Madrid, 1987 (2011) - full transcript

Madrid, 1987 a two-character story with a verbose discourse on writing, journalism, careerism, aging and politics. Shot mostly within a very constricted space, the story follows an older, celebrated journalist Miguel (José Sacristán) who meets the beautiful and coy journalism-student Angela (María Valverde) to give an interview - but becomes intent upon seducing her. They end up spending time in the most unusual manner ...discussing literature, prose and career trajectories ...gradually divulging little insights into their own selves as we start to understand the old journalist's cynicism and the young protégé's intentions.

The consumer price index went up 0%
in the month of June.

The Treasury Department is optimistic

about reaching a 5% rate of inflation.

Government spokesman Javier Solana says
statements made by Minister Barrionuevo

were misinterpreted.

Overstepping the limits
of the Constitution

in the fight against terrorism
was never an issue.

Gerardo Iglesias
proposed general guidelines

for the 12th Congress
of the Spanish Communist Party

to the central committee.

All topics except the party's Marxist
Communist revolutionary nature

will be open for debate.

The Supreme Council on Military Justice
will review the sentences

of the remaining prisoners
involved in the coup attempt.

Some could receive shortened sentences

in the next few months.

The State Council of the Democratic
Republic of Germany

has decreed a general amnesty
and eliminated the death penalty,

an unprecedented move
in Eastern European countries.

This afternoon a forest fire

has spread at least 6 kilometers
between Valencia and Castell?n.

Strong winds have complicated
efforts to put it out.

Jesus Gil y Gil,
the man of the hour.

Cambio 16 reveals the character
o pain is new soccer messiah.

Read Cambio 16.

And now, The Hunter's Corner.

Already half past

It was 25 C
at 9 in the morning.

It's gonna be so hot
the was baskets melt.

Don't be so poetic,
it'll rub off on me

and my article will be too lyrical
and it'll depress all the widows.

Yes, sir.
That's right.

Stick to the waiter bullshit,
I'll handle the columnist bullshit.

Like we usually do.

That's right.

You crossed the cafe like a gazelle.

Totally out of place
among all this vulgarity.

So it's true you always write here.

Not always.

Always is a dangerous word,
don't you think?

I don't know.

Words that appear to force you
into something are always a lie.

Words don't force anyone.

Never trust words.
They seem like a chain,

but they break just like that.
I won't.

Order something,
I'll be done in a second.

Right away.

Can I.

On Monday.

Writing two days before
doesn't scare you?

Before, Franco could die.

Now, they could kill the Pope
and nothing would change.

As long as the banks open.

In '81, when Sudrez resigned,

I wrote an article about
how he parted his hair.

Remember? It was perfect.

I said the part never moved
because it was afraid of getting

fired or killed or who knows what
it was so afraid of.

You think I changed the article
when I heard he resigned?

The editor called me.

Change the article,
we'll give you more space.

It's fine as it is.
And that's how it stayed.

Years later Sudrez himself told me.

When I quit,

the article that struck me most
was yours, Miguel.

The one about my hair.

I guess I'm the only one who didn't
stab him in the back with an obituary.

Did you two get along?

When you write in the papers
every day for 25 years,

you don't even get along
with your shadow.

People put up with you, period.

Can I steal a sip?

Dr. Bram?n says Coca-Cola
is off limits.

Coca-Cola, coffee, tobacco and whisky.

I see you don't listen to him.

That way when I die
the blame will be spread.

That's a good ending.

Of course.

A good ending.

The doctor says Coca-Cola
is off limits,

but he didn't say anything

about girls who drink


Are you talking about me?

I only talk about myself.
Even when I talk about other people.

Did you bring it?

What is this?

A balance sheet?

It's a copy. I have to turn it in
in September.

What have you done with me?

An obituary?
I don't know.

As long as I pass.

I don't get why he failed you.

Don't teachers automatically pass
beautiful students anymore?

We live in decadent times.

I never went to class.
He's a jerk.

Then that's why he failed you.
For not going to his class.

I'd have done the same thing.

Seeing your desk empty
made the old man

He's not so old.

He would read his pathetic
journalism handbook out loud.

Nobody ended up going.

Journalism professors.

Can you teach a dog
how to be a dog?

How many classes
do you have to make up?


I left everything for September.

This is too long.

Too long.

Newspapers don't like things too long.

They want shorter stuff.

They call them pills.
Pills cure everything now.

I wasn't going to publish it.

You're too far, sit over here.

These things I say
are totally uninteresting.

Why do you want to know how to write
an article or a novel,

if someone goes to bed late
or writes at home or in a cafe?

Like there's some secret formula you
can steal in a half an hour interview.

No, the secret is giving it
everything you've got.

Behind the ironic,
foul-mouthed exterior,

there's a little boy.

Maybe an awful boy, but still a boy,

who writes like he talks because
he writes as much as he talks.

You're copying my style,
it's not your voice.

If you interviewed Felipe Gonzdlez,

would you write it
with an Andalusian accent?

You don't need a uniform

to interview a soccer player.

You don't even need
to know about soccer.

Don't let it infect you.
A writer isn't a chameleon.

These are all cliches, they're worthless.

You're pinching.

Writing should stab, not pinch.

I like this better.

My glasses don't protect me
from other people's gazes,

they protect others from my gaze.

I like it.

