Entertainment : Of Love & Hook-ups: Director Lucio Castro on his steamy first film ‘End of the Century’

Leisure : Of Love & Hook-ups: Director Lucio Castro on his steamy first movie ‘Finish of the Century’

Director Lucio Castro

Time modifications all the things, and no one is aware of higher than queer individuals. The advances of the previous 20 years have heaped monumental advantages on the neighborhood, which begs a sure query: what if we’d had them sooner? How would life be totally different? These questions preoccupy first-time director Lucio Castro, and are the guts of his award-winning first movie, Finish of the Century. It performs aGliff August 24 earlier than a nationwide rollout.

Finish of the Century follows the vacationer poet Ocho (Juan Barbenini) whereas on the make in Barcelona. After a steamy probability encounter with the good-looking household man Javi (Ramon Pujol), he realizes the 2 have met earlier than, 20 years up to now. The attraction between the pair prompts Ocho to look at his life decisions, and picture what may have been–the life he may have had–if the 2 had met at a unique time.

Castro grew up in Buenos Aires earlier than shifting to New York to check design. After a profitable profession in males’s trend design, he started making brief movies and writing screenplays as a interest. Finish of the Century marks a end result of years of research and work; it’s Castro’s debut as a function movie author/director.

I have to confess I used to be a bit nervous going into the opening scenes. I don’t suppose there’s any dialogue for the primary ten minutes. You are taking some very huge dangers as a director on this movie. The place did the story come from for you?

I’d made a brief that was in Cannes. I spent a summer season in Barcelona, so I wished to make a film right here. I’d had two options that I nonetheless hope to make, however they each take extra actors. One’s set in Argentina and it’s a giant forged of aged actors—far more troublesome to make. So I wished to make one thing with the thought of simplicity, with a really small funds and a really environment friendly means of filming. With that concept in thoughts, a yr and a half in the past, I began writing the story. I began with a person arriving in a city he doesn’t know. I principally began writing the story with out the place it was going in any respect. He involves city, seems round, meets a man. They’ve intercourse. Then I puzzled what in the event that they met earlier than?

The story in fact, it’s in a roundabout way autobiographical. The one autobiographical half is with Ocho & Sonia, after they describe the break-up. One thing very comparable occurred to me a few years in the past in Bolivia. The remainder relies in my expertise—relationships with pals and stuff—however nothing is instantly my story.

Juan Barberini as Ocho

The opposite factor that’s instantly obvious is there’s a right away sexual cost. As quickly as we meet Ocho, we all know he’s a person that is aware of intercourse. There’s one thing about these scenes that intimates that. As a director, how do you go about setting that temper?

That’s a pleasant level. I undoubtedly had it in thoughts. There’s one thing inherent about…if you’re a lone traveler, intercourse will come up in some form of means. At night time, assembly somebody, it comes up. Ocho is an attention-grabbing observer. He seems at different individuals, he seems at structure. Then he sees Javi strolling on the balcony. From them on, they may discover one another once more. So sure. I undoubtedly really feel like I wished to have Ocho alone for some time, and the film begins with out quite a lot of dialogue. After I’m alone in a metropolis, I’m very conscious of what occurs to me. After I’m with somebody, the town turns into a background. So I wished to make it clear that as an observer you might be far more conscious. When he’s with Javi, it’s extra about what they are saying and what they do.

It’s attention-grabbing you describe Ocho as an observer. I felt that means watching. All through the movie, there’s additionally a sense of voyeurism.


We really feel like we’re simply invisible watching individuals wander the home or by life. You want to make use of lengthy, unbroken takes. That’s most spectacular within the rooftop scene. How do you go about directing your actors in these scenes in order that they’re pure, and in order that the scene by no means will get boring?

[The rooftop scene] was a really arduous scene to shoot. I wished that mild. I wished the sky to vary to nighttime, so in the event you really quick ahead that scene, the sunshine could be very darkish and it modifications colours all through. I wished the sky to create the thought of time. So for that, it must be one take. If I lower forwards and backwards between them, the sky wouldn’t match. Additionally, to me, I discover it all the time extra attention-grabbing to have a look at the character who’s not talking. So by doing this shot the place they’re each in the identical body and never chopping from one to the opposite, I give the viewers the possibility to see what he’s pondering.

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When it comes to the actors, they’re very sensible individuals, sensible actors. They met a day earlier than we began capturing to check out their chemistry. They’re additionally very totally different, the Spanish actor, Ramon, who performs Javi had super-rehearsed his scenes by himself. Juan, who performs Ocho, solely memorized the scene the day earlier than. He learn it thrice and knew all of the dialogue. So it was a phenomenal probability encounter of time and sky and issues understanding. We did 5 takes as a result of it was getting too darkish to do one other. So we ended up utilizing the final take.

