Luciferina is a horror story that may look and sound familiar but offers much more. The movie is a horrifying tale with an ending that is both shocking and beautiful. AiPT! spoke with director Gonzalo Calzada about his horror film.
AiPT!: How would you describe Luciferina?
It is a sensory and mysterious journey that includes the spectator
AiPT!: What was the inspiration behind Luciferina?
Search for new themes and connections among the already-transited models of the genre. Encourage yourself to take risks when telling a story.
AiPT!: Luciferina is not afraid to use many of tropes seen in horror movies. However, it is still able to set itself apart. How did you write such a unique horror movie while still keeping some traditions from the genre?
I think we are always telling the same stories, the themes are the same. With Luciferina the idea was to start from known narrative models so as not to distance the viewer from the interest of history and little by little to break those models into a different proposal. In that sense it was an experiment. For some spectators, who allowed themselves the trip, they had a good time and for others they did not.
AiPT!: There is a rich history of Latin American horror films. What do you attribute this to?
Latin America is in a very strong identity crisis. I feel that he knows what he is, but the spaces of petty power do not allow him to transform himself in what he is destined to be. It has an enormous wealth of beliefs, thinkers, narrators, artists that make up a unique and very unique mixture. Today it supports the weight of neoliberal and capitalist models as it was in the time of Spanish colonization and from which it could never leave. The story is always the same: “the domination and exploitation of many for the benefit of a few.” Our land is full of blood and repression and it is logical that this is manifested through stories and myths of their own, stories of terror, anger and hope as well.
AiPT!: Luciferina is graphic in its depiction of violence and the final scene will certainly turn heads. Is there ever a point when you think you have gone too far?
I think that all the violence that appears in the film is contained within an aesthetic design that makes it digestible. I did not pretend to create a crude world and lacking in poetry, that’s what reality is for. The fantastic genre allows one to approach the most terrible issues of reality within a metaphorical space. The worst horror films are the dramas, where you know that you come out of the cinema and life is very similar to what you saw inside. I think I did not go far enough that I would have wanted to. I think it is very important to risk as an artist to leave the comfort zone and the perimeter of the marketers of the cultural industry.
AiPT!: The ending of Luciferina is beautiful. The way it is shot and the looks on the characters faces are the highlight of the film to me. What was your inspiration behind the scene?
Thank you. I do not know … Any answer can be a lie, ha. I think I wanted to see something like that. This is a time when it seems that everything has lost its sacred value. And I believe that nothing can go well if there is no love in the actions that we decide to do. Sex today is subject to a devaluation, degradation and mercantilism that only produces more uneasiness and desolation in the end. Like everything that is happening to us at this time, we have more of everything and we feel we are more empty than ever. We are all part of this world and are responsible for the paths we take. I do not know, I do not intend an Apollonian view of things, I think it is a war between the cold and castrato of the Apollonian and the savage and animal of the Dionysian, where the answer lies in love that is neither one nor the other.
AiPT!: Luciferina does an excellent job of confusing the audience. It is sometimes hard to distinguish between reality and dreams. Were the cast sometimes confused by the story?
Thanks, no, we all worked together knowing where we were going. In Argentina, this is the first movie about possessions and exorcisms. It was necessary for the actors and actresses to know a little bit about that.
AiPT!: Luciferina explores many themes that you do not normally seen in horror movies. Do you think it would be fair to call it a love story?
I do not know for others. For me yes, definitely Luciferina is a love story. I’m glad you saw it too.
AiPT!: Horror movies tend to have a specific look and feel. At times, Luciferina does not look like a typical horror movie. It is bright and full of life. Was this intentional?
Thanks for your appreciations. I think life in the film is given by the freshness and strength of the actors and actresses who believed in the project, by the visual display that we achieved with the technical team and also with the idea of doing something different, that is, of Encourage us to try, to experiment a bit.
AiPT!: What upcoming projects do you have?
I’m trying to get funds to continue with the Saga. The second Immaculate part is already written. In parallel I am writing the three stories in novel format.