Saura(s) (2017) - full transcript

Carlos Saura, a living legend. Félix Viscarret, a director who wants to make a film portrait of the great master. He draws up a plan. He thinks it's brilliant. He will show the intimate side of Saura through conversations of the genius with his 7 children. Everyone accepts. But Saura does not like talking about the past.

This unbearable heat...

Whatever made me tell Joseabout the hunt?

It's ridiculous.

Where are you going?

I'm going on a trip, you know?A very long trip.

Do I get a goodbye kiss?

I want to be with you always.

That won't be possible, son.

We'll come back for you straight away.

Dear guardian angel, my sweet companion,
Do not forsake me night or day.

Do not me leave alone lest I get lost.

Make Irene and Maitecome back to life...


Those artists, get them to come out!

I'm sorry, so sorry!I already told you I'm sorry!

Didn't you hear me?I'm sorry!

I'm sorry!

What are you doing here, father?


let's go home.

Look who's here.

Oh, how wonderful!

Come on.

No, it'll run away!

Let's see.
Listen to me for a moment.

-To who? To you?
-To me.

What day is it today?
The first of December?

The fifth.

Right. Good heavens!

The fifth.

So, tell me!

On the 12th we're going to Paris,
first thing in the morning, ok?

The flight is at 8:30,
so we have to leave home early.

We have a screening on that day.

On the 13th you have press,
and then another screening on the 14th.

And they asked...
Don't make that face!

They asked whether you feel up to doing
the radio interview in French.

You do, right?

-Do I have a choice?

We return from Paris on Thursday 15th,

and on Sunday 18th we'll go to Almería.

-What for?

Also for Jota.

18th Almería, 19th Jaén... 20th Jaén...

-Like a bullfighter!
-No, I made that up.

-Just like a bullfighter!
-Almería on the 19th.

And they also invited you
to go to India...

-In March.

But India... what for?

For a festival,

they're giving you a prize
for your career and your work

and your great contribution
to international cinema.

At an Indian festival.
-Of course!

What else, what else!
-Nothing, that's all...

I already have a prize from Mumbai...

But this one isn't in Mumbai,
it's a city close to Kerala.

Pu... Puke...

Pu-se, or something like that.
-But they gave me one in Kerala too!

So one more.

-Right, never mind!
-That's all for now...

-Very well!

So, most pressing of all
is the film shoot,

then Paris, Almería, Jaén...

and that's it.

All right then.

My name is Anna Saura Ramón.

I'm the daughter of Carlos Saura
and Eulalia Ramón.

I was born in Barcelona
on the 22nd of December of 1994,

and I'm a producer
of documentary film and adverts,

as well as assisting my father
with all his projects.

There's a sentence in Cría Cuervos,it says some memories are so strong...

What memories have had
a particular impact,

or weight in your life?

Well, the war.

The Civil War inevitably

left a mark on me...

The distress, the dead,

the bombings...

But more as a result
of what I saw in my parents

than for myself.

For me,
it was like an adventure of sorts.

You were also very young.

Yes, it was an adventure
to be in Barcelona,

at a terrace called Verdi,
in the upper part of the city.

Watching the bombings
and the fire in Barcelona.

It was a sort of...

It's awful to say,
but it was a spectacle of sorts.

Like a film, yes.

I don't like to live from the past.

I also don't like to live thinking
about the films I've made in my life.

I've made more than 40 films,
but I don't enjoy watching them.

I watch them a bit by chance.

It's absurd to live off memories.

One must live in the present
and look to the future.

For me that is of vital importance.

If not it's like locking oneself up
in a box...

Yet you love photography,

and photography belongs to the past...

Yes, I know!

But perhaps it's for that same reason,
to leave the past behind.

The copies remain there,
the photograph stays...

Changing the subject:
how did you meet Mum?

-She worked with me on a film...
-Which film?

I don't remember.

But did you meet on a shoot
or had you met before?

No, I didn't know her before.

I met her on a shoot.

But how was it?
You met her and then what?

-That's it!
-That's all.

-That's all!
-And then I appeared.

-That's right.
-All of a sudden.

-Out of nowhere.

-But did you want a daughter?

You already had 6 sons,

how were you so sure
as to have another child?

it doesn't take much convincing!

Look, see how beautiful you are?

Félix, he doesn't want to talk any more,
I don't know whether you've noticed...

-We're storytellers!
-He doesn't want to talk any more...

-Talk about how you and Lali met...
-He does't want to.

-This sort of thing...
-He doesn't like it!

-He doesn't?

-You're getting into my personal life...
-Yes, well, but I don't know, they're...

It may mean nothing to you,
but it means a lot to me.

I'm going to let you rest
for a second...

A second?

You'll find yourself with a problem,

when we speak to my other sons
there'll be nothing left to talk about!

There will, don't worry!

-Because at this rate...
-I'll keep insisting...

My name is Félix Viscarret.

A couple of years ago,

a group of filmmakers from my generation
invited me to make a documentary

about a renowned Spanish filmmaker.

I decided to make
a portrait of Carlos Saura

because his films touched upon issues
that particularly affected me...

Although I had never met Saura
in person.

Pre-production on the documentary
began in the autumn of 2016.

I knew that Carlos Saura
had seven children

from four different relationships.

There was already plenty
of coverage on him,

so I decided that his children
would talk to him

so as to reveal previously unseen,

intimate aspects of his work

and his life.

This is Adrián.

He always had the face of a visionary,

look at him!

He has very powerful eyes.

He was a really strange guy...

He drew strange things...

He was obsessed with robots,

he would draw them.

Well, let's leave this nostalgia
behind and get to work!

This one always has his head
in the clouds.

He's always been
tremendously imaginative,

very creative...

A very inquisitive child.

You used to invent

exciting worlds.

Some sort of insect... or robot...

You can't really tell what it is.
-I'd draw what I saw on films...

