Rodrigo Moreno & his film THE WHOLE
Finally. An intellectual film that nearly everyone can appreciate...and enjoy.
No stuffed shirts here, this thought provoking film deals with crucial matters we all have confronted, and not since Dinner with Andre have we seen a film with so much philosophy, presented on so many levels. And THE WHOLE does not simply take place at the dinner table...it takes you all over theoretical spectrum.
We saw this film at the San Antonio Film Festival and knew right away we were seeing something original, unique, and certainly one of the first real messages for the 21st Century.
Remember how Bob Dylan hit a nerve with an entire generation since he was able to articulate the feelings many had...but did not have words for?
THE WHOLE does the same...however you receive the message visually as well.
It taps into our individual and collective fears by following the attempts of the main character to distinguish himself. Note we did not say "find himself", which is the raw material of most films....to distinguish himself.
Something we are all caught in whether we realize it or not.
Click on the image below to see the trailer:
We were lucky to visit with director Rodrigo Moreno during the festival to learn a little more about him, and how he came about to collect his fabulous crew to put this film together:
1.) When did you become interested in working with films?
The day I saw Milos Forman’s “Amadeus” I fell in love with movies. The day I saw Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” I felt respect for the job. The day I saw Terrance Malick “The Tree of Life”, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do one myself.
2.) What gave you the idea to do THE WHOLE?
How did you come up with the title?
We were writing the script with an alternative title, one that we knew we had to change in the future. Coming up to a scene where the character is writing his manifesto (the one that will transcend in human history) we stumbled on to this idea.
Derrida as you know is said to be the father of De-Constructivism. The idea of analyzing everything and debunking the meaning of anything. In our movie, we deal with a character who wants to be defined, who wants to speak of everything and anything but at the same time keeping his own identity. So, The Whole serves as one single entity and one entire universe. The Whole can be One and the Whole can be everything. My whole-self or the whole universe.
On a more superficial level, if you take away the “W” from the word you find a more related meaning to a key central entity of the movie. Whole and hole sound almost the same.
Behind the scenes on one of the set of THE WHOLE
3.) Besides money, what was the most difficult thing you had to deal with in producing this festival/film? Either filming-wise, organizational-wise, business-wise, editing, etc....?
Making sure our story supported three levels of understanding. We knew that we had to have a very superficial story to accommodate a more relaxed audience, but we wanted to challenge them. The trick was to make sure the movie had elements that could surge in the middle of the story that would make the audience relate to the character and feel the same emotions that he was going through.
That is easier said than done.
You need to make sure you have that narrative there and try not to confuse the audience with so much meaning and thought. The challenge was that during filming we didn’t lose track of that narrative and end up just with one very superficial flick.
4.) What did you learn about yourself personally by creating/running this festival/film?
I learn to believe in myself. It’s cheesy I know, but you don’t know until you know. Discovering I was capable of filming a feature film with all the elements that need to be and not just a short where is less demanding.
5.) What advice can you give others who wish to make a film?
First and foremost, find out if you have the passion. Getting into this business for fame, glory or prestige is not the answer. Making money would be the least reason. You need to make sure that if you raise your hand and say something, you better have something important to say.
Second would be to do this out of necessity. You can’t live with yourself if you are not filming. You can’t stand yourself if you are not writing a script. If you are not willing to put everything on the line for this, then get out of the way.
6.) What have you done to get your film ‘out there’?
We barely finished our movie. We are now in the process of selecting the right film festivals and will soon be finding venues where they will show it. We also hired a publicist who is making sure we find the proper channels to find in the future distribution.
From left to right: Mario Gomzalez Dueñas (Director of Photography), First Assistant Director Rodrigo Arnaz Pineda, and Director Rodrigo Moreno
8.) Any examples of how you had to be really creative to solve a problem that suddenly came up?
I can think of many but the one that stands up is the ceremony scene. We were expecting more than 100 extras to shoot this big pompous and solemn ceremony where the character’s fathers were going to be remember. But because of a bad weather we didn’t get as many people as we needed. Bear in mind this are all volunteer extras. So instead of a big ceremony we decided to film it as an intimate and deep hearted event. At the end this worked out much better. The character brought a little more depth to his speech.
9.) In your own words, what makes your film unique to what’s out there?
I believe that if there is something different about this movie is the narrative and rhythm of the movie. We wanted to accelerate the story and for that we had to edit the first part as if they were waves of information. Peeking into the next scene when the previous hasn’t finished. This to make the visuals feel more like a memory.
10.) Whatever you can think of you wish to be known that I'm not asking.
We live in South-Texas and most of us are from Mexican descent. We see movies produced down here and the majority talk about issues dealing with drugs and gangs. All perfectly great subjects, but we wanted to talk about a more universal theme, one that anybody could relate to.
Reflect we did...and we think from just viewing the trailer and reading this interview you will see why THE WHOLE was an immediate selection...!
Whether you are in Timbuktu or Paris, we made this movie so you could reflect upon this subjects.
We start the move with a Magritte sentence from his famous painting, to warn you that what you are about to see is not real. We dwell on Sartre’s statement “Existence precedes essence” for you to question your own definition.
We finish with Derrida so you can destroy everything you have seen. Movies for us are not just to entertain.
Movies should be made to make you reflect.