Lost Film Work

Lost Film Work

The first half of the ’90s of the last century was the time for the first film projects…, and for absolute failures. I failed to complete any of them, but elements have survived from all that enable the memory of those video tests, voluntaristic, without means or budget, and practically without professional actors; none were assembled, and now they hold for me the beauty of ruins.

Pasión [Passion] (1990) I wrote and directed with Juan Manuel Soler. It is lost, except for the header poster, the script, and three photographs from the shooting. It was a sort of story about Jesus of Nazareth, but very kitsch, with a soundtrack that we would now call retro. We filmed it on the rooftop of my parents’ building in Valencia. The now geographer Carles Sanchis Ibor (Jesus), his partner Merche Román (Mary Magdalene), and Luis Sanchis (Child Jesus) played the main roles. Rafael Mompó – who would eventually end up at the now-defunct Espacio Moma in Valencia – also participated in the filming, and Alejandro Vila, leader of the music band Ablativo absoluto, stopped by the set.

Postemas [Abscesses] (1991), closer to video art than to filmic discourse, was a series of images of a lamb's brain, and a philosophical text full of quotes. I do not preserve any image, nor the script, just notes in my diary from that year with reflections on how to plan it. I filmed it in the kitchen of my parents' house, without sound.

Esculpirte, amar [To Sculpt You, To Love] (1992), also co-written with Juan Manuel Soler, with a lost script, but of which we began rehearsals with the actresses, our younger companions at the Faculty of Philology: Natalia Gil and Ana Alejos. We met in the premises of the Collegiate Association of Writers, on the top floor of the building on San Vicente Mártir street, No. 2, in Valencia, thanks to José Ramón Romero's efforts.

Cynthia (1993) was to be starred by the actor Javier Salinas, who would premiere our theatrical piece Como tú [Like You] at the Sala Triángulo in Madrid in 1995. The lost script was read by Juan Manuel Vera Selma, who was to participate in some way in the shooting. We contacted an actress, known to Javier, whose name I do not remember, and the four of us held an initial work meeting. I only remember that we wanted to film it in a morgue, since the male protagonist tried to take his beloved's body.

Cynthia (1995) shares the title with the previous project but had nothing to do with it, except for my fascination with Propertius's lover. I co-wrote it with the current historian and professor Javier Navarro, and it was going to star Lluís Fornés. At that time, I co-presented and co-directed, with Eduardo Oltra, the cultural program La força de les paraules (1994), on Televisió Municipal de Puçol, and we ended up involving this company. The channel was directed by the writer Mercè Claramunt, and Fernando (alias Ricardo) and Juanqui worked there, with whom we partied several times. It was Ricardo who contacted two beautiful go-go dancers, one Valencian and one Dominican, for the main roles. The director of photography would be the Portuguese writer and photographer José Manuel da Rocha Cavadas. We have the script, but shooting never started despite the various "work" meetings we held.

Between this date and the next frustrated project, I wrote the script, texts, planning, and part of the photographs for the graphic story El suañu d’Elsa [Elsa's Dream] (with real models and photographs instead of drawings, that is, what would be an old photo novel). The session was in March 2002, and it was published on pages 46 and 47 of issue 12 of the Asturian magazine ElSummum in 2004. The photographs are signed with Rosa María Rodríguez Magda, and the models were Juan Manuel Soler and the photographer Netele Fuentes. The piece is a sort of extension of my work Elsa metálico (1997), and that's why the title is in Asturian.

From the same year is another project linked to the image: the book of manually manipulated self-portraits Trànsits [Transits] (2002), carried out on a Salamanca-Valencia journey the year before its publication. It featured a prologue by the film director and writer Ramón Lluis Bande.

A year later, I started work on El Ragudo (2003); I think I keep the script and some initial shooting tests. It was a mockumentary about the famous girl on the curve.

Carlemany [Charlemagne] (2004) also remained just a project. We did some shots with a series of sculptures, and the protagonist was the character of the title, which corresponded to a puppet bought in Palermo that winter. It was a reflection on the emperor's defeat and the victory of the Basques, still pagans at the time, in the Pyrenees.

At the beginning of 2006, I started contacts with the future protagonists of Lèucada (2007): the actress and playwright Victoria Enguídanos and the actress Anna Cediel. Unfortunately, the illness and death of my father made shooting impossible until 2007. We filmed it in Vara de Quart, and the aforementioned Netele Fuentes, and the Puerto Rican writer and artist Eduardo Lalo, who was spending a few months in Valencia, collaborated in the shooting. The visual and sound recording is missing (not lost, I hope), but we never got to assemble it. I keep the script and some photographs. The story was a transposition to the present time of Sappho's farewell to her beloved on the island of Leucadia.

A year later, I proposed a graphic story again, this time about the life of Jesus Christ: Vita Christi hodie [Vita Christi Today] (2008). The idea was to involve several photographers to take images, and then organize an exhibition and a book. We carried out a couple of sessions: with Netele Fuentes and with Sebastián Romero Márquez. The former's were lost in a computer crash; from the latter, some have remained, in addition to the photos from one of the sessions, taken by Rosa María. For the role of Jesus, I counted on the actor and playwright Antonio Escámez, whom I met as a result of the performance of the play Lorca a La Nau, at the Sagunto Festival in 2008, of which I was a co-author.

Nine years passed between this date and the creation of Círculo de Ur (2017), the first cinematic piece I was able to write, direct, assemble, and premiere. It is a work that already has its own entry in my catalog.

Lost Film Work (1990-2007)