Do you remember
when you'd let me play...

with the camera equipment,
the tripods and all that?

Yes. Look at this one,
isn't it beautiful?

I used to love it
when you worked on scripts

and you would give me paper to draw on,
and we'd listen to music...

Yes, look! It's true!

"Interior, house.

Anna looks out the window.
Something moves in the distance.

She shoots the rifle.
The glass breaks."

What is this from?

Oh! From Anna and the Wolves!

Of course!

I always had a table set up
so you could sit and draw next to me.

-With pencils and things

because I really enjoyed
having you close,

busy with things.
-We didn't bother you much.

No, I would work,
and you would work on your things.

But you would never show me your films,

I would've like to have seenEl Dorado as a kid,

even if it was rather...


-And you didn't get to see it?
-I saw it as an adult.

I saw The Hunt a few years ago...

I recently saw The Delinquents.

I liked it a lot.

But my favourite is The Hunt.

My name is Adrián Saura.

I'm the son of Carlos Saura
and Mercedes Pérez.

I was born on the 11th of February
of 1984 in Madrid,

and I'm a graphic designer.

Work is the most important thing
for him.

So he's had little time
to spend with his kids,

especially when they were small.

When he spent time with us,

we would draw,
he would play music...

But he would work.

He doesn't usually talk about feelings.

In fact, I don't think
we ever talked about that.

He's tough in that sense.

He went through painful moments
when his brother Antonio died,

then his sister María Ángeles...

And these things affect him of course.

You can tell
he's unwell through his attitude,

but he recovers quickly.

He'll never talk about it though.

The most he will say is:

"What a shame! What a pity!
But life goes on!"

That's what he'll say.

I've always known
that my father was like that,

and I accepted it.

My father appears to be an insensitive,
cold person,

who doesn't want to speak
about his memories, about the past...

He's not like that,

but you have to get to know him,
and understand him.

I have to say that's very Saurian,
all of us Sauras are bit like that.

This is what I'll do... Carlos, come.

I'm going to pass you the folder.

Leave it there and we'll take out
the one with the posters.

-Which one is it?
-I know which one it is.

You have to hold it like this, look.

Girl, you're strong!

Where are
the large format photos of this?

-They used to be here.
-No, I put them up, didn't you see?

Yes, of course,
they're here somewhere...

Where exactly... I don't know.

Look at what you have here.
I'm sure you won't remember.

It's scary!

This is the past coming back,
which is what scares me most.

What's in here?

Leave it, cover it, put it all away!
Shut the door!

Those photos are here...

Lali, please, don't take them out!

"Lali please". I won't.

No, they're those strange drawings,
we don't know who they belong to.

And these are pictures of your family.

See? You come up here
and find beautiful things.

Why don't you like to come here?

Because I don't like
to remember things this way.

Imagine! I would have to spend
a lifetime remembering,

and I have no time for that!

It isn't a matter of remembering,
but of archiving and selecting.

Recall yesterday's sweet hours

A photo album.

Of what?

I don't know.

It's all mixed up...

This is Goya,

with the candles, painting.

They used to put candles

on the brim of their hats
in order to paint.

Blood Wedding...
Look how beautiful this one is!

-Yes, it's by Cruz Novillo.
-It's beautiful!

-Cruz Novillo is a...
-He was fantastic, Cruz Novillo.

Yes, he was. Look how pretty it is.
Produced by Elías Querejeta.

Those are photographs too.

-So, shall we take this downstairs?

Which film is that map from?

What are we doing?

It's cold as hell,
if hell was ever cold...

There you are, the 3 of you.

That's a lovely photo.

I have a copy of it hanging at home.

This is the third litter,
so to speak, right?

With your mother Merce.

There were always many mirrors.

-You liked reflections...

Yes, mirrors are fundamental.

Panels and mirrors,
especially in the musicals.

I took many self-portraits

because when I walked
around the house with a camera,

my kids would run away:
"No, Dad! That's enough!"

"They're only tests!"

I had to test the lenses out

on myself,
there was no other way.

Yes, I remember you would catch us and:
"Nobody move! Photos!"

"No, Dad, no more photos!


I love that!

How did you end up
painting photographs?

I had lots of photos
I'd take on trains, secretly.

-The typical stolen snapshots.
-So one day I said:

"I'll get into trouble
if I publish this".

They could say:

"what do you think you're doing,
taking pictures on the sly?"

So I thought that the only way
would be to transform them.

It's a fantastic moment,
because I like to work fast.

-Yes, not think too much, right?
-Right, on the contrary,

to let the hand run free
and then whatever comes to mind.

To make it up as you go along.

You end up having a method;

these vertical lines on the nose

and the eyebrows appear

in almost all of my photosaurus,
as I like to call them.

Yes, that way of marking the face
is typical of you.

I don't care
if there is a big transformation,

if it looks like something else.

It almost looks like a painting,
no longer like a photo.

It looks different.

Yes, it's neither one or the other.

It's a betrayal, right?

I'm Diego Saura Pérez.

I am 29 years old.

I'm the son of Carlos Saura
and Mercedes Pérez

and I work in post-production.

I see my relationship
with my father as one of friendship.

Despite his age,
he's not like a grandfather,

or a father.

There's this joviality about him,
he's always joking...

It's not easy to see my father.

He's very busy working,
he travels a lot,

and it's hard to meet.

We also have to keep in mind
that for him this isn't a job,

it's a way of life.

It's a different concept.

He does what he enjoys most,
what he wishes to do,

that's why he keeps working,
that's why he's so full of life.

He always says:

"If you ever take my writing, my photos,
or my music away from me,

you'll kill me".

He usually enjoys working alone.

He loves solitude.

He doesn't feel bad or abandoned,

and he will take a break to see you,

but you know you're interrupting him,

that he's looking forward
to being alone and getting back to work.

Look, they're going to play an excerpt.

Let's see if you can guess
which film it is.

