Julio Lamaña (Barcelona, 1966) is a lover and film expert from all its aspects. He is a film club player, cultural manager, professor of film history and, since 2015, also a director. Lamaña, who lives and works in Bogotá (Colombia), will present the screening of Ink night, by José María Nunes, this Saturday, at 6:00 p.m., at the Conservatori de Manacor. After viewing, Lamaña will star in a discussion with the public about this film by Nunes, whom he met personally. The event is organized by 39 Escalons, which wants to celebrate the José María Nunes Award that the entity received for the workshop it organized with Oliver Laxe, director of What burns, by the Catalan Federation of Film Clubs.
Where does your passion for cinema come from?
—I suppose that of the amount of films of series B that saw in the cinema with my mother. It didn’t matter what they put on, we saw it. That is how I started as a passive spectator, but when I started to study History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and take charge of the film club, I became more active, I chose the films that I liked, and I also began to be a film teacher and film critic. In 2015 I thought that the only thing I was missing was making movies. I have made five shorts and now I am finishing my first feature film with Ricardo Perea.
Did you know Nunes personally?
—Yes, it was when he was a student, when we invited him to the film club. From there, then I became his squire and took him by car, since he did not have a license, throughout Catalonia and Valencia, also Andorra, invited by small town councils.
Nunes belonged to the Escola de Barcelona.
—Yes, although in the first place I think that Nunes has to be understood as a creator rather than as a typical film director. His filmography is very special and he was part of the Escola de Barcelona, which was a movement of the 60s of which Ink night It is the first or one of the first tapes of this group. The majority came from the Catalan bourgeoisie, but not Nunes, who was Portuguese and lived in the barracks of Montjuïc, had a working-class origin. The Escola de Barcelona distinguished itself because, like the French Nouvelle vague, they were concerned with the formal question of films.
How would you define the cinema of Nunes?
“He was a great movie fan.” He was always making movies in his mind. When we drove he would always tell me the movie in his head. Two elements stand out in his cinema: the question of time and the use of the word. Regarding the first, Nunes worked time poetically. He said that “everything is happening now, everything is always happening” and it was important for him to live in the present because it allows you to be aware of yourself and be responsible for your actions. As for the words, his dialogues were also very poetic. He was horrified by elevator talk, talking just to talk.
Did that enthusiasm infect you?
“Yes, I inherited it from him.” He was a very strange person and it is difficult to compare him to anyone I have ever met. You would call him on the phone, on the landline because at that time there were no mobile phones, and he would answer “I’m very happy to hear your voice, what happiness is mine”, when he didn’t even know who he was talking to. He was very spontaneous and loving. His career was difficult because he made a very independent cinema. In addition, his films were also formally radicalized and it was very difficult to be shown in theaters. Even today he is not a sufficiently well-known filmmaker. That is why I think it is important that the Catalan Federation of Cineclubs put his name to an award and that we pay him this well-deserved tribute. There are many great creators who are forgotten.
He met other greats such as Agnès Varda or José Luis Guerín.
—Yes, Varda participated with Guerín in a colloquium in Santa Coloma de Gramenet in 2016 and I have known Guerin for a long time. In that talk, Varda was very grateful to French cinema clubs for showing her films when no cinema did. And it is that the cineclubs are very important to make visible the filmmakers and their films. For example, 39 Escalons brought in Oliver Laxe, one of the greats, and many others who have since won awards. It is a great task that CineCiutat also carries out in Palma: that of bringing cinema closer to the public, a cinema that is not so commercial and that sometimes costs more to see in theaters.
He is working on his first feature film.
—It will be titled Before a dark mirror and it is a documentary about the Colombian conflict. I hope to finish it this year and that, next year, we will come to present it to Manacor.