Cinema is primarily about capturing existence. It’s the part that I appreciate most about the medium. The camera records things that are actually happening, even if it has been staged, which is often the case in commercial cinema. Recording life is the essential aspect for me. Filming a tree, you are in fact presenting the act of existence because this technically is an action. The camera acts like a funnel capturing life. It’s up to the filmmaker to build something else with that material. But no matter what, once you film something, it exists as imagery. Music is very similar. Once you produce a sound with a violin or a guitar, the sound exists in itself, independent of what the artist does with it. I make films to acknowledge that I’m alive. I want to know who I am and why we’re here. What can you think about if not ordinary life, and all the mysteries that flow from it? All my thoughts and feelings are connected to experiences in my daily life. Life is experiencing through our senses. When you see, smell, touch, and feel, you communicate with other people and with the things around us. Sensuality is the main tool.
It feels like an appropriate setting for Reygadas who is above all an unapologetically personal filmmaker. His instinctive working, channelling feelings and sensations derived directly from his own dreams and daily life, results in a bracingly intimate cinema that is sensual, tactile and alive – one that demands to be experienced rather than deconstructed.
I grew up and my folks were janitors and steel workers. They all had uniforms, and I always thought that was so dope when I was a kid. It’s like, these people, their professions are on display, their social club is on display. And all the family parties and barbecues used to be at the VFW and the union shops. I’ve always been interested in how you can portray a uniform when you don’t have to wear one. So maybe there’s a desire to try to build frameworks in a life that feels kind of amorphous, especially when all I do is essentially just.. my output is ideas. And it’s not like my dad, who worked in a glass factory and his thing was making the mason jars. You could look at his physical output from work.
"What I write here is not my teaching, but my study; it is not a lesson for others, but for me. And yet it should not be held against me if I publish what I write. What is useful to me may also by accident be useful to another. Moreover, I am not spoiling anything, I am only using what is mine. And if I play the fool, it is at my expense and without harm to anyone. For it is a folly that will die with me, and will have no consequences." — Montaigne