I've no idea!
I can't tell with this shot.

Oh! That's López Vázquez.

José Luis.

I don't remember this film anymore,

I never watched it again.

You'll see how this cologne
freshens you up, Luisito.

Mum, I don't want to go with grandma,

I want to stay with you.

You said the same thing last summer.

How you cried!

But then you had a wonderful time,

But you've grown up

and this year there'll be no crying,

I want to be with you always.

It won't be possible son.

We'll come back for you straight away!

I didn't remember that scene at all.

I do recall the idea

of an adult becoming a child.

When you reminisce
you're no longer a child,

it's you looking back.

It was a great idea, wonderful!

I don't know why,
but it's a beautiful invention,

the idea of a person turning into
a child without being a child,

to be able go from one period
to another so easily.

I liked that a lot,
and had forgotten about it.

Is it related
to your childhood experiences?

Everything is somehow related.

But anyway, no.

Well, let's not get metaphysical,

or else we're lost!

We're lost!

Well, I've exhausted
my capacity to draw.

I'm going to take all these!

I've produced more here
than when I'm home!

Well, we're reaching the homestretch.

That means we're off!

It's Félix's duty to get us
to spill the beans, to push us.

And it's our duty to say:

"That's enough! We really enjoy it,
but only a little bit longer!"

Come on, we're your slaves, tell us!

You and I are polar opposites.

Perhaps I tend more towards nostalgia,

I see photographs and say:

"Oh, how time has passed!",

but you see pictures
from a different perspective.

My father is more practical.

It's not that I don't share
that feeling,

I might have it at any given time,
it's not so hard...

I told Adrián to ask what painful

or sad childhood memories
could have led you

to come up with that sequence,

which to me is so emotional
and delicate, so beautiful.

But I can see that...

Did you see how nice it is,
without music or anything?


it's been a happy,

wonderful day in your company,

but I think it's coming to an end...

It's like one of my films,

with the camera coming closer
and closer...

I hope it's not one of your films,
because we'll end up dead!

In my case it would come even closer...

Alright, goodbye, dear camera!

At the beginning of December,

I began to realise that Saura
had no intention

of opening up
certain drawers of his past.

I was terrified to admit
that my approach might have been wrong,

and that the film would be a failure.

He's just focused
on his present projects,

he's yearning for the future...

When are we going to Beijing?

To Beijing...

The Chinese are super odd

because they invite you
one year in advance.

I mean, they invited us

for September of next year.

That's September 2017, or March 2018.

And where will I be then?
Who knows!

You'll still be here,
making photosaurus...

Don't forget that they're awarding you
an honorary doctorate

from Carlos III University
in September, remember?

-Did they confirm?

So there's that as well.

What did you do to the cat?

I left him around here somewhere.
Over there.

There was something else...
Oh, yes!

What are we doing
on your birthday?

I'm retiring...
Off to a faraway mountain...

Like Buddha, under a tree.

-Like an ascetic?

I'm doing nothing.

I mean, do you want to have lunch
with all your children, or...

Yes, let's do that, that would be good.

You only turn 85 once!

I warned you!

Go on, pick it up,
pick it up!

What did you drop? Come here!

The destroyer!

Did he chuck everything?

I just don't know where he is.
Come here!

That's why I don't want him
in this room,

he just destroys everything.

He's a beautiful cat, but...

Let's kick him out.
Come on, out!

My dear son Antonio!

My dear Pater. How are we doing?

This is Antonio.

He's one of my favourite sons.

He doesn't know it,
because he's always very...

He has seven favourite children.
-...there's a generational conflict.

How so?

In every possible way!
Right, Antonio?

I don't know...

Do you think there's a conflict?

No, it's not really true...

-I don't see it that way.
-It's a joke.

What we do have is
a considerable dialectics going on.

Whenever you're ready!

We were talking
about the film you're working on,

and your relationship to musicals.

I thought we were talking
about your emotional upbringing.

He won't let me! We have to talk about
my emotional upbringing first.

Whatever you want!

I think it's a shame you haven't made

any fiction films recently
to place you back

in that dimension again...

Well, cinema today is very complicated.

I couldn't makeElisa, My Life, today.


It is a classic in France,
and many other places.

It's one of my favourite.
It would be impossible now!


Or Blindfolded Eyes.

Or any other one of those.

Nowadays people would say:
"Why bother making that?"

I'm sure that with Cousin Angelica
they would say:

"What is this nonsense?"

Keep in mind
that I've already made a good few films,

maybe it's enough.

A long career, isn't it?

And some years
you made too many of them,

almost two in one year!

Which makes them really hard to sell.

Whenever I could.

I am Antonio Saura Medrano.

I am the son of Carlos Saura
and Adela Medrano,

who was
and is Carlos Saura's first wife.

I'm a film producer.

I work on international distribution
for films.

I take care of international sales

and sometimes write articles,
because I enjoy writing.

My father's compulsive need
to create forces him to leave a legacy.

For someone who insists
on not leaving one,

he does nothing else.

He's bothered by repetition,

by having to explain what he's done.

He wants to concentrate

on what he's going to do next.

But he seems more comfortable
with that now, more relaxed.

He's changed a lot.

I can't help feeling it's been

an incredible privilege

to have Carlos Saura as my father.

That whole period,

from Peppermint Frappé
to Elisa, My Life, is fantastic.

I try to connect

each personal moment of yours
to film production in Spain,

and the times you worked in,
and what I think I've discovered,

and I could be wrong,

is that there's always a connection
between your films,

and both producers and women.

In some cases,

the most important narrative shifts

emerged when you changed partner,

or when you worked with a new producer

who generated a new interest in you.

The change to Elías,
or the arrival of Emiliano,

who somehow marked the beginning
of your musical films,

or the arrival
of Andrés Vicente Gómez...

But both Emiliano and Andrés

arrived when you were
no longer with Geraldine,

you were with Mercedes,

and it's as if you were going
through a full revolution somehow.

