Banderas and Cruz laugh at the excesses of cinema in Venice


Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas launch into their own industry with abandon in their new film “Official Competition”, which left critics in turmoil at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

The film, directed by Argentinian duo Mariano Cohn and Gaston Dupra, misses no opportunity to skew the quirks and excesses of showbiz.

From actors with fragile egos and petty rivalries, to directors who use unconventional methods to push their actors – like having them rehearse under a five-ton boulder to increase the dramatic tension – satire is the ultimate insider’s guide. for the worst of the movie. manufacturing.

“It was really liberating, really fun,” Cruz told reporters in Venice.

She embodies an eccentric and bohemian director seeking to impose her vision on her two main men, whose gigantic egos clash immediately.

Banderas presents himself brilliantly as a Latin American film star who has managed to grow up in Hollywood, while Oscar Martinez plays a respected stage actor who considers himself too serious for trashy blockbusters.

“The art is the theme,” Banderas said. “To be able to ridicule the excesses that are somehow used to arrive at art.”

Martinez admitted that the cast struggled to keep their seriousness during filming: “We had so much fun that sometimes we had to stop the footage.”

– Provocative performances –

The character of Cruz, who has a mane of frizzy red hair, brings hell to his rehearsal actors.

In one scene, as the mutual animosity of the two extremely contrasting actors is at its peak, she literally wraps them in plastic wrap to increase their interdependence and bond.

In another rehearsal, the two actors swear more and more exaggerated to tap into their rage.

“There were so many swear words, insults, curses that I think at one point we must have written them down,” Banderas told reporters.

“I think some of them were really amazing, there are things that I heard on the streets of Malaga and I started to throw them away – there was a bit of improvisation.”

Cruz was careful to warn that the actors and directors of “Official Competition” were not there to offend the industry in which they work.

“It’s a tribute to our profession. At no time is it a parody, nor a lack of respect towards the actor,” said Cruz.

Banderas, meanwhile, was quick to clear one thing up about the narcissistic character he embodies.

“Some writers might hint at it. But he in the movie isn’t me.”

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