The enthusiasm for Gaspar Noé's masterclass could be felt across Centro Multimeios de Espinho throughout the day. The revered director, behind challenging and bold hits like Irréversible (2002), Enter the Void (2008) and Climax (2018), discards any pompous titles used to describe him. He rejects the concept of a director as an artist, preferring an approach much more collaborative on his movie sets.
The title ‘masterclass’ is also something that confuses Gaspar, even though there was no doubt that the audience was in front of one of the big masters of cinema today. What Noé transmits to the audience is honest, genuine, free, and without artifice. The freedom of thought and action so characteristic of his films is also present in his speech, which is marked by a total lack of cynicism, pretentiousness, or embarrassment.
For more than two hours, the participants in the 18th edition of FEST had the opportunity to dissect the mind of a visionary through questions which were always answered with complete honesty. Noé talked about his unorthodox creative process, his propensity for improvisation, and for exploring the “toys” that cinema can offer, like 3D, split-screen, and drones.
To Gaspar, the keyword for everything is ‘freedom’, in preparation, talent selection, shooting, and even editing (which the French Argentinian director does alone for the most part). When this lack of rules produces bad results, you just cut the scene. Filmmaking, which is an intimidating endeavour to most people, is, to him, second nature, occurring organically, and the faster, the better.
“Like Godard, I want to be the director who gets his films financed with only a two-page script”, confessed Noé. It’s in these conditions that he works best. in an environment with no limitations, even if he admits that if there’s a difficult part of making movies, it's dealing with money and the people who handle it.
During his talk with FEST participants, Noé’s peculiarity and eccentricity stood out, alongside a tremendously sincere and accessible friendliness. This combination resulted in an unmissable environment in Espinho which allowed everyone to put their most intimate imagination into action.
Carolina Gonçalves and Francisca Tinoco