Bombon: El Perro
About the director
"Bombon: El Perro" is the sequel to my previous film "Minimal Stories" in the sense that I am working again with simple characters interpreted by non-actors and narrated in a minimalist style.
Perhaps talking about simple characters is a simplification in itself. To be honest, there are no simple characters: the interior universe of the humblest Ecuadorian peasant is as unfathomable as that of a professor of philosophy. The difference rests on the fact that the latter meditates and communicates mainly through words, while the former communicates in a more elemental way, through gestures and silences.
In films, I have always preferred gestures rather than texts. A certain regard, a silence, a tiny grimace revealed by a close-up communicates with greater force than the rhetoric of words. And that is what happens with the so-called "simple" characters: you comprehend them through their eyes.
I believe that is the point when cinema takes on the great legacy of painting. The defeated expression of Phillip VI in the last portraits Velazquez painted tells us more about the king's tragedy than all the volumes that could have been written on the subject. In "Bombon: El Perro" I worked with non-actors again. This comes from experiences I had during my career as advertising director, while working with real people. I have also been influenced by many contemporary independent films that walk the thin line between documentary and fiction.
Generally speaking, I'm more attracted by documentaries than by fiction, by biographies more than novels. Because I believe that working with real people, in real places, and with real light diminishes the manipulation and deception that cinema inevitably involves.
On a very basic level, cinema is deception. That man running is not really running. They are still pictures projected with intervals of darkness. Only a physiologic deficiency -persistence of vision- makes me see them in continuity depicting a running man. Should the nervous system be perfect, cinema would not be possible and therefore cinema is born from a deficiency. From there on, everything continues to be a trick. The ships participating in a sea battle are not ships, the prince is not a prince, and lovers kissing are not actually in love (at least not with each other& ).
On the other hand, I have always been attracted by the fact that in documentaries -especially the dramatic images of war documentaries- nobody pretends to be someone they are not. Documentaries have the strength of being close to the real thing.
I wondered whether it was possible to tell a fictional story that, like the old quilts grandmas used to make with pieces of different materials, could be told with pieces of reality, with real pieces. A story in which people are mostly what they "are" and not what they "pretend to be". Thus the origin of working with real people under one condition: not pretending to be actors - because in any case, they would be bad actors- but themselves.
The people who perform in "Bombon: El Perro" are exactly like those characters. They have other jobs and live in other places but are essentially the same: their souls are alike.
The idea is that moments -true pieces- emerge from that mix. One example: the fascinated expression in Juan Villegas-character's face when four hundred people applauded him for winning a trophy at the dog exhibition after having lived in a deserted gas station on an equally deserted road for twenty years, is intense and true, because it is the same fascinated expression of Juan Villegas -the man- a person who receives the applause of four hundred people after having spent the last twenty years parking cars in the loneliness of a parking garage.
The situation is different but the feeling is the same. If the camera can capture it, we are facing