But don't yours do the same?
With that folk singer look...

How we look isn't something
we create for others,

like stylists and imbeciles say.

How we look is our bamcade.

We take cover behind it,
holding the fort.

You are obviously talented.

This is like being a movie actor.

There's no point
if the camera doesn't love you.

The camera clearly loves you.

Can I keep it?


Are you in a hurry?


Are they waiting for you
at home for lunch?

No, it doesn't matter.

It does for me, but I can be late.

Or not even go.

Check my right pocket.

Don't look for any photos of kids.

The point of an ID card
is to remind us what assholes we are.

Ever seen anyone who doesn't look like
an asshole

in their ID card?


Yes, I use a stage name,
like Sara Montiel.

It's expired.

I can't agree more.

Doctor's orders.

No, amphetamines.
I'd offer you one, but I don't

corrupt young girls.

In the other one.

The keys to my friend's studio.

He's a painter.

He's in the mountains,
avoiding the heat.

I asked him for them
before I called you.

Then I tried my luck.

I was surprised you called me.

Were you really?

I didn't think you'd want to read
what I wrote after the interview.

I didn't call you
to read what you'd written.

What interested me was you.

Did I call too late?

We were having dinner.

I didn't tell my parents
who you were.

Can I have an autograph?

For Sonia.

I read you every day.
I love your articles.

I don't write to be read,

I write to be paid.

Thank you.

What does it say?

For Sonia, who has lousy timing.
Warm regards.


Well then?

I don't know.

I can't stand people looking at us
and interrupting us.

I want to spend the next two hours with
you without anybody getting in the way.

I just want to get to know you better.

And you to get to know me.

Isn't that what you wanted
when you asked me for the interview?

Take the keys and wait for me
at the door.

Wipe that smirk off your face
and celebrate a comrade's success

like a good Communist.
I'll need the whisky bottle.

Save my typewriter and give the article
to the messenger from the paper

when he comes at two.

Use this to drown the envy

and resentment

corroding you.

Thank you, sir.
You're welcome.

I love your sandals.
It's like they're applauding me.

Your doctor didn't mention
climbing too many stairs

If my doctor were here,

he'd say you're the medicine
that cures everything.

Inserting a key is sort of like
fornicating, don't you think?

I don't know.

Very feminine,
snooping around like that.

Are we here to see paintings?

Is he good?

He's my friend.

Careful, you'll step on it.
He likes that.

He says paintings should be stained.

Just like literature.

People who protect their work from
living material have got it all wrong.

The stain is the interesting part.

And the scars.

It's past Coca-Cola time.

On an empty stomach...
- It's better that way, trust me.

It tastes like caramel.

I've always been jealous of painters.

Because they don't need


But if you use words right...

But you can't smell them
or touch them.

That's why I hate museums,

they don't let you touch
and the paintings don't smell anymore.

It would have been beautiful
to smell Las Meninas

recently painted.

Good painters...

They find a form that is
at the service of an idea.

Literature struggles to tell in words
what can't be expressed in words.

It gives emotions a name
like a scientist

names an illness.



How can you tell this,

for example

There are...

There are too many glasses
between us.

And what you see is much less
interesting than what I see.

I've lost interest in kissing,

It's great when you're a teenager,

when kissing someone feels like
you reached the top of a mountain.

Later kissing feels like a formality,
like filling out paperwork.

You can't wait to sign and move on.

Maybe there's a limited number of kisses
a person can enjoy.

Yes, maybe.

I must be down to...

my last handful.




I'd like you to take off
your clothes for me.

It doesn't have to be erotic.

Make it something artistic,
like a gift.

That's it.
A gift that will allow me

to appreciate your beauty.

I'll stay right here.

I won't move, I'll just watch.

Like I'm taking a stroll
through the Prado Museum.

I won't get naked.

I got naked for you.

You came to take everything from me.

Let me take something from you,
even if it's just your clothes.

You wanted to meet me,


What can this guy teach me?

Maybe I can squeeze
something more out of him.

More than what I've squeezed
out of myself over the years.

But you wanted to see
if there was anything left for you.

I think I've been pretty faithful
to my caricature.

This is what I am.

Were you expecting something else?

Were you expecting something else
when you agreed to come here?

When you came up those stairs?

Did you think I wouldn't ask you
to sleep with me?

That I wouldn't ask you
to take off your clothes?

Please, being predictable
should be an obligation.

I just wanted to meet you,
listen to you speak.

You've met me, I'm speaking.

I admire you as a writer.

Forgive me if I prefer to admire
something more physical about you,

something more palpable
than your talent.

I'm sure you're talented,
but I've met

plenty of talented people.

And seeing a new body

is something you never get tired of.

Unfortunately we don't have all day.

I'd better be going.

That wouldn't be better.

But I understand.

I've always tried to catch with my net

the biggest fish life has to offer.

But my net is old now,

and broken.

And the fish,
even the ones I don't care about,

escape through the holes.

Some day you might know
what this feels like.

As a writer or as a person.

If you do, I'd like you
to remember today

with a forgiving smile.

At least he tried, you'll say.


when something important happened to me,
I'd rush off to write about it.

Now I'd happily stop writing
if only something would happen to me.

What gets me most is that nothing
will happen here today.

I'm sorry.
That's okay.

I should have known
the moment I saw your jeans.

