‘The invention of loneliness’, an Ecuadorian comedy between the real and the imaginary

The actors Diego Coral, Maya Villacreses and Martín Varea in a scene from the short film ‘The Invention of Solitude’. Photo: courtesy Atefilms

Fernando Criollo. (YO)

What writer and filmmaker, Ana Cristina Franco also has something of an inventor. That quality manifests itself in her most recent film project, ‘The invention of loneliness’.

So far the quality of the film has been recognized with nine awards in a journey of more than 20 festivals National and international.

Is Ecuadorian invoice comedy It was born as a feature film project that ended up being reinvented for a short, which combines elements of reality and fiction.

Through this cinematographic work, Franco intends to explore the complexity of the Couple relationships and the nature of desire

‘Loneliness’ amid toxic masculinities

At the center of this story is Soledad, played by Maya Villacresesa woman who sees how her hypochondria is exacerbated in the middle of the pandemic.

In this context, she decides to quarantine with her recent boyfriend, Héctor (Diego Coral), a practical, optimistic and emotional man, dedicated to exploring his more spiritual.

In the midst of living together, Soledad is assailed by the memory of a love from the past, which ends up materializing in the figure of Orfeo (Martin Varea). This character turns out to be a guy rationalserious, mature and who usually boasts of his intellect.

Soledad tries to clear up her doubts and fears about her current relationship and the memory of her ex-boyfriend with her therapist (alfredo espinoza), which ‘recommends’ caution.

Nevertheless, Orpheus ends up getting into life, the apartment and the bed, between Soledad and Héctor, which give rise to a series of situations as uncomfortable as they are funny, which reach the level of parody.

in the middle of this loving square (if the therapist is included in the equation), the intention of the director was to expose and question the impact of the toxic masculinities.

Between the real and the imaginary is loneliness

Around the central theme of couple relationships, in Franco’s tape there are references to literature, psychology and mythologyas well as different layers of interpretation and reading.

The very title of the film evokes the novel by Paul Auster, ‘The invention of loneliness’. Although the film and the book coincide on themes such as absence, memory and loneliness, the director assures that there is no direct relationship.

What does remain raised is a reflection on the materiality and virtuality that condition modern human relations.

“It will always be more comfortable to deal with a memory than with a human being,” the therapist stated at one point during a video call consultation.

The challenge of coexistence and the rupture of human contact for fear of contagion contrasts with the increasingly idealized memory of a ghostly figure that yearns for in his absence. In the middle of these two states, the loneliness of the protagonist appears as a third way.

Humor cancels the dichotomy between pain and pleasure

Franco takes the story on the side of black humor, for which he shows ingenuity and good judgment. From this look, a certain apprehension that the health emergency entailed is released and, on the other hand, it is possible to explore other more complex angles of what a couple’s relationship would be reduced to a romantic idyll.

“Humor annuls the dichotomy between pain and pleasure” is heard at one point in the film as a synthesis of the narrative intention.

For the director it is also important to tell this story from the comedy from a look that vindicates the female presence in this genre. That perspective is projected on the topics addressed, as well as on its characters.

The intention, says the director, was to leave the female stereotypes anchored to the romantic comedy and build more human characters, who speak from the everyday and intimacy.

In this regard, the actress Maya Villacres played a very relevant role in the construction of a character that met expectations and even adopted certain traits from the director herself, according to Franco.

With photography by Simón Brauer, art design by Roberto Frisone, music and sound by Emilia Plonski, and production by Tito Jara, the film will be filmed in three daysin a single location in Quito.

‘The invention of loneliness’ began its exhibition tour in national and international festivals. She was present at festivals such as Guadalajara, San Diego, New York, California, Montevideo, Portugal, among others.

The film collected awards at meetings such as the Chicago Indie Film Awards, the Hollywood International Golden Age Festival, the Berlin International Art Film Festival and was also the Best Ibero-American short film at the Huelva Film Festival.

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‘The invention of loneliness’, an Ecuadorian comedy between the real and the imaginary