The actors even have some very intense intercourse scenes. They’re very frank, and it’s the voyeuristic aspect once more. It looks like simply watching two individuals have intercourse. How do you go about directing the actors in a scene the place they’re fully bare and simulating intercourse?

Mainly for the intercourse scenes, there was one factor I knew I wished. There are a lot of methods of capturing a intercourse scene. Some administrators say “Okay, fake such as you’re having intercourse and I’ll do some pictures. Simply ignore me.” And actors all the time discover that tremendous tiring.


It’s very tiring. It’s very awkward. So I [told them] “You’re going to see this half. That is the body. Simply go all out in 15 seconds.” They usually actually favored that. They felt like they knew the place the shot was, what elements we may see. They have been each completely bare in fact. And the one remark I instructed them was in intercourse—at the least when I’ve intercourse—don’t attempt to look fairly. A clumsy face is nice. A bizarre face is ok throughout intercourse. Some individuals get possessed by a bizarre beast, so let that come out. Don’t fear about wanting scorching or wanting fairly. Do one thing extra animalistic. That route actually took, they usually did a extremely good job. We additionally shot these scenes very quick. They have been so choreographed that they went tremendous quick.

That’s nice. In a means, this movie jogged my memory of Frank Capra’s film It’s A Fantastic Life. I assume you’ve seen it…

I like it.

It’s nice. Which will sound unusual, however each movies are, in a means about males reflecting on the alternatives of their lives. Not simply that, however the way in which his decisions have an effect on others. That is one thing everybody does, however for queer individuals, a lot has modified. Do you end up haunted by your individual decisions, or the way in which instances have modified?

Yeah, for positive. Precisely what you stated: a lot has modified up to now 15-20 years. And calling the film Finish of the Century is supposed to distinction 2019 with 1999, ? Particularly in homosexual tradition, the concern of AIDS was so scary within the 90s. Now, it’s tremendous. There’s PrEP, ? Adopting children, being pleased with being out…being homosexual up to now ten years has fully modified. It’s very totally different. And about decisions, for positive. I’m most fascinated by, when meet anyone it’s all the time a matter of destiny. It’s not provided that you just like the individual or not, however folks that I’ve met earlier than, if we have been in a unique time in our life, we perhaps would have been collectively.

So I favored the thought of a pair may have labored, however for some cause, we weren’t in the appropriate time and it didn’t work. It’s form of wonderful how one selection can drastically change the course of your life. We wish to suppose we’re answerable for our life, however really one selection fully modifications the route. For positive, the film is a gaze into what may have been. Our lives are the sum of issues that occur by selection or at random. They’re small, however they construct up and creat a life.

In It’s a Fantastic Life, George Bailey realizes the worth of his life and his decisions.


In your movie, issues are far more ambiguous. Do you consider Ocho as a lonely character? Or is he only a loner?

Hmm. I don’t actually see him as a lonely character. He’s at a time in his life—in his 40s, he’s simply damaged up with somebody after 20 years. He’s a poet, however he works in advertising and marketing for an airline. So I do suppose he’s within the time of his life the place he’s very contemplative that he’s midway by his life. What’s life? He’s very contemplative, however I wouldn’t say he’s a lonely character. However I do suppose within the second, on this journey because it’s occurring…he actually needs to be with somebody, and he needs to attach.

Directing a movie is a monumental process, particularly the primary time. In reflecting on making the movie, and by yourself life, what did you understand about your decisions in life?

That’s a really good query. I all the time, all the time wished this second to occur. I’ve all the time cherished movie. I studied movie earlier than I studied trend. I made brief movies, I wrote lengthy movies. This film was really quick and candy to make. I used to be in full management. I wrote it. It was a tremendous course of. However, the method that led me right here was really quite a lot of work, quite a lot of rejection. So it’s only a sum of issues. And sure, it’s fully and easily a dream true within the whole sense of the phrase. It’s good that it’s a results of all of the years of writing stuff, sending stuff to festivals, making shorts, displaying stuff to pals, and naturally, watching motion pictures. It’s a direct consequence of all these things. However this film was very straightforward to make.

What’s subsequent for you then?

I’m writing a script to be shot in New York in an identical scale. And I’m nonetheless shifting two different initiatives I made alongside. So one small scale, one medium scale, and one massive scale.

Finish of the Century performs aGliff August 24. A nationwide rollout in main cities will observe. 

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