The press conference for Fernando Trueba’s El artista y la modelo, which competed yesterday in the Official Section, produced an interesting debate on the meaning of “art” with definitions to suit all tastes. Trueba himself brought the debate to a close when he claimed that, “art doesn’t consist of admiring the results of a process or of talking about this; it has to do with the act of creating and producing a work of art.”
This viewpoint is reflected in a film that according to its director, “when it talks about an artist what it is really talking about is the act of creation.” As such, it is dedicated to the memory of his elder brother, Maximo, who was also a sculptor, just like the main character in the film.
Asked whether this contributed any autobiographical elements to the film, he replied that he thought that every film was autobiographical, regardless of whether it dealt with subjects that had nothing at all to do with you.
The veteran French actor, Jean Rochefort, thought that the film was an ode to life. He described his character as a man who has one foot in the grave, is depressed and has lost all faith in humanity, but who has his creative inspiration and joie de vivre restored by a young model.
Trueba also wanted to pay homage to Claudia Cardinale, who plays Rochefort’s wife in the film. “For me Claudia was the unrivaled great love of my childhood and adolescence.”