Francisco Villarroel was an impetuous young man, wanting to eat the world. He received the opportunity of a lifetime to go to study in Paris. He never thought that in those years (the end of the 80s) he would get in the so-called City of Light the reason that more than three decades later he would take him to festivals around the world.
His own love story was the inspiration for Dos otoños en París, a film that hit Venezuelan cinemas two days ago. It is the debut of the Venezuelan director Gibelys Coronado, who made the adaptation of Villarroel's book of the same name for the big screen. He also co-wrote the script with Gustavo Michelena; He was the producer of the film and the adult protagonist of it.
The plot not only addresses its own to weave the story. Emblematic events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the events of “El Caracazo” also became resources for the realization.
However, the focus is on Antonio, a young Venezuelan law student, and María Teresa, a young Paraguayan who, after being tortured during the Alfredo Stroessner government, goes into exile in Paris.
—How was the process of recreating a chain of real events in fiction?
—Both the book and the movie portray the impetus of youth. The passion that we all have in that moment of effervescence. And more in a time like the one we portray that went from being a world that was experiencing the eternal Cold War to being open to other models and ways of living. The fall of the Berlin Wall was a very strong symbol that could not pass, in the middle of history.
- When you wrote the book did you think that at some point you would make it to the movies?
—There is always concern about that, because one wants to know how the magic of the cinema works. And I think we did it here. For example, the movie was shot entirely in Caracas. Some places were set, such as El Cuartel San Carlos, the streets of Chacao or the UCV, in such a way that it looked like Paris. We also use chroma technology (the green background) to put images. We got what we were looking for because in all the festivals where we have presented it they ask us how difficult it was to shoot in Paris. When we explain it, they can't believe it.
- Do you plan to adapt any other of your novels to the cinema?
—We already did Tango Bar, we have it in post-production. But, as in the case of Two Autumns in Paris, everything was delayed by the pandemic. We hope to have the opportunity to finish it soon and release it without much delay for next year.
“This story came to me in 2017 when Francisco Villarroel gave me a copy of his novel. Reading it, I immediately connected with the story; I connected with the universe of María Teresa, a fierce woman, a fighter, a leader of political activists in favor of human rights in her country. I also connected with her interior, with that woman who suffers to the extreme, loves to the extreme, has fun to the extreme, passionate and extremely erotic. I knew immediately that it was what I was looking for to direct my first feature ”.
Thus, the director Gibelys Coronado explains how her approach to this story was, which was shot during three months, from the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, but which saw its premiere truncated in 2020 due to the pandemic. ECH