Interstellar Journeys

Interstellar Journeys

Joaquín Cambre’s coming-of-age drama, A Trip to the Moon, centres around teenager Tomas (Ángelo Mutti Spinetta), who distracts himself from academic challenges with his interest in astronomy. It is a journey that merges fact and fiction that leads to the uncovering of an old family secret. Cambre discusses the film.

ASFF: How did you become interested in film?
JC:
My father used to take me to the theatre to see films by Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers and Alfred Hitchcock. So, instead of watching movies for kids or infants, I grew up on those.

ASFF: How important is the role of storytelling in your work?
JC:
The films I grew up watching have magical moments, which are essential parts of those films. I care for narrative and storytelling of course – this is what filmmakers do – but it’s not the most important thing for me. I think I’d rather see the process as an experience to get to the soul of the spectator.

There is a lost tradition of new narrative cinema. A Trip to the Moon is a classic narrative film, but it has the same name as Georges Méliès’ very famous work, which is not. Méliès tried to surprise the spectator and get an emotional reaction from them. Those kinds of works have been lost, and there’s no commercial theatre for them now. I am trying to get that back as much as I can.

ASFF: How did you use music in A Trip to the Moon?
JC:
I started to work with the musicians when I had finished the script with the co-writer [Laura Farhi]. I needed the music to create the correct atmosphere. I wanted to get to the audience’s inner child, so I needed childish music – but with a sound that was distraught. To match the topic of astronomy, I also wanted something that reminded me of movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey. When I had identified the mood of the music, that was the cue to start making the film.

ASFF: How does the film explore the experiences of growing up?
JC:
I feel as a person and as a director that I am a child playing the role of an adult. People tell you every day that you have to be in the grown-up world, but creativity is on the other side. The idea of this film is to open a dialogue between these two worlds. You don’t have to be in one or the other. Tomas is going through a process that is changing him, and somehow this is changing the spectator. That feeling, that juxtaposition, is what the coming-of-age film is all about.

A Trip to the Moon is available On Demand courtesy of Network Releasing.

Paul Risker