I’m arriving at the bar. It’s the third time I call Nacho Masllorens. I’m worried he will miss the place where we have to meet. I’m not sure he knows that place so I insist. He gets there, I sigh. The interview begins.
The moment I see him, I realize Nacho Masllorens is not the typical filmmaker. He’s a simple guy, he’s the guy you would meet for a coffee or go catch a movie.
As most people here in Buenos Aires, Nacho started doing something else. During his childhood he loved drawing, and then he studied Audiovisual Design. He also created a magazine, takes pictures and one of his pleasures is to be a DJ. So we’re not talking about a typical filmmaker here.
“When comparing them to filmmaking, all the other careers seemed limited, says Ignacio. In a movie you can do anything, the project becomes much more ambitious. Now the disciplines are exchangeable, there are many links that cross them, so you can mutate between them”.
Nacho comes from Bariloche, one glorious city with an unforgettable landscape in the South of Argentina. Some of this pure air still lives in his look; you can breathe it if you stare firmly into his hazel eyes.
“Many of my friends come from the provinces, everybody tells the same story, we were so happy and grateful coming to the big city, we just couldn’t wait for the moment when we would finally be here, in BA”, comments Nacho with a huge smile.
One of Nacho’s most significant points in his career as a filmmaker is Cineambulante (Nomad Film) Project. “It all started when we were returning from a Film Festival in Mar del Plata city, with a bunch of friends in a big bus. We were incredibly cheerful, filled with the festival’s spirit and sounds. So we decided to travel with that bus and screen movies through our country. We worked during a whole year to get some money and then we travelled for four months through the Northern region of Argentina. We’ve been to Indian communities, lost villages, everywhere. We showed movies at schools, clubs and a football stadium once. All my energy was in that project at the time”, he recalls. “The project had a hippie feeling”.
“I remember one movie from Nomad Project; it was filmed in the province of Tucumán 30 years before, without actors. The actors were the inhabitants of Acheral village. We screened the movie a few years ago, and most of the actors were old. The effect was so weird, because they were looking at themselves acting, in their young years. This movie was ahead of its time”.
I keep asking, and the answers come, strong and clear.
“To me, fiction is absolutely dead, Nacho assures. The future of movies is something more of a hybrid between fiction and documentary”.
You have a special interest for cartography, right? Why’s that?
– I always loved maps, since I was a little kid. I loved the designs, the colours of maps, it isn’t a geographic interest, and is has to do with aesthetics. I like to invent maps.
That’s the moment I ask Nacho about his recent movie, “Pablo Dacal and the mystery of Rosario Lake”. This Indiana Jones-alike movie combines fiction, adventure, risk, travel, journalism, acting, and it is, above all things, a beautiful piece of art. It is filmed in the South of Argentina, near Nacho’s south, a place he knows so well, a place we get to know and understand in the movie. And the musician Pablo Dacal carries us in this amazing trip to find a stone that’s lost in the middle of Patagonia.
“Agustín Mendilaharzu (the screenwriter) did a great work here, Masllorens says. He’s a genius; he’s the real hero here. Another person that really helped me with this project is my father; he even appears in the film”.
This movie has about 30 second of black screen, pure darkness. This is a mystery, a joyful one. Nacho is playing hide and seek as if he was camping, his heart and ours pounding at the same time, waiting to be caught, no matter where we hide.
That’s part of his poetry, for sure. Like the cats and globes appearing in his movies, the shape of things he creates and discovers with the camera, the rhythms he provides to the video clips, the playful simplicity that defines him and his art.
Tell me about your future projects.
I want to make movies with Pablo Dacal as the main character, I really like him on screen, and I think he’s very talented. I’m making more video clips also, and I just finished a TV cycle for a local channel with another musician and it’s narrated with pieces of fiction too.
Is there a limit when you make a movie? Do you think you could film anything?
You can do anything as long as you don’t betray your own rules; that’s what director Javier Daulte says. You’re committed to these rules. That’s the limit. Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike says he’d never film a child crying. That’s what I’m talking about.
Nacho isn’t just another filmmaker. He could be our friend or the guy who takes us to the movies. But in this case, he’s the guy behind the camera. And I’m completely sure the world is a better place because of that.
Text: Gisella Lifchitz