Jeans were invented
to not be taken off all day

To take the horse to the stable
and run cattle in the valley.

In movies cowboys even sleep
in their jeans.

They're no good for a striptease.

That's why they carry their guns
on the outside.

I'm applauding on the inside.

A little music would help.

No, music gets in the way.

In movies it's like a traffic signal

for the audience.

So they know when to cry,
when to be scared...

I know exactly

how I'm supposed to feel right now.

The gorilla has awaken.

Thanks to you.


I'll go wash it off.

Don't move.

You're crazy, you know that?

The gorilla fell asleep again.

It's freezing!

I hate cold water.
It reminds me of my childhood.

I think I'm gonna die.

The gorilla won't survive this.

I'm leaving.

Don't be angry.

Leave, now.

Yeah, I feel a little strange here.


That's worse than a cold shower.

It won't open.

It won't open.

It won't open...

Here, let me.

You're kidding me.

How absurd.

Why did you close it?

How should I know?
Doors are meant to be closed?

And opened.
It has to open.

Let me.

Is it stuck?

God damn it.

It's stuck.

Yeah, I know.

Come on, help me.

Let's see.

Okay, take it easy.

One, two and three!

There's no way.
Give me a minute.

Hold on a second.

Hold on a second...

it'll open...

One second, let me...

What's so funny?

I don't know.

It's ridiculous.

I know it's ridiculous.

You don't have to tell me.

Try calling your friend.


Go ahead, pass me the phone.


Is anybody there?

We're locked in here!
What are you doing?

Somebody has to open the door.
You'll cause a scandal.

What scandal?
Somebody will hear us.

What do we tell them?

To open the door.

And call the fire department.

Hold on.

There must be a less scandalous option.

Let's see.

Are you hurt?

Let's just say I don't kick doors down-

very often.
Yeah, I can see that.

This is absolutely insane.

Luis won't be back to paint
until Monday.

Two days locked in here.

When I don't show up later
my wife will get nervous

but until tomorrow I don't think...

she'll call the police.

My parents will worry a lot sooner.

Do they know you're with me?

That won't happen.

We'll get out of here before.

We'll get out of here.



Is anybody out there?

We're in apartment 3D!
- Is


Can anybody hear me?


I can't believe
there's nobody out there.


Can anybody hear me?

Somebody will come.

Is this the only towel we have?


Friends, Romans, countrymen.

Lend me your ears.

Brutus says...

What would Shakespeare do?

Two people who want to be together
isn't the same thing

as two people forced to be together.

That detail completely changes the plot.

Would it be a comedy or a tragedy?
What do you think?

Until my parents find me, a comedy.

And after that?

A tragedy with murders.

Parents nowadays
aren't like they used to be.

My dad is.

What does he do?

He's in the military.

You're kidding. He even has a gun!

What branch?

He's Lieutenant Colonel
of the Madrid Command.

What's his name?

Soriano Castroviejo.

Serafin Soriano Castroviejo
is your father?

Then you're Isabel's sister.

How many years between you?

She's my elder sister.

Eight siblings.

She's 17 years older than me.

I met your sister when she was
in the acting group.

They were dying for me
to write about them.

She was a great girl.

And she was hot.

I never got to fuck her,
but I really liked her.

That black hair...

We're totally different.

Yeah, in that you and I
probably won't fuck either.

Your dad was a real fascist back then.

The type who reached for his gun
if he heard the word democracy.

I had a couple military trials

for two articles.

One in the early 70's,
the other after Franco died.

For offending the military.

You wouldn't remember,
you were just a kid.

I remember Tejero.
That was yesterday.

I went through my paranoid phase
years ago.

I had some government agents
who followed me at times.

They messed with me, you know,

warnings to let you know
you were under surveillance.

I was terrified, what nonsense...
I fucked a transvestite.

I don't know.

I thought they'd sell it to a tabloid

to fuck with him a little.

Everybody was paranoid back then.

Now the socialists raised their wages
and everybody's happy.

What I'd give for a cigarette
and a whisky.

Maybe they'll do to me
what they did to Suso and his wife.

You know, Suso de la Guardia,
the political commentator.

Yeah, sure.

He disappeared a couple years ago.

He fucked anything that walked
and his wife was fed up

because he'd come home
a complete mess.

The guy was drinking himself to death.

He drank like the British.

The Spanish drink to loosen up.

The British drink to kill themselves.

For them it's like a job,
not a hobby.

He was like a Brit in that sense.

But not as a writer.

His writing was messy, smudged,

Like he put his sentences in a blender
and it came out lumpy.

Anyway, he had sex with some girl,
I don't remember who,

and he got so shitfaced

that when the girl left the hotel
he fell asleep.

More like passed out.

And he didn't go home that night
because he woke up at noon

the next day.
So he turns on the TV

and sees everybody's going nuts

saying he'd been kidnapped by ETA.

So he calls the paper.
What happened?

Nobody kidnapped me.

His wife had made it all up
to teach him a lesson.

That's what his friends said.

An old man's battle stories.

I bet your dad...

has his battle stories.

Though he didn't get to be
the hero of Alcazar.

What did he get?

The dirty war, the Green March,
the coup attempt...

Your sister was a classic example
of the fascists' offspring.

She was funny,

liked a good time, liked to fuck...

Always hanging out with those baby-faced
short actors with big heads

who look so good on camera.

