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    “Conversation with” at the 20th Marrakech IFF, interview with actor Willem Dafoe Bénédicte Prot

Pablo Larraín’s Award-Winning Film ‘El Conde’ Comes to Netflix

todaySeptember 15, 2023

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A parallel universe where dictator Augusto Pinochet becomes a vampire takes center stage in this award-winning Chilean film.

The highly anticipated Chilean film El Conde, directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Pablo Larraín, debuts on Netflix today, September 15, 2023. The film, which made waves at the 80th Venice Film Festival, where it clinched the Best Screenplay award, presents a unique and satirical take on the legacy of Augusto Pinochet, the notorious dictator of Chile. To gain insights into the making of this extraordinary film, don’t miss our exclusive interview with director Pablo Larraín and producer Juan de Dios Larraín here.

At the FRED Film Radio radiocall at #venezia80, interview with director Pablo Larraín and producer Juan de Dios Larraín
Ph. Lucia Sabatelli

“Impunity made him eternal, and that eternity is the vampire,” is how director Pablo Larraín explains the genesis of his 10th film, El Conde. In a bold departure from his previous works, which included Jackie and Spencer, both of which also premiered in Venice, Larraín envisions Pinochet as a vampire facing an existential crisis. The film explores whether Pinochet, who has thrived on bloodshed and evil, should continue his vampiric existence or confront the consequences of his crimes. Through satire and political farce, El Conde refrains from eliciting empathy or compassion for a dictator who evaded justice throughout his life.

Producer Juan de Dios Larraín emphasizes their hope that the film will serve as a poignant reminder of the past and the dangers of history repeating itself. El Conde is an allegorical tale, urging viewers never to forget the atrocities committed and the need for justice to prevail.

Director’s Vision: Pinochet as an Enduring Vampire

In his director’s statement, Pablo Larraín reveals the inspiration behind the film, explaining how he had long imagined Pinochet as a vampire, a figure that lingers through history, much like the dictator’s crimes and thefts that were never met with genuine justice. By portraying Pinochet in a new light, Larraín aims to shed light on the enduring impunity that the dictator represents, unmasking his true nature.

Synopsis: A Dark Comedy/Horror Reimagining

El Conde is a dark comedy/horror that takes viewers into a parallel universe inspired by the recent history of Chile. The film portrays Augusto Pinochet, a symbol of world fascism, as a vampire who lives hidden in a ruined mansion in the cold southern tip of the continent. Feeding his appetite for evil to sustain his existence. After two hundred and fifty years of life, Pinochet has decided to stop drinking blood and abandon the privilege of eternal life. He can no longer bear that the world remembers him as a thief. Despite the disappointing and opportunistic nature of his family, he finds new inspiration to continue living a life of vital and counterrevolutionary passion through an unexpected relationship.

Behind the Scenes: Crafting a Unique Film

In an exclusive conversation with director Pablo Larraín, he discusses the idea’s genesis to reimagine Pinochet as a vampire. He delves into the challenges and significance of shooting the film in black and white, a decision that adds depth and beauty to the narrative. Renowned cinematographer Ed Lachman‘s work is highlighted as pivotal in creating a visual masterpiece.

The film’s cast, including Jaime Vadell as Pinochet, receives accolades for their exceptional performances. Vadell’s portrayal captures the essence of the character’s power and violence, crucial to the film’s narrative. The film’s unique take on violence is also discussed, as Larraín aims to ensure that Pinochet is not portrayed sympathetically.

Pinochet flies above a house - a scene from the film El Conde by Pablo Larrain

The Art of Re-Creation

The film was shot entirely in Chile, with various locations chosen to convey the vastness and solitude of the vampire’s existence. The team faced challenges like extreme weather conditions in the Patagonian region, where key scenes were filmed. The decision to shoot in black and white was pivotal in creating a distinct aesthetic, unifying the film’s stylistic elements and enhancing its impact.

The production team meticulously re-created historical eras, including the French Revolution, to bring the film’s narrative to life. Makeup, special effects, and period costumes were crafted to ensure authenticity while adding to the film’s unique visual appeal.

El Conde promises to be a film that challenges perceptions, sparks conversations, and leaves a lasting impact on its audience. Coming to Netflix, viewers around the world will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this dark, satirical vision of one of the most enduring and disturbing historical figures of our time.

El Conde on Netflix, starting today 15 September 2023.

Written by: Federica Scarpa




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