Although you had already broken up
with Geraldine when you made Fast, Fast.

Yes, it's possible.

Keep in mind that I always say
that my films are autobiographical,

but it's always transformed, you see?

It makes sense;

when you write a script
you're always working on material

that's on your mind, right?

Images you've experienced, and,
obviously, the women I've lived with

have been a big influence on me.

I always say this, I admit it,

and every woman
is a different experience.

In the case of your mother too,

Adela, then Geraldine...

who, without a doubt, brought
in an Anglo-American influence somehow.

She was a very competent woman,
very sensitive and...

Well, you know her too!

Yes, of course.

And with Merce there was something
more down to earth, for example.

Of course, because...

And perhaps that's why I madeFast, Fast, because I was more...

Going back to that time
of radical changes,

when you made two films
that were far from what people

expected of you,Fast, Fast and Blood Wedding...

At the time you were changing partner,

you were living
more or less alone in Madrid.

You had moved into a house

and I recall you weren't doing
so well money wise;

you were making your own furniture...

That's because I love to work
with my hands...

Yes, it was great!
You'd build tables...


-It was a huge flat.
-400 square metres.

Completely empty.
I painted it all white.

Full of fireplaces!

I lived alone

for a while.

It was wonderful.

I bought a table and a bed
and that was it.

But, as usual, after a month

I felt lonely and then...

a woman moved in.

I remember you wanted to change,

you were reading Chandler...

you were reading Ross MacDonald again,
and you wanted to make a film noir...

I always loved them
but I never made one.

But the basic structure of Fast, Fast
came out of that obsession.

I started making films
with The Delinquents,

a film with its feet firmly
on the ground.

Once in a while I feel

the need to make
a film that is down to earth,

and it was the moment to do it.

My name is Carlos Saura Medrano.

I'm the son of Carlos Saura
and Adela Medrano.

I was born in Madrid.

I'm the eldest
in the family line of Carlos Saura.

And there's a good few of us...

I work in film,
I'm an assistant director.

I've been working
for him for a long time,

and recently I worked
as executive producer

and producer
on some of his latest films.

I do think he looks back,
much more than he says he does.

He says he never watches
his own films and so on...

It might be true,

he won't sit and watch the whole film.

I don't think he sits
and ponders on his life,

but he does look back,
because with each film

he carries out some sort of experiment,
a creative, technical,

or structural test of sorts,

which he then applies again
as he continues to develop his way.

It's not that he looks to the past
with nostalgia, with sadness,

with yearning...

He looks to the past

to see what he's already done,

to see what he wants to improve upon
or change.

I watched this film recently

and your talent

in it is amazing.


It's visually stunning.

There are some incredible ideas in it...

It's a masterpiece!

It was a very comfortable shoot,
beautiful, wasn't it?

We had a lot of support...

Out of all the musicals I've made,

it was the one with the biggest budget,


And we made it
at a very comfortable studio, right?

With all the means at our disposal...

-That hasn't happened again.
-No, it hasn't.

The other musicals were more sparse.

It's true though,

it was a real pleasure to work on,
we had the means for it...

This is when you made me repeat
a shot of Sara Baras,

only because you felt like seeing her
dance again...

It's true,
I've done that once or twice.

I ran to ask what had happened,
and you said:

"Nothing, it's just so beautiful...
Have her do it again!"

-Yes, it was the mere pleasure of it.
-It sure was!

Well, I don't know.

We can start with Sevillanas
if you like.

The first idea for it
came from Juan Lebrón,

who asked me to do something
for the Expo in Seville.

He wanted to make a film about flamenco.

So I decided to make

a radically austere musical.

The scenography was

almost non-existent,
there were only a few panels.

It was the first time I used them.

We made a sort of rectangle,
not sure if you remember.

Yes, I do.

A sort of rectangle
that could be closed off.

We lit it and that was it.

With the artists in the middle.

The idea was to make them
the absolute priority,

to get rid of anything
that might distract from them.

And to have them perform.

I liked to show the artifice,

to show the spotlights,

to have the shot widen:

all this is true, but it's a lie".

Because everything is a lie in cinema.

With my first musical,Blood Wedding,

the French distributor/producer

called me and said:

"If you make that Spanish cliché...

that's your whole career
down the drain!".

And I said, "Now is the time!".

Wise choice!

And since I'm from Aragón I said:
"I will do it".

And Carmen has a beautiful story to it.

There's one shot,

I don't know how it was done.

The one with the mirrors.

Yes, I tried to do it again
but never could.

I don't remember either.

The camera goes into the mirrors,

and then Cristina Hoyos
and Laura del Sol are there.

Out of all the musicals,
the most similar to your earlier works,

narratively speaking, is Carmen,

which has a double story.

Since then,
all your films have been more linear,

or non-narrative.

When Carmen was finished,
I watched it and wrote in my diary:

"Who will watch this film now?"

And it turned out
to be number one everywhere...

It's your most successful film.

It's still being screened...

You won a BAFTA,
you came close to winning an Oscar,

you created flamenco schools in Japan...

I think The Hunt had a great impact,

especially abroad.

It disappeared all of a sudden
and no one remembered,

and now,
it turns out it's my best film.

I don't think so.

I think it's a good film.

But it's made a comeback

as a sort of cult movie.

But you're right,

I have to say that I'm used

to a very warm welcome abroad.

Always had it.

So, how's Paris?

Listen to that noise,
it's the tube above us...

That's the tube, with its tyres...

Well, here we are again.

The Eiffel tower behind us...

Very well. It's Paris.

So who's this in front of us?


All is in order.

We're with the director
of Cría Cuervos and Blood Wedding,

Spain's national film treasure.

-Good evening Carlos Saura.
-Good evening.

Sitting next to him,
a film lover, a friend,

the ex-director
of Cannes Film Festival, Gilles Jacob.

