POL CONILL


︎︎︎ INSTAGRAM
︎︎︎ THE FILM

POL CONILL: ON THE TALE OF MOVEMENTS AND OLYMPIC GAMES

BY MARIE ALBERTO

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF HOLDING A CAMERA?
            I have always been interested in film and photography. When I was little, I used to write short scripts and then I would invite my friends over at my house, dress them up, film them and spend hours editing the videos on my computer. I loved doing this every weekend or when getting home after school on weekdays. I first used my mom’s camcorder in which she filmed every family events and trips, but at some point she got tired of me borrowing it all the time so she decided to give me one for Christmas when I was 9 or 10. It became my obsession, so I continued to organize these small shootings at my place and ended up learning how to use a camera and edit videos just by playing with friends.

CAN YOU TELL MORE ABOUT YOUR SHORT FILM “PANNA COTTA” (2017) IN COLLABORATION WITH PALOMA WOOL?
        My aim was to reinterpet paloma wool’s corduroy pieces, so I came up with the idea of using them as uniforms for made-up olympic games. The sports played in the games are far from being official olympic sports and look more like children’s games. It was important to me that the cast was formed by girls who were close to me, so I asked my friends Alba, Marina, Mónica (who was also the film editor), Nora and her sister Berta. The colour palette was based on the colours of the corduroy sets, I wanted everything to be in harmony with the clothes.

HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE CHOREOGRAPHY AND THE MOVEMENTS OF THE SUBJECTS?
        It came out very naturally for most of it, considering that each game already has it’s own choreography. For example, in the musical chairs you usually arrange the chairs in a circle and people run around them, or in the rope game you have two teams pulling from both ends of the rope. It was very instinctive for the girls to understand how they had to move in the games as they were part of their childhood.
        In the beginning of the film I wanted to do an opening ceremony for the games based in a picture I had found of the ’84 Olympics in Sarajevo, so we tried to recreate that with acrobatic gymnastic figures. None of the girls had any experience on gymnastics, so it was quite fun to coordinate.

DOES THE CAMERA PLAY A PART IN THE CHOREOGRAPHY OF YOUR SUBJECTS?
        The camera has to complement the choreography of the subjects, that’s why I believe you have to take camera and movement decisions altogether. During the planning process, everything was thought with Martí Herrera, the director of photography, so that every movement and shot would feel natural and would go along with the narrative of the film.

ARE YOU, IN SOME WAYS, INTRIGUED IN THE BODY, MOVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE?
        I definitely have an interest in movement although I might not express it very much. It is something I haven’t experienced but it really attracts me and I would’ve enjoyed taking dance lessons as a kid. I also have friends who are involved in performance art and I love seeing them perform.

WHERE DO THE COMBINATION OF SOFTNESS, QUIRKINESS AND PLAYFULNESS STEM FROM IN YOUR WORK?
    I don’t think about it too much, it probably reflects who I am. In both cases, I was trying to do something that made sense with how I felt at the moment and probably related to things I was interested in at that time. They are projects which I feel very proud of and I believe this only happens when you do something that is very true to yourself.

CAN YOU IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT HUMAN CONNECTION?
        Not at all, I’m not the most affectionate person but I really appreciate human contact. Probably because I’m Spanish and our culture revolves around affection. So it’s something you grow with and it’s hard to imagine a world without it. I personally try to make an effort and be more loving sometimes and I love being around people who bring out this part of me. I believe showing affection has always a good impact on people.

ON COLLABORATING OFTEN WITH FRIENDS, WOULD YOU SAY FRIENDSHIP HAS AN IMPACT IN YOUR WORK?
        Totally, my friends are a very important part of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by people with great talent who have incredible projects, and I love working with them or asking them for advice whenever I’m developing a project. I believe it’s very important that we support each other in order to grow together.

IMAGINE BEING ALONE IN A ROOM AND YOU HAVE TO PICK THREE CHOICES: A BOOK, A MOVIE, A DISH. PLEASE STATE WHY EACH THREE MOVE YOU.
        A book: Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam, it’s a semi-autobiographical novel by Amélie Nothomb which tells the story of an European woman who moves to Tokio and falls in love with a Japanese man. It describes the Japanese culture in a beautiful way and it has great humor too.

        A movie: Rosemary’s baby by Roman Polanski. It’s very hard for me to choose one movie, but usually this one comes to my mind. I love the atmosphere of the movie and the dream scene is superb. I always have a great time watching it.

        A dish: My mother’s chilaquiles verdes. She was born in México but doesn’t have any memories from her childhood there. My family has kept some mexican food traditions and this dish is very special because my aunt taught my mother how to do it, so it feels like a family heirloom.

DO YOU THINK MORE ABOUT THE PAST, PRESENT OR THE FUTURE?
        Probably the future, but I would like to change that. Everytime I do something I think about its consequences and how it will affect my future, and sometimes that will stop me from doing what I want. I tend to overthink before taking decisions and it’s something I don’t really appreciate.
It’s a cliché but we should all try to live more in the present, it’s something I say to myself sometimes when I realize I am not being grateful enough for the things that I have at the moment and instead I’m thinking of what I don’t have. We should always be grateful for the things we have in the present and try to make the most out of them.