She said your dad were at odds

because she didnt lose Communist plays
that were in fashion back then.

Intellectual brats.

They wanted to conquer the workers
with that.

Workers just want to see
Norma Duval's tits.

My sister and dad still fight.

They have it out every Christmas.

Is she still acting?

She's working on a TV series.

She never talked about me?

She got me your number.

Through a friend.

I told her I had to write
an article for class

and I was considering you.

And If she had a number,

I left messages at the paper...
I never go there.

They don't let you drink anymore.

What did she say,
that we were friends?

More like acquaintances.

I remember one night I asked her.

Are we gonna fuck or what?

And she said: "I'm afraid not."

It's funny, if she saw us now...

I doubt she's as pretty now
as her little sister.

No, she and I...

are both over the hill.

You're still wearing
a child's pajamas.

She said you were overrated
as a writer.


I thought the ones you screwed

always hold a grudge,

but I see you have to watch out for
the ones you don't screw as well.

I'll tell you one thing.

Only a completely overrated writer

can make a living at this.

Does it bother you people think that?

Is this still the interview?
Will you tell?

Naked in a grungy shower,

I continued my meeting
with the overrated

Will you tell?

It depends how it ends.

But your books and novels
aren't as relevant as your articles.

Despite the awards you've won.

Awards are just...

But you still accept them.

Some people spend their whole lives
with a novel inside.

Like storytelling in the old days,
I don't know...

I've hung my novels strip by strip

in the paper every day.

I gave it everything I had.

If somebody values me,
I have to pick up the pieces.

I like what you write.

Maybe you'd be the one
to glue them together some day.

Or you were going to be,
but not anymore.

Meeting someone you admire is the first
step towards not admiring them anymore.

You can only admire
bodies and dead people.

What's inside is dirty, rotten, untidy.

It's better not to go in.

What about your other six siblings?

Five. One died 8 years ago.

They do different things.

One's an English teacher,

another is studying
in the United States...

That's what gets me
about this country.

We went from a grotesque tragedy
to an American TV series.

Like "Eight is Enough" or something.

From Goya to Norman Rockwell.

I've written this before.

So why the hell do you want to be
a journalist?

All the interesting stuff
has already happened in this country.

Until people start killing
each other again

this'll be just a boring stream
of economic data and election results.

Maybe not a journalist.
I want to write.

That's another thing.

The last 15 years in this country
have been a party

for newspaper writers.

The transition, the political tension,

the coup attempt,
NATO replacing the Common Market...

It was like the unknown body
of a young stranger

you don't caress any more

because you're too old
but suddenly you're allowed to.

Because you and I...

are gonna fuck, aren't we?

We've earned it, right?

Try screaming,
see if anyone hears you.

A woman screaming
isn't the same as a man.

Nobody wants to save a man.

Unlucky for you.

People will do anything

to save a pretty girl.

You'r not allowed to go out,
or to live life.

Guys all want to buy you an apartment

and get you pregnant.

Go on, try it.


Is anyone there?
Be more dramatic.

You sound like
you're giving the time.



We're locked in here!


Can anybody help us?


Can anybody hear me?

They must all be away
for the weekend

because of the heat.

No, stop.


Are we gonna let nothing happen?

Please, stop.
I just want to get out of here.

Is the interview over?

You've seen what I am
and don't like it.

Or have you seen what you are
and don't like it either?

Maybe you want to leave

because you don't like
what brought you here.

After all,

I've been honest the whole time.
You might have been lying all along.

Forget the door,
it's not going to open.

Don't be scared,
I won't do anything to you.

We'll tell the gorilla to forget it.

What were you hoping
to get from me?

Make off with some literary secret?

How naive.

I wanted to fuck you from the beginning,
nothing else interested me.

Read the interview from start to finish
and you won't find a single word

or brilliant phrase
that doesn't really mean "Fuck me,"

"Let me fuck you,"
"Get naked for me."

Your friend won't come.

Yeah, on Monday.


he'll rescue us.

Like two castaways.
That's what we are, two castaways.

Two castaways.

I'm a dead body
washed up on the beach.

And you're... Well, you're...

still swimming,

desperately trying
to grab hold of something.

You're young and still think
there's something out there


that resembles dreams.

And there isn't.

There isn't, ask your sister.

This is it.

There you have it, the meaning of life,
like two passing trains.

You're going...

and I'm coming.

This is like a mechanical problem
in the tunnel. Unexpected.

You and I...

were just destined to cross paths.

Each on a track,
headed in opposite directions.

Is sleeping with me
that important for you?

What is it, a victory?

I kissed up to people too.

I courted people who could help me up.

I praised people who didn't deserve it

to please the ears of those
who could

give me a leg up.

I took whatever steps I could.

A step here, another there...

Things were much tougher back then.

The corrupt press union,
the fascist party press, nepotism...

Today things get resolved
more cleanly.

Things are more... mercantile.

Supply and demand.

We were all feeling guilty
and then I came along

with my writing...

Young and free.

Like you are now.

I didn't come here
to ask you for anything.

I set out a pile of crap
to attract flies. It worked.

Can we please stop
and find a way out of here?

Don't kid yourself, gorgeous.

Right now, I'd trade your thighs

for a cigarette

and your perfect tits
for a glass of whisky!

There you have it.

Everybody has their priorities.

