Growing up in Lima during the ’80s, Cayetana is an only child who spends her days taunting the housekeepers who look after her and communing with her imaginary friends – a host of long-dead Peruvian heroes. What upsets the nine-year-old girl most is not the threat of homegrown terrorism, but rather the news that her wealthy, valium-becalmed mother is going to have another baby. Convinced her sibling’s birth will bring about her own demise, she begins to morbidly act out her resentments.
Deftly weaving socio-political themes into a seriocomic coming-of-age story, filmmaker Rosario García-Montero makes her feature debut with this unique film about childhood, family, history and the stories we tell ourselves about all three. [Synopsis courtesy of Los Angeles Film Festival]
[indieWIRE invited directors with films in the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competitions at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival to submit responses in their own words about their films. These profiles are being published through the beginning of the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival. To prompt the discussion, iW asked the filmmakers about what inspired their films, the challenges they faced and other general questions. They were also free to add additional comments related to their projects.]
“The Bad Intentions”
Executive Producers: Monika Weibel, Juan Carlos Belaunde
Producers: Benito Mueller, Wolfgang Mueller, Paul Typaldos
Screenwriter: Rosario García-Montero
Cinematographer: Rodrigo Pulpeiro
Editor: Rosario Suárez
Cast: Fatima Buntinx, Katerina D’Onofrio, Paul Vega, Kani Hart, Melchor Gorrochátegul, Jean Paul Strauss
Music: Patrick Kirst, Rosario García-Montero
Responses courtesy of “The Bad Intentions” director Rosario Garcia-Montero
Your movie: In 140 characters or less, what’s it about?
Cayetana’s world collapses when she finds out her mother is pregnant, so she locks herself in a room and declares: “The day the baby is born, I will die.”
OK: Now tell us what it’s really about…
It’s about how fear of the new can become very frightening.
A key theme that stays off-screen…
I make movies because I don’t know what else to do. I studied film in Peru, then went to study more in New York and stayed there for 10 years. I wanted to make a story about a beautiful but painful childhood. In Peru, there are lot of films that portray stories about terrorism; my film takes place in that period but it’s really in the background – in the “off space” – and I think it works in a silent way. You feel that the terrorists are always around the corner, but you dont see them.
The biggest challenge…
In film school you learn how to make shorts, but nobody trains you on how to transition to features. I made a short that screened at Sundance in 2004 called “Are You Feeling Lonely?” and look at me now – a hundred years later – finishing my first feature!
Not a classic heroine…
I think the LA Film Festival audience will like the main character. Cayetana’s imagination and her point of view are the keys to the story. She is an outsider who feels marginalized and irrelevant. Cayetana is not a classic heroine or full of virtue, but is instead a mixture of innocent wickedness. She is both good and bad: a totally volatile and unpredictable character who generates a sense of empathy and rejection. Combined with absurd situations, her solitude and sadness give the story a very distinct deadpan humor.
Check out these prior participants in the Los Angles Film Festival, courtesy of SnagFilms [Disclaimer: SnagFilms is indiewire’s parent company]
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