-Good evening.
-Good evening.

Carlos Saura, Gilles Jacob,
you obviously know each other,

but since when?

'68 for sure. Maybe earlier,
but in any case around '68.

-How many times was he in Cannes?
-9 times!

I checked earlier:

6 times competing,
twice out of competition,

and once more.
Which is incredible,

because directors come and go,
they go to the Directors' Fortnight,

to La Semaine de la Critique...

But he only ever took part
in the official selection.

Which period out of Saura's filmography
made the strongest impact on you?

There were documentaries at first,

then fiction, then musicals...
-I liked them all.

Spain is incredibly lucky:

three great directors
have represented the Spanish soul.

Buñuel did it for a long time,

then Carlos Saura,
who is still here,

and today we have Almodóvar,
and before that there was Cervantes.

The country is lucky to be embodied

by one great artist at a time.

What is your relationship
with musical culture?

I remember your mother
was a professional pianist...

How would you describe
your relationship with music?

You have dedicated a great number
of films to it since the 80s.

It's a great frustration
of mine to have never played the piano,

or the cello, which I loved.

But I did have a musical education,

because my mother
played the piano every day.

Before, during, and after the war.

They were hard times,
but I remember

she was always playing the piano.

I don't think
any further introduction is necessary:

Mr. Carlos Saura.

Come here,
they won't see you otherwise.

Just a minute...

Isn't it too quiet?

They're turning it up...

That's better.

Carlos! We love you!

Come on!

All of us, we all love you!

We're all in love with you!

-Good evening!

-It's an immense honour...
-Thank you very much!

... to be with you,

I've been an admirer
of yours since I was a child.

May I give you a kiss?

Go on then.

I met your brother Antonio.

Antonio, of course!

-Yes, and I made a film...
-You did?

When he was alive...

Nice to meet you!

Life goes on!

This is fandom to the nth degree.

What's your name?

You were on the radio
with Gilles Jacob!

How is he?

Very old, but nice.
He was very nice to me.

He's always been a big fan of yours,
since Cannes, more than Frémaux!

Well, on and off...

Geraldine looks so beautiful here.

Yes, very.

That was a beautiful period
of Geraldine's.

A wonderful actress... as always!

How did you meet Geraldine?

We met in Berlin,
with The Hunt, think of that!

We became friends,
we became lovers...

I was preparing Peppermint Frappéat the time,

and after that we lived together.

We had a son, as you know...

But you met her on the shoot...
You hired her for the shoot.

I met her in Berlin, you see?

And then,

someone convinced her

to make a film in Spain with me.

We would have to give
the producer some credit;

for someone like Elías Querejeta,
to have an international name

like Geraldine working
on films in Spain,

a country that was under a dictatorship,
was a tremendous luxury.

And if there was
a fantastic understanding

because the two of you
together were...

It was wonderful
to be with the two of you.

It was spectacular!

She was very smart,
and, just like Lali,

she'd read the scripts and tell me
what she thought,

which I think is great,
they're valuable opinions.

-And Geraldine is very cultured.
-Of course!

And then, it allowed me to meet Chaplin,
to be at his house...

Yes, it opened some doors for you.

I mean, you could go places
where you wouldn't have been...

I'm sure!

And in the U.S...

On the 20th of December

I received an email
from Shane Saura Chaplin,

son of Carlos Saura
and Geraldine Chaplin.

Shane lives in the U.S.,
and wouldn't be able to come to Spain

during the months
of the shoot due to work reasons.

In the email, he added the following:

"Our family, as you know,
is complex in its structure,

but not in the affection
we have for one another.

It has grown in time,
despite Dad perhaps,

who hasn't been the perfect father,

but who has always loved us
in his own way,

and who we all love very much,
as I imagine you have already noticed."

Here are two of my sons,

out of the 3 I had with Mercedes,

my 3rd wife.

Adela, Geraldine, Mercedes and...

And Lali.

This one is nice.

Félix, what are you getting
at with this?

We took some shots

of those wonderful photos...

I have some beautiful photos of Merce!

Yes, but this isn't Merce.


This isn't Merce, this is my mother!

Oh, sorry son, forgive me,

there's been some confusão!

The momentary confusão!

I remember this one, in Africa.

It was Adela, of course.

That's got me into trouble
with some girls...

That's how it is...

A cultural exchange.

It's the multitasking...

See how handsome you were!

Yes, look at that!

This one is more recent.

You've lost your hair already...
a couple of sons already have no hair.

See how fat Antonio is.

And me! Look at my little belly...

And Shane!


I spoke to Shane the other day.

He called me from the United States.

He was very affectionate,
very pleasant... Yes...

I was very much in love with a girl.

I was 8 or 9 years old,

no more than that.

I didn't know
how to get a keepsake of hers,

so I stole my father's camera and,
hidden behind a hedge,

I took a picture of her.

She was very pretty.

I developed it and sent it to her
in a letter with a heart on it,

saying "I love you".

That was the beginning of both

my emotional and photographic history.

I've always liked buying camera parts
and assembling new cameras,

to build them myself.

I think manual labour is vital

to reactivate areas of the brain

that you don't normally use.

When you write, you make a film,
draw, or paint, it's different.

Manual work requires you

to use small screwdrivers,

tiny accessories,
to tighten up screws...

It takes patience, time, and I love it.

I can spend hours
on these little machines.


Goodness me!

Who would think
of bringing a dog in here?

I told you, Félix...

The dog is fine...

A dog and a cat,

they fight...

They're a pain,
we have to separate them...

They asked me to make

a film about Bach,
and they sent me this.

But then like many other things...

I've always loved Bach,
I know a lot about him.

He's a beautiful dog,

as ugly as the devil...
He's like a vampire, isn't he?

But he's so affectionate...

He's very smart too.

He's pretty smart
for a such a small dog.

We have thousands of hours

of footage of our daily life,


I just digitalised thousands of hours,
from '92 until 2002.

