a camera on a tripod or with slow speed driving and landscape panoramas, an almost archaic style of photography that is very different from mine. have done until today. I’m fascinated by subgenres. This is the time to subvert genres. Every time I see a movie where a director tries to do that, he has my vote…

The very title “As Bestas” is reminiscent of Galicia’s Rapa the Bestas fiesta in Salbucedo, where locals wrestle wild horses to have their manes clipped and branded. I believe the film opens with scenes inspired by the event. But is this somehow an allegory – submission through violence to establish authority?

I don’t want to reduce it to one sentence. But the Rapa das Bestas has an extraordinary confluence of themes, beauty in its aesthetic and also dominance through violence. However, the fiesta is beneficial for the horses. They are deloused and can then run wild again. Cannes title ‘The Beasts’: Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s short comments

Charles Jones

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