Eleven films in a year, the challenge completed by the man who defeated the casinos | Culture

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 Eleven films in a year, the challenge completed by the man who defeated the casinos |  Culture

For the Spanish of the street, Gonzalo García-Pelayo (Madrid, 74 years old) is the guy who swept the casinos in the nineties thanks to a legal system to win at roulette that, applied by him and his family, turned them into millionaires A movie even came out of it, The Pelayos (2012). For flamenco fans, he is an announcer from the seventies who became the producer who promoted records by Labordeta, Lole and Manuel and, above all, Triana. Is he the father of Andalusian rock? “Not so much, not so much, though…”, he smiles. For moviegoers, he is the director of the comedy underground Living in Seville (1978), Joys of Cadiz (2013) and co-director of the documentary Nine Sevilles (2020) together with Pedro G. Romero —intellectual guru of the Flemish revolution—. “Cinema is by far what fills me the most,” he confesses.

García-Pelayo does not understand breaks. He doesn’t stop. Mathematical questions, his handling of cryptocurrencies, a book publishing house, musical and cinematographic production, his move to Buenos Aires, etc. are mixed in his frenetic vital rhythm… Each giant step increases the legend of García-Pelayo. By the way, the gaming venues prohibited him from entering his facilities until this entrepreneur won the appeal in the Supreme Court. “Eight years without stepping on them. Do you know what that means in lost profits? ”, He tells him between laughs and truth.

But always, the cinema. And that is why he set himself, and has completed, a challenge: to shoot a handful of films in a year (from April 2021 to April 2022). What was originally going to be seven has become 10+1 (plus one because finally he couldn’t lead one, burn, by covid), two of which have already been seen at the Argentine Bafici festival. His previous works can be recovered in the retrospective that Documenta Madrid and the Reina Sofía Museum have been dedicating to him since May 23.

Image of ‘Stop prohibiting that I can’t disobey everything’.

During a long hour of talk, García-Pelayo does not shy away from a single topic. He confronts them with the filler: “We weren’t going to talk about this, but why not? I’ll tell you.” Thus, he will talk about the divine and the human. Starting with the artistic, he clarifies the good health of the Gong Series, his book publisher, his music production company, and his film company. “I am a talent detector. I like it. And now I am excited, in the cinema, with the Argentine Santiago Loza, whom I am supporting, ”he explains. Through her and La Zanfoña, the production company of Gervasio Iglesias, the person in charge of most Andalusian cinema, beginning with that of Alberto Rodríguez, has produced the 11 films. “We started thinking of seven, and some of them have unfolded. There are only three left to ride, including seven jerels, the one I co-directed with Pedro G.”, and he laughs. “There is a very easy one, the ninth, because it is a sequence shot in which we have shot a conversation with the writer Agapito Maestre, it is the first time I have done something like this”. And he explains that he is editing fast because he wants to present some at the Locarno festival in August. “The Swiss is the most authorial film contest, close to what I try. I would like to be like the Korean Hong Sangsoo”, that is, direct two or three films a year that become the pleasure of festivals. “That is my illusion, yes”.

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A moment from 'Siete jereles'.
A moment from ‘Siete jereles’.

For the rest he has traveled. Far. “I already had the locations, from previous trips I had made with my last wife, and I always thought why hadn’t it been shot there,” she says. García-Pelayo has had four wives and five children. “After the last one left me, I decided to approach relationships in a different way.” The digressions in the filmmaker’s speech are Homeric. But it is worth going after them. “That’s why I’m moving to Buenos Aires, where I have a house. This year I have been asking many women to marry me. And in the end three have said yes. So I’m going to get married there with the three of them.”

Gonzalo García-Pelayo and Pedro G. Romero, on the set of 'Siete jereles'.
Gonzalo García-Pelayo and Pedro G. Romero, on the set of ‘Siete jereles’.

For each film there will be its corresponding making of. “The number of films has increased because, for example, there was a very complex one, with many locations in Spain and Portugal, and we have divided it into broken soul Y This is how Broken Meat was shot. The same thing happened to us in India, in the end we did two: girls in kerala Y Tamil daily. With the addition of an actor and other plots, two films came out. We almost ran out of material, and we were lucky. The covid gave us war, and that was at the end of the adventure. In Kazakhstan, where we started, we also had a hard time filming ainur due to the pandemic”, he lists. And the shots in Argentina are still missing —among them burn—, the animated one and those filmed in Seville. “On the way I felt that something erotic was missing, sex, and that is how your pussy They have rated it X, although I am going to fight for it to be opened to the general public”.

Image from 'Diario Tamil', by Gonzalo García-Pelayo.
Image from ‘Diario Tamil’, by Gonzalo García-Pelayo.

But why so many? Because right now? “Gervasio is convinced that cinema is going to make a big change. And I told him this and he was excited about all the disruptive ingredients of my idea regarding industrial films. He has put order in this year of work. They have been cheap shoots, although we have paid everyone, eh? The films are about 70 minutes each, and can be seen on their own, of course, because they don’t resemble each other. In September we have coordinated a series at the Cineteca de Madrid to screen them together. And then look for a digital platform that allows the public to access them.” Does the public care? “I have no choice but to be a museum artist, I have already given up the general public. I no longer connect with the audience. When he was active in music he did succeed, today society walks on the other side. I live one more time of self-absorption and of being and doing with friends”. And he remembers that the two directors he most admires, Dreyer and Ozu, weren’t easily accepted at some point in his career either. “Not wanting to compare myself, but hey man, Dreyer got kicked Gertrude”.

A shot of 'The Other Side of Reality'.
A shot of ‘The Other Side of Reality’.

The cinema has forced him to a certain discipline, of prioritizing time. “If not, I would be much more with mathematics,” he confesses. In his conference at the Reina Sofía next Monday 23 he will focus on the Goldbach conjecture and prime numbers. “Let’s see how it goes,” he says enigmatically. “If there is acceptance of my solution, I will go around the world talking about it.” He knows mathematics, as was clear in the casinos, and now when he becomes a millionaire again with cryptocurrencies. “I feel like an observer of numbers. And from there I drew philosophical conclusions about luck: there is a limit to good luck and bad luck. With one step he passes from mathematics to philosophy, as Bertrand Russell and the music of Bach demonstrated”.

A moment from 'Broken Soul'.
A moment from ‘Broken Soul’.

García-Pelayo is considered pure disobedient. “I don’t like that the State imposes so many prohibitions. That is why the title of one of these films defines me so much, Stop prohibiting that I can’t disobey everything. Just don’t be protestant. Instead of protesting, he spends his energies disobeying,” she notes. “I prefer that the State shrink and shrink. They call it liberal right? I do not care”.

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