All sorts of footage of Carlos,
of the kids,

young, grown up, in between,
of all the animals...

All the little things we used to edit,

like short stories...

We're in Cairo.

It's October of 2002.

And in this room

at the Royal Hotel

something mysterious is taking place.

What's going on?

Let's see.

Oh! What's this?

A sphinx!

Oh, what a beautiful sphinx!

Let's move closer!

as she should be, no laughing,

or smiling,
her eyes glued on the camera.

Her eyes won't shed a tear.

A wonderful international actress.

She's a sensational sphinx!

And now?

What voices are these?

Let's see! What's this?

There's a door here,
incredibly hard to open!

We've entered the first...

What's this laughter?

My foot!

What happened here?

What's going on here?

Dad arrived
and started scratching me with his foot!

But I didn't do it on purpose!

It was going so well... Again!

Again! One more take,
come on, one more, I'm ready!

I've always been disastrous
at educating my children,

because I never told them
what to do, ever.

It was the same at home,
we were always allowed to do

whatever we wanted, more or less.

My name is Manuel Saura Pérez,

I'm the son
of Carlos Saura and Mercedes Pérez.

I was born in Madrid in 1980

and I work in computer graphics.

How would I define it...

Advantages: what we've seen
and learned from him.

Luckily, I live quite close to him.

And disadvantages: as a child...

that he travelled a lot,

and sometimes I could go with him,
but not always.

I like this picture a lot.

I was 15 perhaps...

Yes, more or less, 15 or 16.

More or less, yes.

You always get me into trouble.

No, not at all! It's simple.

I can ask you instead if you like.

I don't know...

You haven't been on my films, have you?

Only a couple of them, as an assistant,
or third assistant, in Salomé, right?

I was on Tango, and the one on Goya...

You were also on Tango?

Yes. I was with you.

In Argentina?

-I don't recall...

You don't remember?
We were living together!

That's right, yes, it's true!

You were sending me out
for ice cream all the time!

It's true! It's true!

Yes, then Goya, and Salomé...

Salomé I know, because you were hanging
around with the dancers,

who were all crazy about you.

You were always with me.


You've never experienced
a period on another...

But then you stayed with me
after I split up with your mother.

Speaking of more personal matters...

It's important, right?

I don't know how old you were
when you had leukaemia.

6 or 7.

It was horrifying. Tremendous.

It was one of the most terrible things

that ever happened to me,

I thought it would be much more serious
than it was.

Luckily you pulled through,

and you had an awful time too,
didn't you?


-You were locked up in hospital...
-A long time.

A couple of years, right?
Or maybe longer?

In hospital for a year...

You would come home
and then back again...

I brought it up
because you changed since then.

-You changed, didn't you?
-Yes, when...

You changed after the illness, right?

Your character changed,

you became much more affectionate...

more generous with those around you.

I think that

these terrible illnesses
change people.

You see everything differently.

It happened to me too.

I had pneumonia 4 or 5 years ago,
and since then...

-I remember.
-You see life differently.

Every day you go out
and take a breath and say:

"Good heavens! One more day!

How wonderful! I'm breathing,
I'm alive, I'm healthy..."

What more could I want?

If you're handsome and rich,
what more could you want?

This is a nice photo,

with the 3 of you...


This one too, we're older here.

Yes, I like this one a lot.

You were so handsome!

Now you're uglier, but never mind...
Nothing you can do about it!

That's life!
-Thank you.

And this is my mother.

She was very beautiful.
When she was young...

How time flies...

All your life is here,
in the pictures...

Well, a part of it.

My mother helped me
a lot with photography.

She would give me money for paper

and chemicals
when I was starting.

My father worked in his office all day,

he wrote over 40 books about taxes...

No one was interested in them!

But he was imaginative,

he used to make up stories for us
when we were kids.

He had a great imagination,
unlike my mother.

It's funny, isn't it?

My mother ?a pianist?
was somehow very happy

that Antonio should be a painter,

and she approved

of my photography too.

Now we only need

a couple more inserts of the studio.

We wanted to shoot with afternoon light.

Look! The text is beautiful.

What is it?

It's about the Spanish war,
the famine in Madrid and all that...

Did it affect you?

It reminded me of the Spanish war...
The usual!

It's a text of your mother's
that you found...

He found it in a box
his sister María Ángeles gave him.

She died last August.

And you'd never noticed
the spool inside?

I knew there was something in there,
but I was surprised to find it! I said:

"Good heavens,
I didn't remember this at all!"

Had you read anything
your mother had written before?


It's the first time you read something
written by your mother?

-That's quite something...


It's a right shenanigan.

Yes, call it what you will...

It's a diary of your mother
during the war?

Well, not a diary, but a...

I don't know why she kept it here,
there must be a reason for it.

It was inside this spool.

It was rolled up inside a spool,
see this string?

It was rolled up in there together
with that stamp.

I don't know whether the stamp
has any value or not,

we'd have to find out.

Imagine it's a valuable stamp!

Let me shoot a quick insert of the box

with the envelope in it...

But the spool is gone.

Oh, the spool is gone,
but the envelope...

Carlos, don't play dumb!

I'm not, let it be.

Can't you show us the little paper?


Very well...

Carlos, you're so capricious...

He doesn't want to now,
it's his privacy.

I think that everything

that's been said about Saura's cinema
and feelings,

about him being a cold director,

or that he's more
of an insect specialist,

exploring his characters...

Firstly, there are few people

who are more sensitive and capable

of expressing feelings
in such different ways.

But you have to find the roots...

The time he comes from,

or the education he received,

where feelings weren't expressed
or explored.

It's like asking Buñuel to say
"I love you" in public.

It would have been impossible.

I remember talking to Rafael Azcona,

who told me he had never said

"I love you" to his wife in his life,
he found it pornographic.

There's a generation,
especially of Spanish men,

for whom this was never expressed.