Six o'clock.

Did you hear that?

What would you be doing
if you were out there?

It's Saturday.

Young people still believe
in the weekend.

I don't like going out
on Saturdays.

Too many people.

It makes you feel special.

Feeling special is important.

What makes you think you're special?

Isn't everybody?

You'd be surprised
by how many people

aspire to be completely normal.

We?re a race apart.

You have to fight to the teeth

for not end up being one of them.

I think

the French Revolution
was wrong about

egalite, liberte, fraternite.

Fraternity with whom?

The 20th century has shown us
with a good beating

that all men are not brothers.

Or do you believe that crap?

Only priests used to repeat it.
Now it's Coca-Cola,

the Olympic Games...

Do you read?

What do you read?
I don't know,


I read novels all the time.

Still, I thought young people
only watched TV.

At school nobody even reads
the newspaper.

I do read.

What do you like?

I don't know.

Truman Capote, "In Cold Blood."

And other Americans before him
Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway.

They invented the contemporary author

like others invented the automobile.

They conjugated everything

in first person singular.

"The Great Gatsby,"
"A Moveable Feast"...

I did read "The Great Gatsby."
And "This Side of Paradise."

I love "Portnoy's Complaint."

And "Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man."

I think that's when Joyce tells it...

One day...

after Catholic School, killing time,

walking along the dock

he sees a beautiful girl
walking in the water

with her skirt pulled up

and it's like a illumination.

An illumination that leads him to choose
life and art above everything else.

Even if life is disorder

and art is suffering.

What you read when you're young

is all you ever read.

They say we always write
the same book.

We certainly do always read
the same book.

Do you like the Latin Americans?

You make them sound like

a group of bolero singers.

Let's not discuss tastes.

How could we ever
understand each other?

It's like a 17th century knight
meeting a rock singer.

Young people like impossible things.

And older people, the simplest.

It's like flying.

When you're young

you think you can fly.

Think you can just fly away.

Fly away I don't know.

From this country,

from this bathroom,
from this world.

The whole point of fucking you

was to fly with your wings

fly a little while.

To get a little taste of youth.

Do you read Proust?

I tried.

The only theme.
The passing of time.

You'll have to excuse me.

I need to pee.

Sex matters a lot to people.

But only one percent
of human bodily fluids

has anything to do with eroticism.

Hundreds, even thousands of songs
and poems have been written

about love and passion.

What about pissing?

Or what our kidneys do, or the liver?

There's no literature about the crucial
labors performed by the lungs.

Literature eludes the truth
because it wants to compete with God

in the unknown.

With God and Disney.

Don't be afraid to talk about
things organic.

People who say

that writing well elevates us

are revolting sentimentalists.

Don't trust the abstract,
trust your senses.

About Stendhal.

A critic once said he wrote
like a concierge.

That's a virtue, not a defect.

Write plainly, tell what you see.


Can anybody hear me

We're locked in here!


What I have here

is a pretty typical human conflict.

To fuck...

or not to fuck.

If we do it, everything will become
less tense, less interesting.

Have you ever noticed
that when two lovers

desire each other and make love
their bodies are weightless?

It's like they're floating.

But once satisfied
they get heavy again.

They become real again,

like the flesh on a woman
in a Rubens.

But not doing it
makes you restless as well.

Being near you

is like sitting by a fountain

and not being able to run

my fingers through the water.

How long will this last?

I want to get out of here, damn it!

Somebody get me out of here!

I can't take it anymore!

I can't take it anymore.

I'm choking.

I'm choking, can't you see?

Why do you make me feel
like I'm alone?

I'm intolerable, I know.

I know I'm intolerable.

I can't stand myself.

I look in the mirror and see
a fucking shadow of myself.

I'm not fucking impressed.

I'm not clever, I don't admire myself.
I disgust myself.


And you're standing there like a muse,
mute and naked,

and instead of whispering verses
in my ear

you put a mirror in front of me.

If you see me as I do,

you must hate me.

Sleep with me.
What the hell were you thinking?

Are you that much of a climber?

What did you think you'd get from me?

It was a no-lose situation for me.

Look, my beard is growing.

They say sexual desire

makes your beard grow more quickly.

And fear.

Bullfighters' beards grow like crazy
the day of the bullfight.

If it didn't disgust me,
I'd shave with Luis' razor.

I'm going bald.

And nose hairs

are truly uncomfortable.

How absurd.

This is too damn absurd.

It's really no big deal.

The body is no big deal.

Fucking is no big deal.

Have you seen dogs in the street?

They sniff each other
and go right at it.

Why have we gone so astray?

Do we think we're that important
With our museums, our cathedrals

and our government advisors?

With you here in front of me

all that just gets right in the way.

This is going to be a huge mess,
you know.

My enemies,

the ones I've made with each success,

with each millimeter I?ve taken
of their territory,

of what they consider theirs...

will have a field day.

Your father might have to kill me
as his final service to the homeland.

And my wife

might leave me,

more out of shame than anything else,

I'll have to give up all the great
things about living with her...

I still desire her, you know.
And we've been together

for ages.

But there's a thing called...

Call it refuge, call it solace,
I don't really know.

It's a place far away
from the limelight

where it's very hard to find someone
who knows everything about you

and doesn't use it to destroy you,


to put you back together
when you've fallen apart.

And you..

