Gracia Querejeta (Madrid, 1962) premieres her new feature film, “Invisibles,” where three women over 50 meet each Thursday morning to take a tracksuit for a stroll through a park in Cáceres and where they share their lives, their joys and their sorrows. Three splendid characters for three extraordinary actresses, Adriana Ozores, Emma Suárez and Nathalie Poza, with supporting actors Blanca Portillo, Pedro Casablanc and Fernando Cayo. Director of “Seven Billiard Tables” or “Happy 140” has opted for simplicity, a simplicity that hides some risks that Querejeta reveals to us.
You said that “Invisibles” is your riskiest movie to date…
Yes, because it relies only on its three protagonists and on the interpretation of their actresses. We stick them in the park, and they walk and talk. And they talk about a lot of characters we never see. In this sense, I’d say it’s somewhat risqué. And experimental.
Above all, compared to your previous film, “Wave of Crimes”, which was a custom job..
A custom Telecinco job that I gladly accepted and am so happy I did. There wasn’t even a script of mine. “Wave of Crimes” responded to a completely different production model from “Invisibles”: The money was secured from the beginning, there was a major producer behind the project and many more people working. The apparent simplicity of “Invisibles” made it more complex in every way: production and filming. You can’t even imagine how complicated it was to organize and shoot those walks with Emma Suárez, Adriana Ozores and Nathalie Poza. They were really long shots!!
The movie is titled “Invisibles”, but it might also have been named “Invincibles”.
Indeed, because this alleged social invisibility of these 50-year-old women will not make them disappear. They are invincible, yes.
Did you have any previous reference, in terms of theme and style?
We haven’t invented anything. Without going any further, there’s a clear reference to the Richard Linklater saga “Before”, starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.
You’ve decided to work again with Adriana Ozores, after “By My Side Again” (1999) and “Héctor” (2004) and now in “Invisibles”.
Adriana is a teacher. She’s such a generous actress, always giving it her absolute best. It’s been a truly delightful reunion. Also, I’ve been wanting to shoot with Emma for a long time, and I finally got it. And Nathalie has done an amazing job, very different from anything she’s ever done before, where she dealt with tougher characters. Here, she’s the opposite. The four worked on the script intensively that I co-wrote with Antonio Mercero, so that it sounds natural, so that it will not be imposed. As Fernando Trueba often says, my only merit has been to choose the actors who’ve given the very best of themselves to the project.
The dialogues are natural and often very funny. Whose was this reflection of Nathalie Poza: “Cola-Cao is lethal to plants. They get addicted ”? Is that yours or Antonio Mercero’a?
Ha, ha, ha, that’s Antonio’s!
“Invisibles” opens at a particularly appropriate time, when society is debating many of the issues that you raise: that invisibility of ‘not young’ women; the loneliness of the elderly; the need to have or not have a partner; the salary gap between men and women; domestic violence, etc.
And, in addition, it’s a film about women but that isn’t against men. There are men who can even feel identified with the three. It’s funny, because, after watching a few screenings, I’m beginning to see that the target audience of “Invisibles” is much broader than we’d expected: it’s not only interesting to women above 40.
You offer a rather pessimistic view of today’s youth. I’m referring to the problematic student character played by Adriana Ozores and that Nathalie Poza’s partner’s daughter.
I don’t think these are the best times for young people and teenagers. For starters, in terms of the job prospects… what kind of future awaits them?
By the way, the three protagonists of “Invisibles”, who’re permanently telling each other’s most personal things, surely they’d want to know who this ‘Luismi’ character you dedicate the film to is?
Luismi was a carnal cousin of mine who died of a heart attack last July. We were very close.
In parallel to your career as a fiction director, you have an impressive curriculum as a filmmaker and documentary series, such as “El partido del siglo” (1999-2000) or “Rutas de Andalucía” (2019). Are you as interested in one thing as the other?
Yes, and on top of that, documentary is also a way of making drama. There’s a spark of drama in its structure.