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This interview and also our meeting happened truly by mistake. If you ask me right now, ” James, how did you discover Carlos Atanes“. I wont remember what started our talk. Or how I found him. I will remember what came out of it. Carlos sent me some movies to review, and I thought he was beyond talented. That, he needed a place to tell the world who he was and to answer some fucked up questions. This may not offend the typical American, knowing Spain the way I do. Some of these questions were not too smart on my part, esp. since I have a ex that lives in Madrid ( sorry Christina). Esp. the Marta Solaz mention. ( she is the Spanish answer to Anna Hathway) But, when in the hell was I ever known as a great thinker or mind. I am James DePaolo, its about what can make you people enjoy us more… this is Carlos Atanes.
1. If a total stranger asked you to describe a Carlos Atanes movie, what would you tell them? Besides fuck off…
Frankly, I’ve never known how to answer it. Something like scifiweirdmetapornotronic film. I am a maverick from the 4th dimension and my films are my stigmata.
2. What kind of childhood did you have?
Contemplative. Sports bored me. I devoted my childhood to read comics, astronomy books and to watch sci-fi movies. I was always conspiring to do something fool: to build a time machine, planning a flight to Jupiter or convincing my friends for making a feature movie in Super-8 mm. Most of my mates thought I was completely mad. Later, girls thought I was a nerd… so my puberty was complicated. By the way, some girls still think I am a nerd.
3. I am thinking your ideal review is someone to say you are manipulating their way of thinking, do you intentionally create art to shock or is this normal to you?
Art must to shock, don’t you think? Anyway I don’t do anything intentionally. Deep down my films are naïve, they just show what you see. But people have a bigoted tendency to project meanings on things. And for any reason my films stimulate the pareidolia, like Rorschach inkblots. I am not guilty.
4. You live in Madrid, what do you think of America… and you can be honest? Is America a goal for you?
Of course I can be honest! I am an americanophile and I never hide it. My life has not had any sense without Thomas Jefferson, Shelley Winters, NASA, Looney Tunes, Coke, hot dogs, H. P. Lovecraft, Google, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Porn Valley. I love America because I am a grateful boy. If besides there would be bullfights then US would be the perfect place for living. We can solve it! I think Cambridge, MA, is a good location for building a bullring. Somewhere between MIT and Harvard, near from Bartley’s and their amazing burgers. Is America a goal for me? Yes! I wish to make movies in USA and one day become governor of one of your states.
5. In America we ask all our guests a fuck, kill or marry question, and they think its the highest honor they can get. You just have to tell us who you would do what to and explain…
Sinead O Conner
Women are angels who landed on Earth for make life more interesting. So I love them.
6. Spain has always had a history of religious, holy wars and the government that tries to create order through any means necessary, and feeds off confusion and chaos. Living in Madrid, what kind of freedom do you have? Do you have the freedom to speak your mind peacefully at a religious rally, or a government function without having to have a pipe bomb or a shield?
In general freedom of speech enjoys good health in Spain. Everybody can proclaim freely his own stupidity. Obviously as usual in the history of humankind there are attempts of hinder it and nowadays most of these attempts came from political correctness. But if we say “good health” is because in Spain threats of censorship are highly unpopular and quickly disputed.
7. Its 2010. Besides your movies, what is your favorite movie this year?
Inglorious Basterds. Oh, it’s from 2009. Then… Maximum Shame! This is from 2010.
8. Your movie Maximum Shame created a picture that art can be perverse, shocking and still seem innocent. What was your mindset when you made this movie, give them images that will make them react or let them create their own images I will just give them the backdrop?
The second one. In fact, I never plot a movie thinking on images. I just think on concepts. I provide ideas more than images. Images are a consequence, and they don’t obsess me. I would like to make a movie with 100 cameras. I would make the situation and ever person from the audience would choose the point of view. A kind of average between film and theater. But don’t trust in me! It’s perfectly plausible tomorrow I’ll think quite the opposite. In fact I am starting to change my mind already…
9. How did you get your start? And who were your role models?
Some of my main film references are Stanley Kubrick, David Lean and Rocco Siffredi. Most of Rocco’s 173 films have all that I consider a film must to has. Agnes’ scene in “Rocco invades Poland” or Gabriella Kerez’ pool scene from “True Anal Stories 9” are deeper than any Theo Angelopoulos’ movie and show us the human inside more accurately than any Ingmar Bergman’s film. Every movie I try to achieve more and more Rocco’s mastery.
10. Would you have sex with a girl on her period?
And what do you want to do? To wait? And think on other problems: imagine you’re polygamist and each week one of your four wives have the period consecutively. What will you do? No sex never again?… –yes, sure you have noticed this example is a mathematical fallacy.
11. In Madrid, are you familiar with American Icons examples the Larry the Cable Guy, or the Mel Gibson, I know all of you know our gift to you.. the David Hasselhoff?
I don’t know Larry. But if he’s so funny as Mel and David sure I will like him. I think Mr. Gibson and Mr. Hasselhoff must talk about making a film together. Knight Rider vs. Genghis Khan played by Hasselhoff and directed by Gibson would be a charming blockbuster full of battles. Mongolia is plenty of space for shooting astonishing scenes of KITT charging at hordes of horsemen to the rhythm of songs like Jump In My Car. Jim Carrey would be a perfect Khan. Another interesting choice is to make Mad Max vs. Knight Rider with no cars and directed by Michael Haneke in German with Austrian doubles of Mel and David. And later to shoot a remake identical in every frame with Naomi Watts and Tim Roth.
12. You ever been to a Hostel? Is the movie for real..you get lured into some sex with hot chicks and get your shit cut off…if possible could you give directions and a reference name to use to get half price entry?
You are frightening me.
13. In America, we are going through a recession. Another one at that. What is the economic culture like in Madrid?
As you know Spain prime minister JLRZ fell madly in love with Obama at first glance. JLRZ was very worried about recession in the US, and he decided to help his Platonic love. But there was a proplem! JLRZ have no fucking idea about how to improve the situation there, so he decided to do the only thing he knows how to do: make things worse here. He was successful and that’s the reason why unemployment percentage in Spain is twice as much as in USA: so, when you think your situation is bad you will can rejoice and say: at least Spain is worse!
14. Everyone has tensions, America has racial and economical…India has environmental and governmental, Spain the world knows has political agendas that clashes with religion. Do you think any of these injustices will ever end, before we do?
I will never end.
15. This is your chance to plug away and tell the world about you and how to find you..thanks Carlos
I have the right to remain silent. Anything I say can and will be used against me, so I’ll just say you can find me and my works in http://www.carlosatanes.com/ and Facebook.