In everyday life,

I've had very close moments with him,

and others where I was less so.

He has always been there
when I needed him.

Some of the best advice I received,

through my also long trajectory
of breakups,

was from him.

The best advice is given by someone
who has experience.

If they can give you good advice
on a situation

it's because
they have reflected upon it,

they have experienced it intensely.

For people to say of someone
who has fallen in love so hard,

at least four times,
that he has no feelings...

And I say "at least" because I know
he has fallen in love more times!

And he had to fight
for what that entailed,

because my father split up

from my mother in '67,

when that was considered a sin.

The logical stance
would have been to keep

his wife and have lovers,
the way other directors did,

but he took on the consequences

and implications of this love,

the relationships with his children...

He transformed that,
and turned it into something livable.

Regarding feelings,
I agreed with Buñuel.

We often spoke about that.

We detested sentimentalism.

At the end of the day,
it's easy to make the audience cry.

That's something people don't see,
they think it's complicated.

It's very easy!

But I think there's a danger there,

you have to safeguard people's intimacy.

You have to respect it.

You have to respect the fact
that every person's life is unique,

there's no need to talk
about nostalgia and the past.

Towards the end of December
I realised I was still missing

a piece to complete the portrait.

It's a strange relationship, isn't it?

I don't think he knows
what I'm doing in the U.S.

Perhaps he knows I'm a psychologist
because my siblings reminded him,

or because I told him
and he finally remembers,

but for many years
our relationship was one sided.

You're a guest in his life.

You go to see him,
and the most beautiful moment

is when he shows you his work,
that's when he's happiest.

But his interest in you is small.

He might ask about you,
to make small talk,

but he's not like a father

who takes interest in his son...

I say this with no acrimony,

I never asked him to be
that kind of father.

It's something I learned at a young age,

that he wouldn't be that kind of father.

I don't know him well, to be honest,

but I don't have
a single bad memory of him.

When you go see him

he has an impressive charisma,

he's nice, and affectionate...

so there are no bad memories,
no resentment...

Quite simply,
you know that once you leave,

he won't call you.

He never calls.

If he ever does
I'll have a heart attack!

I've heard him
say that he doesn't like children

when they're small,
he finds them more interesting

when they grow up,
when they're adults.

But the reality of fatherhood

is that the relationship
with your children is established

when they're small,

so if you don't do that then,
you miss the boat!

But time fixes things too, right?

So our roles are clear now.

My father always said:

"Sacrifice doesn't exist.

Only decisions exist".

And it's an interesting phrase,
an interesting way of seeing the world.

Sacrifice implies looking at the past.

I know that, for my mother,

their separation
was a very difficult time in her life,

but I'm not sure
it was the same for him.

He doesn't like complications,

so I imagine that my mother having
a hard time wasn't fun for him either.

Hi Dad.


Why are you awake?

I'm not sleepy. Where are you going?

I'm going on a trip, you know?

A long trip.

Do I get a goodbye kiss?

When are you coming back?

I don't know.
Come on, go back to sleep.

Take good care of Mum.

I had forgotten about this scene.
But I like it very much.

It's very beautiful.

Geraldine is great in it,
as always!

Fernando is a fantastic actor,

and the girl is still a magical girl.

She's magical...

Well, this sequence sums up so much,

the way you play with time...

This is when he leaves, isn't it?


Although he loves his family very much
he opts to isolate himself completely,

to leave home...

It's a heroic decision,

because it's not that he doesn't get on
with his wife...

It's something

I used to reflect upon:

the capacity to leave
when you love where you are.

You don't leave
because you don't love where you are,

but because you need to go elsewhere.

To be someone else, to change...

It's still cruel somehow.

But what's beautiful

about Elisa, My Life,
is that you show both sides.

Both the pain of the abandoned one

and the need of the person

who leaves to develop another life,
because the one he has isn't satisfying.

And doesn't Geraldine's relationship
with him remind you of our relationship,

as father and daughter,
who spend time together,

who complement each other?

I don't know, it's much more extreme,

this man lives in complete isolation!

And don't you see yourself in him?

Yes, I already said I do.

But every time

I've tried to do
that the results were terrible!

Every time I isolated myself,

after one month
there was already another woman,

there were pots and pans...
It's hopeless.

When I was a child, I remember

that you were far less isolated,

but you always locked yourself up.

I remember

working hours were sacred,

we couldn't come to your office,

yet lots of people would come visit.

You had a very open house.

So it was solitude with company.

And now I think
that since you moved

from the city center to live
with Mercedes,

you enjoy absolute solitude,
and you have fewer guests,

or only the ones you want.

In order to do something in life
you have to be

in absolute solitude.

You can't write a script
unless you're alone.

You can't write a novel
unless you're alone

and deal with it and write, you know?

You can't paint unless you're alone.

During the last days of the shoot,
Carlos Saura asked me

whether I was planning
to interview Lali, his wife.

I thought it went against the plan
I'd set up for myself,

where only his children
would talk to him.

I must admit that at this point

I was losing faith that Saura

would talk about the regrets
or sacrifices his work entailed,

when it was something he hadn't talked
about in his life.

How are you, Carlos?

Here I am, drawing!

Hey, Santa! Can I sit here?

-Of course!

-I'm drawing some girls...

Les Demoiselles from Collado?

Busty ones?

This one not so much, poor thing!

Félix told me you're doing...

I've no idea what Félix is up to
but he's torturing me.

No, come on, he's not.

You spoke with all your children, right?

That's the torture!

To speak with your kids?

Because you're not used to it...

It's great! To be honest...

Did you get to speak
with all of them well?


You don't have the same father-son
relationship others have...

I mean, your kids do their thing
and you do too...

Well, I don't think family's
meant to be all over you all day.

I don't mean all day,
but there's something

in between all day and nothing at all...

It's best to respect
each person's independence.

Yes, sure.

