Javier Navarro, director of I've just had a dream....

Javier Navarro, director of I've just had a dream....

Dream narratives have been around since the beginning of cinema, designed for different effects on an audience.  Sometimes to disorient the viewer, sometimes to communicate on a symbolic or subconscious level, dreams and their presence in a film can dazzle or confound a viewer.  In one of the short films from our first festival, I’ve just had a dream… dreams are used to make a social point.  We spoke with the director Javier Navarro via email about the film, which will be featured at this Friday's "A Night of International Film".

(We want to thank LCIFF’s own Dr. Jose Tores for helping with the translation of the answers.  Maybe you should check out his novel, The Accidental Tourist, here.  )

LCIFF:  I've just had a dream... isn't your typically told film.  It's mysterious.  It needs to be deciphered.  Why did you make the film in this fashion?

JN:  Sinceramente no creo que sea misteriosa. Creo que el mensaje es bastante claro de entender y es muy directo. Es una película arriesgada en su formato, entre otras cosas porque presenta un único giro central. Es ese tipo de historias que funcionan bien dentro del formato de cortometraje. La narrativa audiovisual nos permite muchas posibilidades y a mí me encanta experimentar. Pero también hay que reconocer el mérito de mi amigo y guionista Pedro Herrero.  Además de hablar de desigualdades, queríamos hablar especialmente sobre “el punto de vista”.

I honestly do not think it's mysterious. I think the message is pretty clear to understand and it’s very direct. It's a risky film format, among other things, because it has a single central turn. It's those types of stories that work well within the short film format. Audiovisual narrative allows for many possibilities and I love to experiment. But you also have to give credit to my friend and screenwriter, Pedro Herrero. Besides talking about inequalities, we wanted to talk specifically about "point of view".

I've just had a dream... uses the concept of dreams to play with perspectives to make social commentary.

I've just had a dream... uses the concept of dreams to play with perspectives to make social commentary.

LCIFF:  Are there any filmmakers you would consider an influence on your work or on this film in particular?

JN:  Tengo influencias de muchos cineastas. Y me encantan especialmente los autores que nos llevan a reflexionar.  Buñuel, Tarkovski, Bergman… Por citar  a algunos.  Siempre he soñado con hacer algo  parecido a lo que ellos hacían. Por supuesto estoy a años luz.   Creo que el cine es una herramienta de concienciación muy potente, y pienso que los cineastas tenemos casi la obligación de denunciar cosas injustas que ocurren en nuestro tiempo mientras que al mismo tiempo podemos hacer una obra de arte.

I’ve been influenced by many filmmakers.  And I especially love authors who make us think. Buñuel, Tarkovsky, Bergman ... to name a few.  I've always dreamed of doing something similar to what they did.  Of course, I'm light years away.  I think film is a powerful awareness tool, and I think filmmakers have almost an obligation to denounce injustice happening in our time while at the same time trying to make a work of art.

LCIFF:  You focus on child characters in the film.  Why?

JN:  No voy a ocultar que es una forma de llegar más rápidamente a la conciencia de todos los públicos.  Y al mismo tiempo es más fácil llegar al público infantil y juvenil. Por ello, ahora mismo la película se utiliza como herramienta educativa en colegios.

I will not hide that it is a faster way to get into the conscience of everyone.  At the same time, it is easier to reach younger audiences.  For that reason, the film is presently used as an educational tool in schools.

LCIFF:  What would you like an audience member to take away from the film?

JN:  Muchas veces, estamos viviendo nuestra acelerada y al mismo tiempo acomodada vida y nos cuesta mucho ponernos en el lugar de otras personas que viven otras realidades diferentes y muy difíciles. Yo me conformaría con agitar un ratito la conciencia del espectador y hacerle reflexionar un poco.

Many times we live our fast-paced yet comfortable lives and we find it hard to put ourselves in the situation of others living different and difficult realities.  So, I'd settle for stirring the viewer's consciousness a little and making him think a bit.

LCIFF:  Do you feel your film is particularly Spanish?

JN:  Definitivamente no.  La película trasmite un mensaje totalmente Universal. Se entiende en todas partes y por todo tipo de gente. En cualquier región de cualquier país del mundo, ocurren injusticias similares a las de mi película.   Para corroborar esta afirmación, pueden servir las más de 600 proyecciones en Festivales de todo el mundo y los más de 150 premios internacionales conseguidos (la mayor parte fuera de España)

Definitely not.  The film conveys a totally universal message.  It is understood everywhere and by all kinds of people.  In any region of any country in the world similar injustices occur as those in my film.   This claim is confirmed by the more than 600 screenings in festivals around the world and over 150 international awards the film has won (mostly outside Spain).

LCIFF: What are you working on now?

JN:  Estoy trabajando en dos nuevos cortometrajes que también tienen una parte social importante. Y por otro lado, voy generando ideas para un largometraje. Pero no tengo prisa. Acabo de llegar…

I'm working on two new short films that also have an important social component.  On the other hand, I'm generating ideas for a feature film.  But I’m not in any hurry.  I just got here… :)