Space Candy: Mario Barcellandi


SPACES is always looking for mini-videos that blow us away with BIG stories.

ICI by Mario Barcellandi will do just that.

MarioMario Barcellandi is a photographer and videomaker from Argentinian Patagonia. He studied image and sound design at Buenos Aires University for four and a half years, before moving to Barcelona, where he currently resides. His interests include books, and he tells SPACES, “I wish I could be a writer, but the magic of photography makes me explore the world of telling stories in that way, by making videos.” Mario is twenty-eight years old and, likes cats, like everybody. Also, every time he leaves his house, he cleans and tidies every corner so that if he dies when he’s out, nobody will find his house in a mess.


SPACE CANDY Interview:

(Interviewer: Will Mayer, SC Editor for SPACES)

Will: What sparked your move to Barcelona?

Mario: I was looking for a change. Buenos Aires is a wonderful city but I was tired of being there. Europe was always a kind of enigma to me, but I decided to roll the dice. After travelling between Madrid to Amsterdam for awhile, I decided to stay here. It’s a powerful combination of life, art, and history that makes me feel like home.

Will: That’s quite a dice roll! I think it takes a lot of courage to make a move over that kind of distance. But at least we do have ways of staying in touch no matter where we live. That leads me to ask you about the subject of your film. It was very interesting to me that, working in such a visual field like you do, you decided to make a video about the telephone — what was it that attracted you to that as a subject?

Mario: Well, I’ve been always fascinated about the cinema description of Gilles Deleuze on his “image-movement” studies about the leak of information there is with some expressions. Also, Noel Burch wrote something that always interested to me: “white on white, impossible to register.” Every time I think about my projects, I try to stay in tune with those two concepts. The absence. The impossible things to catch. The need inspired in the lack.

Will Mayer: I love the way you took something as auditory-based as the telephone and made it so visually appealing. You mention Burch and Deleuze. Are your influences for film mainly French?

Mario: Oh! It’s a coincidence. I used to read English and German authors, too. But maybe I’m more familiarized with French artists because of the Nouvelle Vague, but also I’m a fan of Italian “Neorealism” and really enjoy independent films from all over the world.

Will: What are some of your favorite indy films?

Mario: Well… I watch a lot but I can make a kind of a “cocktail” of the lasts movies I enjoy watching:

Songs from the second floor (Roy Andersson) Sweden – 2000

Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr) Hungary – 2000

Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July) USA – 2005

Oscar (Sergio Morkin) Argentina – 2004

Holy Motors (Leos Carax) France – 2012

El Artista (Cohn / Duprat) Argentina – 2008

The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev) Russia – 2003

Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas) Mexico – 2007

It looks like the top rank of the Olympics swimming event. I probably forget a lot of movies, like everyone does when someone asks you about your taste in movies, but maybe these ones are the ones that I want to watch again today. That’s a pretty good sign.

Will : That’s quite a cocktail. If you drank that cocktail what would it taste like? Or, maybe more importantly what would you feel like the next morning after drinking it?

Mario: Probably like a prostitute looking for a job, without a father, pretending to be in a funeral, but, instead walking in the desert with a Jesus portrait in his hand and carrying a huge wood cross on his back. Or… to be less symbolic… probably alone.

Will: What is it that draws you into a film? Or, what makes you want to watch one a second, a third, or a seventy-fifth time?

Mario: The first frame. And, if I’m not convinced, I’ll watch the first ten or thirty seconds. And then the first five minutes. That’s the limit, if in five minutes, the movie don’t get my attention…I probably won’t finish it.

Will: Can you name a film that struck you in the very first frame?

Mario: Fellini’s 8 e mezzo (8 ½) and Antonioni’s l’eclisse (Eclipse).

Will: I understand the difficulty in putting it to words, but can you describe a bit of what it was about those frames that made them so powerful to watch?

Mario: I think that it makes me remember when I was a child and my first questions about the world we live in: the anxiety of a traffic jam, the green spaces in cities, the meeting between natural and artificial spaces, and how we interact. The difference between the expectation and the reality of the places we, as human beings, construct.

Will: Here’s a new spin on an old question: if, by some extremely odd circumstance, you were trapped alone somewhere like a space station for the rest of your life, and you had a means of watching films, but you could only watch films of a single director, who would that be?

Mario: Hitchcock. He has a lot of movies, but I’ve only watched ten or twelve of them.

Will: I can’t argue with that choice, he was certainly prolific. Plus he did some television. You’d certainly have plenty of content to choose from. What else about Hitchcock makes you willing to spend the rest of your life with him?

Mario: His films have the perfect combination of entertainment and depth.

Will: Keeping with the space station theme for a moment, what would you be doing tonight if you knew you’d be blasting off the Earth tomorrow morning?

Mario: Updating my Facebook status. Kidding. I’ll be cleaning and tidying up my house. Because, as you know, I don’t want my people found a messy house when I leave the Earth. Then I’ll be charging my camera batteries for the trip, giving all my stuff to charity, and sending a note to my family that says: “Maybe we we’ll not seeing each other anymore, but you know that what is essential is invisible to the eye. And I’ll have Skype anyway.”

Will: If, for some reason, you ever make the trip, send some of your photos from space over to SPACES. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, Mario. Let us know if you start work on any interesting new projects.

Mario: Perfect!! Thanks, Will, SPACES makes me feel like a star!!