And meet once in a while.
Once a year is enough.

Don't exaggerate!

There's no need for more.

These parents who are like:

"Oh, my daughter!
Where's my daughter!" really bother me.

Because it means
they have nothing else to do.

No, it's not that, Carlos!

They have other things to do and...

If they did they wouldn't be
so concerned with that.

They also worry,

but you're not fatherly in that sense.

I mean, you're the father
of many children,

but you're not fatherly in practice.

Well, that's one opinion!

According to my children I am.

There's no clapboard? We just continue?

I don't know, they film,

and then Félix
will do whatever he wants.

But you find it hard
to express your feelings.

I sometimes enter the room

and see photos of Anna as a child,

from a shoot,
and I get terribly nostalgic.

-How do you deal with that melancholy?
-I don't.

Because you don't feel any!
But you must, at least a little...


Take Chaplin's house,

for example.

Oona used to screen

a 16mm Chaplin film every afternoon

and he would sit there

and laugh at his own films,

he enjoyed them so much!

He'd say, "isn't it funny?",
and I would say, "yes, great!".

He lived from the past,

from the films he'd made...

But I cannot,

I'm the opposite...

You're going off topic...

I'll notice and think:
"Is he sad or something?",

when you're taking

your photo lenses apart...

When you're
in your mechanic workshop mode,

that's when you're feeling
a little like that, right?

I have a different view on that.

You might be right,
but it's for different reasons...

You have no sadness!

I do, but it's of a different kind.

Doesn't it make you sad
to see life pass by?

It's sad to see my parents.

Because I've lost them.

I think it must happen to everyone,
but it's always saddened me to think

I wasn't closer

to my mother.

I know some things about her
because I've been told,

or because she told me,
but not so much.

Once a person dies,
you stop to think and realise

that you could have had
a more intimate relationship

with someone you loved,
that you could know so much more,

that you could have asked things
you never asked.

But that's in the past now,
unfortunately, it's unrepeatable.

And don't you think about it
when they're alive?

I do, in relation to my mother,
to be with her more, or you...

Yes, but you still have time to do
that with your mother, I don't.

I meant people who are dead already.


When I die, if I disappear,
and my things disappear,

I'll think it's great.

But wouldn't you like all those things
we have in boxes,

that I've been keeping,

or your cameras,

to be kept in a studio, or a foundation?

I just don't think about it,

I really don't!

I mean it! It wouldn't bother me
if there was an earthquake tomorrow

and it all disappeared...

That would be after I die -if I die-,
because it will happen.

We're running around in circles.

We can't break out of it
because I think that,

just like the things one makes,

things disappear, and it's no big deal!

In any case, the most clear example

of this are your children,

who come closest to what you are.

I meant material things...

But it's the same thing!

The films you make are also
your children somehow.

They belong to a specific period,
a state of mind,

something you wanted to make,
and there they are, that's all!

On the 4th of January of 2017,
Carlos Saura turned 85.


Aren't you going to sing?

Happy birthday to you...

No, you'll be out of focus.

Don't sing, don't sing!
Don't let her sing, she's a disaster!

Happy birthday to you...

Happy birthday dear Carlos...

No, I can't sing!

Happy birthday to you!

I think it's better
as a 58 than an 85...

A wish!

A wish?

-Make a wish!
-Of course!

Careful Pater!

You be careful!


The daughter took her time to come...


They say you have to look
everyone in the eye,

but it's impossible!


Congratulations, thank you, all of you!

It's hard to bring this family together.

Only one of my sons is missing.


We've only managed to do it once,
this year.

I would like

to drink a toast to him,
as he's not here.

To Shane.

It's wonderful to have

all the family together.

I've always felt that I got on well
with my children...

And with Lali too,

once in a while...

You should be here!

Your problem is
that you don't include yourself,

you should be here, in the middle.

Now it's your turn to speak, go on!

What's your father like
when he begins a new project?

He has a one track mind, unbearable.

No, not unbearable, but obsessive.

It's all that matters to him...
Obsessive? If you like!

When he was younger

-these guys
didn't experience that-

he was absolutely unbearable.

It was all about his project.

The shoot would end
and he'd be wonderful again!

A wonderful, playful father...

What do the older ones think,
has he softened up,

become more of a family man?

He's older!

Now he makes phone calls!
Now he calls and asks, "how are you?"

-He does call.

He only calls you!
He only calls you, Anna!

He replied to an email of mine once!


But I had to insist 3 times!

He calls to say:
"I can't start my car, TV doesn't work?"

"Come fix my TV..."

At the end of the process I wondered:

did Saura allow his children and wife
to bring up issues

he would have preferred
not to talk about,

as an act of generosity towards us?

I thought to ask him one day,
and imagined what he might reply.

The project
I'd like to make the most...

-The one on Cuba.

Because I've always loved Cuban music
and know more about it.

The one from India too,
it was fantastic.

And the film about Mexico?

Well, the idea is to make a journey
through Mexican music and dance.

But there's a problem:

the fundamental foundation
of their music is the corridos,

some of which are beautiful.

They tell stories, but how can you tell
a story within a film?

It's very complicated.

But you already know so much
about the corridos...

Yes, but how do you tell a story?

They tell you the story of a man riding,
a bit like Varela, you know?

Yes, like in Argentina.

I must come up with something,
I don't know?

You're working on it.

And then you have the danzones,
and many other things in Mexico.

Not only the corridos.

That's where we're at:

Cuba, Mexico, India... Then what?

I think that's it... Australia!

-Beijing too, yes.

It's pretty, isn't it? Beautiful!

The colour of the mountains,
it's purple... beautiful!

Yes, it's the colour of dusk...

My name is Carlos Saura.

My parents are Antonio Saura,
from Murcia,

and Fermina Atarés,
from Huesca, in Aragon.

I was born
on the 4th of January of 1932.

I am now already 85 years old,

and I am a film director.