You'll forget me

in every body that awaits you.

The worst part is everyone will imagine
what we did in here all this time

and we won't be able to tell the truth
because it's too ridiculous.

The best comedies

are often based on the dirty old man

chasing after fresh, young meat

which is always unattainable.

This absurd situation

is good for laughs.

But it reveals

that the distance between

insanity and balance

all comes down to
a single hair on your head.

Then laughter becomes terror.


that something similar

can happen to you.

Don't come inside.


A little.

I hardly eat, I don't know why.

I ate terribly as a kid.

My mother would get extremely upset.

"Please, eat or you'll die."

She'd cry on the table.

Back then eating was something else,
almost like breathing.

I was fat, the fat girl in class.

One day my sister said:

"Are you ready for what's coming"

She scared me.

She said, "Being fat at 14 is hell."

And I took her seriously.

So you've been hungry ever since.

Pretty much.

I like seeing people eat
in movies and books.

Nobody goes to the movies
to watch people eat.

Well, they're wrong.

In movies and in literature,

I like seeing people work

and eat.

Bogart eating stew.

I really liked a French detective movie
I saw a while back.

Don't ask me the title
because I'm lousy with titles.

Jean Gabin was in it.
You know him

Jean Gabin?

A blond French actor with a gut.

Sort of a virile Spencer Tracy.

Never mind.

It was an action movie,
with guns, stolen money,

the femme fatale must have been
Brigitte Bardot, super young,

or a girl just like her,
typical bombshell,

and guys chasing each other
the whole time.

All of a sudden

Gabin and his friend got home,

sat down in a chair

and started eating cheese and bread

with a knife

with a little wine.


That made me happy.

In literature it's the same.

The great artists
accept people as they are.

They give them refuge, in any case.

But they don't try
to force the world

into being what they imagine
it should be.

One of the greats walks in.

Pio Baroja, for example, and says.

"The street was long
and it smelled like fried pork."

Or Simenon.

"Her eyes were like two deep puddles."

It matters to you
because you understand.

Because it's real.

People are only moved
by what is true.

Don't look at me like that,
like class is starting again.


what could I possibly teach you?

Don't you get tired of writing every day
about what happens after so long?

How could I?
Different things happen every day.

But having to say something...

We used to go to the cafe.

And lots of us went with
witty things to say there.

I got more for my buck

and spared myself
a few obnoxious jerks.

But your opinion counts...

No, it doesn't.

If I write shit about a minister,
it matters to the minister.

People only care about
being left alone.

What about your style?

Don't talk about style.

There's no such thing as style.
And if it does it's bad.

But you have it.

Well, it's bad.

You can tell you wrote something.

Or one of my imitators.
I do have them.


Or maybe you're imitating yourself.
At times.

On bad days.

What is style

An escort. The museum guide.
A pain in the ass.

People have to fall in love
with what you write.

You introduce them.

Here's a story, here's a reader.
And you disappear.

Imagine a guy introduces you to a friend
and you become his friend's girlfriend

and the guy keeps hanging around
with you in the park

and gets in bed with you.

He sits at your feet and says,

"I think you should turn your head
a little bit when you kiss."

"His ass, you forgot
to stroke his ass."

That guy who won't go away
is style.

The writer waving his hands in the air
so everyone looks at him.

I understand what you're saying,
but you don't follow it.

Well, if I have style,
it's out of fatigue.

I've written so much that
I can't help it...

I don't know.

Everybody combines words
in their own way.

But once the vase is finished,

it's better to break it

and start a new one the next day.

You don't think about
the people who read you?

No, I'd rather think about
the company that pays me.

This profession is for cheapskates.

Cheapskates judging cheapskates.

Surgeons aren't allowed
to operate on family members

because the emotional involvement
is a distraction.

This is the same thing.

You see the world like an outsider.

You have to grab the scalpel
and cut away.

But the world being like this
is your responsibility too.

Don't tell me you're one
of those people who think

writing can change the world.

Why not?

The only thing a writer can do
for the world is write well.

It's a double feature tragedy.

They change the details,
but the plot is the same.

Of course a flood or an earthquake
always comes along to save the day.

If you want to move people,
but that doesn't interest me.


What matters to me is saying,

The world is a joke.

A masquerade ball.
Come on, let's dance."

It's hard.

What's hard?

Why should we care about the world
if it's so impossible to change things?

If you want to do something different.

You want to do something different?


Young people forget
you'll be like us.

You overestimate yourselves.

Youth is a gift, but watch out...

It's a gift that fades.

You feel life emptying and you cover
the holes as best you can.

You'll see.

Why do you scold me
when you speak to me?

My siblings do it all the fucking time.

Why do you all talk like
nobody ever came before you?

It's non-stop,
like a lesson in installments.

We have to endure every topic.

Sex life, job, studies,
what to do, what to think...

Leave us alone, let us live.

I only wanted to have sex with you.
Sorry I turned this into summer school.

What if I was the one after sex?

Maybe I'm curious, or a pervert...

A real pervert...

Or to get ahead, like you said.

What would you get me, a job?

Tell your boss to hire me
as an intern.

Get you to reveal a secret.

I'm not that naive.

And if I am, it's my problem.

The same comparison,
over and over again...

Back in my day, nowadays...

Just a little prehistory for you.

To teach us what
cynicism, bitterness,

striking an intellectual pose...

