One day like any other. An accidental encounter at a road coffee bar. Three ETA terrorists kill two off-duty civil guards.
Fotograma de Plata - Best Film 2008
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2008 - Official Selection - FIPRESCI Critic's Award
Festival Horizontes, Marsella - Jury's Special Mention
IFF London 2008
Cinepur Choice IFF 2008
Rotterdam IFF 2009
Göteborg IFF 2009
Cartagena IFF 2009
Colombia IFF 2009
Miami IFF 2009
Canada IFF 2009
San Francisco IFF 2009
On Sunday 2nd December 2007, I read a press article that hit me hard. The previous morning, three terrorists had killed two police officers they had come across by chance in a café. There was nothing planned about it. This film wasn’t planned either. It is a reaction film. I was writing what was supposed to be my third film, when this one struck me in the face. Without warning. I wanted to make a film that was not only cheap, but powerful and completely original. I’ve always wanted to make a film based on current news right on the spot. Something happens today and practically tomorrow I am filming it, with whatever limited means are available to me.
The film is made in 35 mm. Everything was filmed with very long focal length zoom lens. The characters and the camera are a long way from each other. There are no dialogues. The characters speak, but nobody hears what they are saying. Not in the long shots, not in the close-ups – there are a lot of those-. You can hear background noise, the sorts of things which occur during a live recording. Windows and panes of glass sometimes come between the scene and the camera; in others, we are just filming from a long way off. The settings are true to life. Filming took 2 weeks with a team of 11 people. Postproduction took 7 weeks until the final version of the film was finished. It was recorded at high speed. The raccord isn’t important, neither for lighting nor for movement. The scenes are, in this sense, dynamic and highly functional. The idea is simply to show what happens. The actors are not professionals, nor are they actors. It was filmed with normal people in their homes, dressed naturally and going about their day-to-day business. It was filmed in the street, on buses, in public places, without interfering in real life situations.
Part of the film is set in the Basque Country, the rest was shot in the Las Landas area of France.
Madrid, 5th March 2008. Jaime Rosales
“On Sunday 2nd December 2007, I read a press article that hit me hard. The previous morning, three terrorists had killed two police officers they had come across by chance in a café.”
“It was recorded at high speed. The raccord isn't important, neither for lighting nor for movement. The scenes are, in this sense, dynamic and highly functional. The idea is simply to show what happens”
“The characters and the camera are a long way from each other. There are no dialogues. The characters speak, but nobody hears what they are saying.”
“The actors are not professionals, nor are they actors. It was filmed with normal people in their homes, dressed naturally and going about their day-to-day business.”
Having studied Business at ESADE, and following several projects in the film and television industry, Jaime was awarded a grant in 1996 to study film production at the prestigious International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV) and yet another one in 1999 to study at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. On his return from Sydney, he worked as a scriptwriter for television until he founded, together with two other partners, production company Fresdeval Films in 2001.
TIRO EN LA CABEZA (2008) (BULLET IN THE HEAD)
Official Selection at the San Sebastian 2008 Film Festival
LA SOLEDAD (2007) (SOLITARY FRAGMENTS)
Un Certain Regard Official Selection at the Cannes 2007 Festival
Awarded 3 Goyas – BEST FILM – Best Director – Best Male Revelation
LAS HORAS DEL DÍA (2003) (THE HOURS OF THE DAY)
Directors’ Fortnight - Cannes 2003 – FIPRESCI International Critics’ Award
Jaime Rosales took me for lunch in mid December of 2007 as he wanted to tell me about his new film. As he proceeded to describe the main character over lunch, I started to think: What a coincidence! He sounds so much like me! What a coincidence! When he asked me to play the part of Ion, I was not surprised at all. Had he not suggested it, I would have asked him myself. Later on, when I read the script for the first time, I realised how crude the film might be. It is a cruel and conflictive film, which might leave the spectator uncomfortable and irritated, as it reveals something that we all know well inside, but none of us wants to see: a terrorist is a normal person, whether we like it or not.
Personally, the main challenge this film involved for me was to be able to combine my role as an Artistic Director and that of an Actor. What I found most difficult was to maintain the same line for the character, as the fiction was supposed to take place within very few days, whereas the shooting was spread along a longer period of time. One of the sequences I was most afraid of and which I found more difficult during the shooting of the film was the sequence after the party. It was a strange moment in which, reality and fiction fused in a funny way, making me feel naked in two senses. The relationship between colleagues has been very close, with a lot of cooperation between us. As we were a very small team, where some of us already knew each other having worked together in La Soledad (Solitary Fragments), everything run within a very familiar atmosphere. I am convinced that this has been a very special firm for all of us and that it will leave an impact in each one of us.
I would like my character to be portrayed as a man whose life is not based on murder. A man who can change in spite of all. Despite the anger of the moment, the spectator must leave the cinema with the hope that the most normal side of a man can overtake his darker side and one day he will stop killing. Personally, I am very happy to have been part of this very special and courageous project. I am convinced that my work in this film has contributed to stir the people’s conscience and make them see that things can change.
Ion Arretxe is one of the most sought alter emergent Artistic Directors of the Spanish film industry. His projects include: Éxtasis by Mariano Barroso, El Próximo oriente by Fernando Colomo, Rincones del paraíso by Carlos Pérez-Merinero and La Soledad by Jaime Rosales. He started his Fine Arts Studies at the University of the Basque Country and ended up specialising in scenography at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. He has also worked as a cartoonist for magazines Víbora and Punto y hora; as well as for various public bodies in the Basque Country. As a Director, he has made several short films, which include: La guitarra Invisible and El esqueleto de Bergamín. He is currently at the post-production stage of a documentary film about an itinerant theatre entitled Las vidas teatrales. TIRO EN LA CABEZA is his first job as an actor.