Sally Potter talks with Nick RoddickBy:
Gustavo Barrientos Lazcano
Sally Potter is a creator in every sense of word. She not only directs her films; she also writes, acts, composes, dances and is a choreographer. Her interest in film dates back to her youth when, with camera in hand, she knew perfectly what she wanted: she loved film immensely and was ready to show what she could deliver. Her first short films were not as well known; they were experimental works that served as a basis for Orlando (1992), the work that gave her a name in the film world.
Orlando is based on a book by Virginia Wolf, and Tilda Swinton gives one of her most outstanding performances in the film. Potter told the audience that it took her more than seven years to finish it because of the loans she needed to pay for it and because of the high distribution costs. Potter said she has great affection for the film because from there, she began a new stage in her life.
Potter’s eyes shined when she remembered her first involvement in film, a curious look that searches for stories in everything that surrounds her. She said her great passion is cinema, but that opera and dance are also important to her, both of which she has explored in her films, such as in The Tango Lesson (1997).
The Tango Lesson was a totally new experience for Potter; she not only directed and wrote the screenplay, but also she was the lead actress. The director was embarrassed seeing herself on the screen when a fragment of the film was shown, and the public also smiled with her. She added that it was always difficult for her to direct this film, to see and recognize herself on screen.
Roddick interrupted the conversation and asked for questions from the audience. Most of the questions focused on Ginger and Rosa (2012), the film Potter will present at the festival. The director said she felt very passionate and excited about the project, in which she mixed both British and U.S. actors, including Elle Fanning. Her new film is about two young people who explore their sexuality at the beginning of the liberation movement of the sixties in England. The context is full of pessimism that new generations try to break.
In response to the question about how she chooses her actors, Potter said she has a huge collection of DVD’s and watches them to find faces and bodies and from there she decides with whom she would like to work.
Finally, at the end of the talk, a fragment from the film Rage (2009) was shown in which Judi Dench worked at the orders of the director and, with a green screen and a marvelous sound edition, they are able to explore a fantasy, a fiction. Potter emphasized that cinema is collaboration, no one is more important than another. We all have the same voice, she added, and the interesting thing is to unite them.
The conversation ended as Potter prepared to present her two screenings of Ginger & Rosa to the public in Morelia.