Interview: Mariana Sanguinetti, director of All Over the Place


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All Over the Place is a new kind of intimate filmic romance, looking at loneliness and human relations. We talked with the director of the film, Mariana Sanguinetti to learn more about how the film was made and the thoughts behind this intimate and romantic story.In All Over the Place, the protagonist, Jimena, is trying to deal with her break-up. However, this is depicted in a quite humorous and intimate manner. What made you want to tell the story in this way? All Over the Place is a new kind of intimate filmic romance, looking at loneliness and human relations. We talked with the director of the film, Mariana Sanguinetti to learn more about how the film was made and the thoughts behind this intimate and romantic story. 

All Over the Place is a new kind of intimate filmic romance, looking at loneliness and human relations. We talked with the director of the film, Mariana Sanguinetti to learn more about how the film was made and the thoughts behind this intimate and romantic story. 

In All Over the Place, the protagonist, Jimena, is trying to deal with her break-up. However, this is depicted in a quite humorous and intimate manner. What made you want to tell the story in this way? 

I really wanted to film something that was very intimate, because to me it’s really moving when actors reach a high level of intimacy. One feels almost like they are spying on the characters, and that’s what I look for as a spectator of a movie. In fact, I think that acting is mainly that - someone being deeply in touch with an intimate zone.  

I see scriptwriting in the same way. Intimacy sometimes leads to humour. No one is judging you when you’re on your own, so you can ask yourself ‘What am I doing?’. Not in an intellectual or psychological way ('Why am I doing this? What’s wrong with me?'); but with an attentive sense of humour, (‘What’s this? It’s insane!’). I think that this particular situation has a lot of humour hidden within. 

This is a film which most people can relate to. Were you aiming for that from the beginning, and if so, how did this idea come up? 

It wasn’t my main intention, but since screening the film, many people have told me they could relate to it.  

I think there are people that identify with All Over the Place, not because they actually lived the scenario of leaving a message in someone's apartment, but because it’s a fantasy. It’s much easier to relate to shared fantasies than actual experiences. Break-ups are a perfect example of this. Every relationship is really unique, but break-ups are always very similar. They always involve a mix of loneliness, resentment, revenge, denial, and so on. Sharing these uncomfortable feelings with openness seemed like a nice idea, especially looking at it as a way of helping each other move on. 

Jemina is often not entirely in view – it's almost as if the camera is hidden somewhere in the apartment. What were you trying to achieve through these particular methods of camera movement and framing? 

It was intuitive at first. I have seen Chantal Akerman’s films and had those in mind. I think I also liked those frames because of the apartment itself – I liked how it framed the kitchen, for example. 

However, I also think it was like an experiment, to take a little risk, not being so tidy. When I see it now, I think that not being able to observe the whole scene emphasizes this feeling of spying on someone. We realised that this was the way her story had to be told. I mean, if the camera could shoot her close-up – with total impunity – it wouldn't instil the feeling that she didn’t want to be seen. 

Loneliness and human relationships are two prominent themes in your film. Are these themes something you have explored in the past? Are you hoping to continue exploring in the future? 

I love those themes! Loneliness and human relationships have always been a concern of mine. 

Why do we want to be with someone? And, why would we want to be by ourselves? Now I think they’re not two opposite things. You can be alone and feel accompanied, and you can be with somebody and feel terribly alone. I think I will always have that concern. Fortunately, nowadays, this is changing, but I still wonder why it is considered “normal” to be in a coupledom and a bit weird to be alone. It’s really strange! 

I would love to continue exploring these themes in the future, I think every character goes through loneliness and there is always a story that needs to be told in human relationships. However, I often do write about things that are not strictly about that. 

This was your first work as a film director. What were the challenges you faced, and what advice would you give to any aspiring young directors? 

I don’t see it as a challenge. In fact, it was the other way around for me, almost like a gift. I didn’t have to prove anything - not even to myself - because it was something I wanted to shoot, just to try it out. I was 20 years old and it could have turned out to be something terrible, and that would have been OK. First-time films are a gift, I hope it could always be like that! When you first start, there aren’t so many ideas around like “what’s my type of cinema?” or “this is me being a filmmaker”. There are less expectations about one’s identity or career. 

I think that if there is something, no matter how simple it is, that one feels like trying or exploring, one should shoot it immediately, without putting much thinking into it, and have confidence in their own intuition. I guess I often give this advice to myself too. 

All Over the Place screens in International Competition 5: Treading Water.

Interview by Errika Zacharopoulou.

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