Finally somebody said something
intelligent in here.

I'd rather you actually taught me
something you believe in.

I think this is how it is,
or this is how it should be.

But they're empty recipes.

Always talking about your age.

Like I'm not aware how old you are
and how old I am.

Maybe I'm the one who picked you.

To escape from what's expected of me

and try something new.

Maybe I don't find guys my age
interesting or different enough.

If we weren't locked in here,

you'd have left by now, right?

You'd have gotten out of bed
with some excuse.

"I'm expected at home"
or "I have a meeting."

You'd have dressed in a hurry.

I got what I wanted.

So stop talking like

you're in a tower.

An ivory tower.

No, a tower of shit.

I was just killing time.

But anyway...

Talk, I?m listening.

I have nothing to say.

Could you yell again?
Somebody might hear us.


Is anybody out there?


It's so hot.

When I was little, I'd spend hours
in front of the mirror.

I'd pretend I was somebody famous
being interviewed.

One of the perks of having grown up
without TV.

You don't dream about being on TV.

I'd ask myself questions
and answer them.

Have you stopped doing it?

Not long ago.

Who were you?

A famous writer.

What did you ask yourself?

About my latest book.

I played at giving Mass.

I was a priest

giving Mass.

Sometimes I'd make political speeches.

I'd sit all my dolls on the bed
and give them a speech.

Because you grew up with Felipe
and Alfonso Guerra.

Real politicians make me sick.

They deceive people.

You think people
want to know the truth.

They'd rather be deceived.

You can't be happy
if you don't lie to yourself.

It may not seem like it, but I don't
have an answer for everything.

A couple months ago a girl in my class
jumped out the window.

She was meeting another friend

who was waiting for her downstairs.

She saw her fall from
her bathroom window.

From the sixth floor.

We were all...

You feel like there was nothing
you could do for her.

That you didn't know
what she was going through.

She was my age, you know.

We'd walk to class together.

We'd met in class.

She was one of those
who always went.

We'd sit together
in the back of the room.

The first day there weren't enough
desks for everyone.

Then people stopped going.
They only showed up for exams.

They need two rooms
to seat us all.

Hard to believe, huh.

We don't even have a desk...

Maybe she did it to make space
for the rest of you.

It's scary someone
can decide to do that.

People who commit suicide
are almost always making a statement

to those who survive them.

That's suicide's nastiest side.

Strangely enough,

being desperate can be wonderful

if you can bear it.

You think so?

Desperate people expect nothing.

That's usually when
the best stuff appears.

The unexpected.

We all expect something...

But we fabricate other things
until it comes along.

And necessary.

The most trivial things,
the pettiest...

are the most basic.

It's pretty unpleasant.

When they see what's out there,
some choose windows

and others seek
more hospitable orifices

where the gorilla,
or other beasts we carry inside,

don't bark, growl or scratch.

Being in here is starting to get to me.

Want to go to the movies?

Want to see a movie with me?
My treat.


Right now.


Come on, I'll make room.


It starts with some views of Madrid.

You can see how it stretches out
from almost every angle.

No commercials before the movie

No, we came in when it was starting.

So nobody would see us together.

Are you ashamed of being seen
with a young girt?

Are you ashamed of being seen
with an old man?

People would think
I'm your granddaughter.

What if we kiss?

Just to annoy people watching.

Don't get distracted.

Watch the movie.

We see a man in his fifties

leaving work in the morning.

Out of town, in an industrial area.

He comes out of a beer factory
and drives home.

It could be any neighborhood,

I can't say what street.

His wife is getting up
and he's going to bed.

They have breakfast together
and he asks where their son is.

The mother says he refuses to get up.

Why, asks the father.

I don't know,
he says he doesn't want to.

"That's unacceptable," says the father,
and he goes to his room to wake him up.

But the boy, who's 12 years old,
is awake,

lying in bed with his eyes open.

No matter how much
the father insists,

he says he won't get up,

that he has no reason to.

Is he an only child?

No, he has a sister who's much older
and moved out.

The father tries to drag him
out of bed,

but it's an absurd situation
because the kid falls on the floor

and just gets back in bed again.

The father grows desperate.

The mother tells him to calm down,
that it's just one day.

The father can't afford to indulge him,

but there's nothing he can do either.

So he gives up and goes to bed.


when he wakes up at noon,
he finds his wife

feeding the boy in his bed.

No, that's the last straw.

If he won't get up, no lunch.

And he forbids his wife
from entering his room.

He'll get up.

But the next day
the same thing happens.

The boy doesn't want to get up.

And the father tries to reason with him.
What's wrong?

Is there anything we can do?

And the boy says he's sorry
and that there's nothing they can do.

There's nothing wrong with me.

I just don't want to get up.

Shall I go on?
- Yes.


The parents call his school

and that afternoon
a psychologist visits him.

"Have you had any arguments recently?"

"Has he been sadder than usual?"

"No", says the parents.

The psychologist
goes in the boy's bedroom

and asks him a bunch of questions.

But the boy seems fine
and always has the same answer.

"I don't want to get up,
there's nothing wrong with me."

When he leaves, the psychologist
recommends some pills

and tells them to keep acting normal.

Keep feeding him, of course,
even let his friends visit him

so he doesn't get bored.

One day he'll just get up

and all this will be forgotten

like it never happened,

says the psychologist
before leaving.

