30th FID Marseille | 2019
"…since me and Patrícia wanted to share a feeling, and we found on doing this film a way to express this subject that we absolutely need to express – a point of view, a way of living – our hope is that the audience can somehow catch this feeling."
RAPOSA / REYNARD | Dir. Leonor Noivo | Comepétition INTERNATONALE
Première Mondiale / World Premiere
Leonor Noivo is a film director and Teresa Guerreiro an actress. To make a film about the secret they share - the basis of their friendship - together they decide to create the character of Marta. Their secret is an existential challenge that medicine calls ‘anorexia’.
If Raposa (‘fox’ in Portuguese) rejects this designation and prefers to take a detour via an animal metaphor, it’s because cinema has the power to conceive of illness as a way of being in the world, of diverting the handicap into a relationship to space, time and the facts of life - here, the obsession with total control over everything that circulates between the interior and the exterior – food, thoughts and emotions.
Hello Leonor, many thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?
Very fine, thanks. And very happy to be in FID Marseille with my last film, RAPOSA.
This will be your World Premiere does this add any extra pressure on you?
It’s not a pressure, but a pleasure! It’s the first time I do the first screening of a film out of my own country, so I was really surprised the film was selected in FID. For me it’s a great honour, a privilege, to be part of the selection of this Festival that I admire for so many years.
What was your first film festival like?
My first film was a fiction I shot in 2005 and it had its premiere in Vila do Conde International Festival. I was young and very nervous at the time.
Do you still get nerves ahead of your screening?
Totally. I’m kind of shy person, so for me every time there’s a screening I get nervous and most of the times I can’t stand being inside the projection room. As the year's pass, I’m getting a little more relaxed, but it’s not something pacific.
Can you tell me a little bit about Reynard what can we expect?
It’s difficult for me (and possibly for everyone) to deal with expectations. So, the thing is to let flow, let’s see how the film lives when projected in a room.
What was the inspiration behind this film?
All the process of the film, from the very beginning until now, it was somehow very intuitive.
Actually, I think maybe the most intuitive film I’ve made, with an inner inspiration that flow, like something it was had to be done. There was no “outside” inspiration (as I can name when I did other films), here it was an “inside” inspiration. The reference was this thing that brought me and Patrícia to shoot each scene.
"I hope the audience, in a particular way, can find themselves in some hidden corner of it."
Did you have any apprehensions about creating such a personal film?
Of course. In fact, it was a long process. It was not so clear at the beginning that the film would have this form.
What was/is it about your friendship with Patrícia Guerreiro that led to the creation of Marta?
When we met twenty years ago, we understood from each other that we had some similar thoughts and visions of the world. We both had adolescence with a disturb (that the doctors call anorexia), and, as the year's pass, it came clear for both of us we wanted to do a film about this theme.
Do think that there need to be more open and positive discussions about anorexia?
Yes, I think so. That’s one of the reasons to do this documentary. I hope some people can reach another perspective, different from the stigma, and that we can talk about this tabu.
Where does Marta’s strength come from to fight this illness?
That strength is the most difficult to thing achieve. It has to be a kind of “insight”. That’s why we soot the scene with the plaster all over the body. It’s something we can’t explain, something that encloses the body and one has to do an extra strength to fight it, to be free.
Has your approach to your film changed much since your debut film?
I think in the essence it hasn’t changed so much. Only the way to deal with it changed.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Actually, I started studying Architecture and Photography. I discover filmmaking some years later. But, since I “discover” it, it came to be the most passionate thing to do. I really love doing films – not only my own, but especially doing films with other directors (with who I work as script-supervisor, assistant director, and currently being a producer).
Looking back is there anything you would like to do differently or change?
On the subject of perfectionism, my state of mind and manner of living is always based on constant combat of a state of repentance or regret (a kind of “what could have been done”), so... it’s better not to answer this question. I prefer to answer, ironically: I love the way things ended up running.
How important is the collaborative nature in filmmaking for you?
For me the collaborative nature is the most important thing (to do, and to understand) in filmmaking. Even when we’re “alone”, filmmaking is about collective process. More people thinking make ideas more interesting. I love to collaborate in other people films (even as in a technical role), and I love to share my doubts in all stages when I’m shooting my own films.
Do you have any advice for any emerging filmmaker?
My advice is to practice by shooting alone with a small camera (and to edit the footage – that’s the difficult step: to edit, not just shoot…), and at the same time if possible take part of shooting teams with directors you admire. Shoot a lot with other people, be close to the “conflicts” that make movies emerge.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
It’s difficult to answer, because the film now will take its own way…since me and Patrícia wanted to share a feeling, and we found on doing this film a way to express this subject that we absolutely need to express – a point of view, a way of living – our hope is that the audience can somehow catch this feeling.