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Where to speak from (and when to stand up)

Writing has always been a safe space for me. That’s why I’ve kept doing it, in spite of lacking hope in any financial stability or future holidays. Film criticism has always provided me the chance to gibber about my most inner self without ever putting me in danger. On the other hand, clues of my never-ending insecurities, and perhaps hints of narcissism, can still be found in my reviews. With time I have also discovered an authentic passion for festival-going, and the strange mental hubbub we all get into between sessions, the accumulation of images and ideas that makes everything out on the street more vivid, more alive (this state usually comes from stress and sleep-deprivation, so now I’m working on how to make the best out of it).

One basic principle: every movie deserves to be thought through, even the most mediocre ones. I spent years working for a distribution company specialized in cheap Japanese live-actions, so I've learned to find beauty in lurid wigs and intelligence behind the crappiest vfx. My favorite films to write about are usually those that could have been shot at home. On the contrary, every day I feel more skeptical about those pieces that demand you understand them, you decode them (or else). For me, writing about cinema is more about translating intuition into words, and then seeing if your ideas hold up. It comes as a dialogue, or a game, not a transcription. When I detect that a movie is trying to make me feel or think something, I can only raise an eyebrow.

But, at the same time, I feel this distrust is useful only to discuss about my fears, not about cinema. At least, not in any meaningful way. So, how can I become more flexible? At Berlinale Talents I would like to address my fellow colleagues on what position they take towards the films they see: if they ever use the first-person “I”, if they let their doubts in, if they describe, or narrate, or both, how they handle films they don’t feel nothing about, even if they allow themselves to be fans. Where do you write from? Is this *a thing* for you too? I identify as non-binary and use gender-neutral language to write in Spanish, a language deeply rooted in grammatical gender (either masculine or feminine). So every time I have to write a few lines, I end up putting a lot of myself in my words. If the “me” in the text matters, it matters enough to be constantly questioned.

In Barcelona, film criticism is so precarious that there is practically nobody my age (25) who can make a living out of it. Spanish young critics lack any collective strength, sense of school and a steady arena for constructive debate (I'm pretty sure Twitter is not suitable for that). We’re so busy making ends meet that we’ve lost focus. And now that cinema has to fight for a place in our saturated public discourse, a thoughtful, focused conversation is much needed. Where do we write from, I say? I’m confident that, in what we do, there must be a space between that wit readers enjoy and are hoping for, the sheer honesty films demand and what our pieces lack and we still aren’t able to describe, whatever that is. Only navigating between these three shores will allow us to fit into a landscape that is no longer waiting for us, if it ever has.