Now is when I could use a cigarette.

Halfway through the movie

there's another doctor

who's more aggressive

and wants to check him
into a hospital.

Because he's depressed.

Depressed, says the mother.
He's only 12 years old.

The parents think it over

and they finally decide

it's always better to be home
than in a hospital.

Then summer arrives,
the boy fails the semester

and they realize
that if this continues

it will be terrible for him.

The father buys a pick-up truck

with an open flatbed

and they put the boy
and his mattress on it

and take a trip.

With him in his bed?
- Yeah, they head north.

Everybody they come across
shows interest in them.

They pass through a town
during the local festival

and they carry the boy on his mattress
through the square

like a statue of the Virgin Mary.

A girl even falls in love with him

and kisses him on the lips

to see if it's like
in the fairy tales.

But no, the boy doesn't get up.

So then the girl decides to go home

and gets in bed as well.

So the girl's parents
and all the townspeople

force them to leave town.

"Please, you must leave,
it might be contagious."

The police had to escort them away.

They pass through Barcelona
and set course for Paris.

Are you making this up now?

Are you crazy?
It's right there on screen.

There's a full moon in Paris
and they drive around a while.

A long while around the Eiffel Tower.

It gets dark and the father looks for
somewhere to park and sleep

near the Bois de Boulogne.

What a pretty shot of the boy
on his mattress in the pick-up

with the full moon between the trees.

Too pretty.

Luckily a hooker appears with a customer
and they start fucking nearby.

Then the customer throws the hooker
out of his car

and she hangs around.

She has dinner with them. The mother
has a portable stove and makes a stew.

Good, I love them having dinner.

Then the hooker goes back to work.

The boy falls into a deep sleep
and the father,

who seems like another man
since they left on the trip,

is content, happy even.

He's left behind the stress and stench

of all those years
working in the beer factory.

For the first time he can have a beer

without it tasting like cement.

He convinces his wife to stray off

into the forest...

lie down...

and make love.

Without taking their eyes
off the pick-up, of course.

They lie down and make love

like they never had before.

In the moonlight on the grass.

There they are,

watching the pick-up,

in each other's arms.

The father's fallen asleep.

The mother watches the boy constantly.

Before dawn, she leaves the father

and heads for the pick-up.

To her surprise, it's empty.

The boy has disappeared.

What? He's gone?

Don't tell me this ends badly.

How should I know?
I?ve never seen it.

I don't know the director
or the actors.

Except the one playing the father,

Augustin Gonzalez.

The sun is coming up.

This is what your friend uses to...

No idea.

Come on.

You'll miss the best part.

What happened?

The mother has woken the father

and she shows him the empty mattress.

So they start calling out

for the boy

and looking for him
in the trees nearby.

It's daytime now and people start
arriving at the park.

But they don't speak French

and they try to tell people

about the lost boy
but nobody understands.

Finally they get back in the pick-up

and start driving around town,

around and around,
through the whole city.

The mother gets desperate,
the father tries to calm her down.

After all, he got up.

"Don't you realize?"

"He finally got out of bed."

The mother doesn't speak, but...

you can tell by her face

that she would almost prefer
to have him there forever,

lying in bed.

And she starts crying


without being dramatic.

She's a good actress.

Better than the father.
He overacts sometimes.

No, they're both very good.

So she's crying.
What else happens

Is anybody there?

Is anybody there?

What's wrong?

We're locked in the bathroom
on the third floor.

Could somebody let us out?
Please, the door is stuck.

I don't live here.

That's okay.

Can you call a phone number?

It's the owner. He'll have the keys.

I don't want any trouble.

It isn't trouble.

I'll pay you.
How about a thousand pesetas?

To make a phone call?
That's right.

To call the number I give you.

I want the money up front.

I don't have it on me.
We're locked in here.

How do I know you'll give it to me?
- I swear.

I swear I will.

All you have to do is wait,
until my friend gets here.

Have you got something
to write with?

No problem, I have a great memory
for numbers.

He might not have called.

He sounded like a junkie
who snuck into the building.

My parents are gonna kill me.

Crazy things are fine a year age
but now?

For me this is like
a personal punishment.

Was it that bad?

I was brought up to feel guilty.

The biggest change is kids today

don't feel guilty about anything.

This is another country.

Who said I don't feel guilty?

Your guilt is different from mine.

I still wake up in the morning

why I feel so guilty.

You didn't tell me,
how the movie ends.

Maybe it was about guilt too, right?

We can meet up another day
and see it again.

You'll walk right over us
like we never


I don't think so.

We might be just a violent,
corrupt generation

that never lived up to expectation.

I hope yours does better.

We'll try.

Remember, life is the perfect way
to sabotage a dream.

I won't get my hopes up.

What will you think about this
in a few years?

I won't think anything.

Things that happen, right?

I forgot to tell you
not to shut it from the inside.

You've been in there since yesterday?

Did my wife call you?
- No.


There's a guy outside
who says you owe him money.

You know what.

She's too young, even for you.


The lock is broken.

What will I tell Esperanza?

Will you involve me?

Of course.

Are they hers?


Here, give them to her later.

If she wants,
she'll come back for them.

You're not gonna see her again?

What do you think?


Two or three gradations.

That worked in your favor, of course.

Very funny.

We need to change the sheets, right?