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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Diego Luna on Los Angeles Vs. Mexico and politics in Mexican filmmaking



Diego Luna is one of three partners in Canana Films, along with producer Pablo Cruz, seen here. and Gael Garcia Bernal. Their intentions are to make movies that reflect contemporary Mexico, and in the first of two clips from a masterclass at the just-ended 48th Thessaloniki International Film Festival in the north of Greece, Luna describes the amusing differences between taking meetings in Los Angeles and being a director-producer in the country where he was born.




Here, Luna describes the origins of the political bent of their enterprise. (The name of their company refers to the part of a revolutionary’s bandolier that holds bullets, he told me later.) “I am a very optimistic man,” he says in the clip, “and I do believe I live in an important time in my country. I remember when I was, in ’88, there was an election in Mexico, that we all knew was a fraud. And we all knew it was stolen. And nothing happened. Y’know? We stayed six years with that president. And we called him ‘President.’ That was something that really got me aware and awoke me to the necessity of doing something. I do believe my generation has got that in mind.” [More in the video.]

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles