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Lois Patiño Introduces His Film "Red Moon Tide"

"Films grow like seeds when your gaze waters them lovingly."
Lois Patiño's Red Moon Tide is exclusively showing on MUBI starting April 20, 2021 in the series The New Auteurs.
It's already been almost a year and a half since the premiere of Red Moon Tide at the Berlinale Forum in 2020. It was a completely different world then, and also so different for the way we experience films and for the film festivals. Our film had five screenings in Berlin in theatres with sold out crowds. Imagine now. Theatres of 300 people completely full! What a dream!
For contemplative films like this one, where the duration and size of the image has a crucial value, as we are exploring how much truth we can find in Bachelard´s sentence: “the immobility irradiates,” the experience of the theatre was very important. Even if nowadays, thanks to platforms like MUBI, we are learning a new and more patient behavior with the images at home, we all miss the shared ritual of cinema. 
I thought that writing these notes for MUBI could be a beautiful way to think about my film with the distance of time. The time needed to try to understand what the film means to you, which ideas and searchings keep being interesting for you and from which thread you want to keep pulling.
Red Moon Tide was a project where I wanted to explore and mix two lines, as I used to do: one formal and the other thematic, as two kinds of compromise: one with the cinema language and the other with the reality I’m portraying. 
Here the reality was the Galician culture about which I tried to reflect on in my two features films. More precisely here we submerge into the rich mythical and legendary universe of Galicia, very connected with the beyond and the dead. The two most important beings of our fantastic imaginary are a procession of phantoms called “Santa Compaña,” and a kind of witch called “meiga.” This was my main interest about Galicia in this film: to reflect about this mysterious relationship with the death and the dead people in Galicia. Something that I ended relating with the fact that Galicia—Costa da morte, Finisterre—was considered one of the endings of the world before America appeared in the European imaginary. 
So, Galician people have been living for centuries with a very dangerous and mysterious neighbor: a never ending Atlantic Ocean, or worse, an Ocean that ends in a huge abyss. One Spanish philosopher, Eugenio D'ors, explained it very nicely making a comparison between the land and a theatre: 
“Finisterre, Ireland, Brittany, our Galicia, Portugal, the first islands in the Ocean... Deep down in their souls, the immemorially acquired panic, at the time when these lands were on the edge of a sea to whose extension no limits were attributed. A proscenium box is not occupied with impunity, in the great theater of mystery.”
The other compromise an artist has to have, as I feel it, is with the medium itself, with the cinema. And as an artist you are obliged to try to push cinema to new ways of showing and telling. Every medium is infinite: the painting is infinite, the literature is infinite… There is so much to explore… As Dominique Noguez said: “Another way of showing will bring another way of thinking.” And it's needed to rethink the reality from different perspectives.
What I try to do with my work is to explore a formal aspect of the cinema language, to feel what it can express beyond the usual use of it in cinema. In the past I explored the distance in films as Mountain in shadow or Coast of Death. And, in Red Moon Tide and some previous works, as Fajr or Night Without Distance, I’ve been exploring immobility. Always from a pictorial contemplative experience and reflecting around the relationship between people and landscape, I´ve tried to understand better how, from seeing people from the distance or seeing them paralyzed in the landscape, we can feel deeper ideas about this relationship. 
So, here we are, in Red Moon Tide, exploring the relationship of myths and landscape, in a place where everybody became immobile, trying to reflect about Galicia and about the cinema language itself.
Which threads do I want to keep pulling? With the distance of time you understand better what your own film expresses. Indeed, it is no longer your film and that's also good for this. One thing that I like about the film and that I want to keep exploring is the meditative and introspective atmosphere. The duration of the image, but also the way of working with the voices in a very subtle almost whispery way, contribute, in the film, for this inner feeling of interiority.  
I’m working now with the great filmmaker Matías Piñeiro. We’ve just finished one short film, Sycorax, that I hope soon we can share with you, and we are preparing a feature film to shoot next year. In these films we are working sometimes with this very intimate voice, something close to the spectral voices of Marguerite Duras—spectral in the sense of being voices without a body. This is a thread I find can be very fertile if we keep pulling.
Another thread that you can find in Red Moon Tide is the idea of the invisible. There is a phantom in the film that you can hear but not see. This very literal exploration of the invisible interests me because what you see is the landscape itself, but with a layer over—or under—it that is related with the memory or the imagination. 
In a film I’m working on, and that I will also shoot also next year, Samsara, I’m trying to go a little bit beyond this idea of the invisible. I’m preparing a film where, in some of its parts, the audience will have to close their eyes. It will be a sound and light experience, but the light will get to you through your closed eyelids. Of course, even with the eyes closed, images never stop in us. But in this experience, what we want to awake, are the images of an involuntary memory.
It's beautiful for me to see that Red Moon Tide keeps bringing me new ideas nowadays. I hope you can enjoy it. We tried to share a different experience of space and time with it.  If you can watch it with a patient look, I’m sure the film will bring you interesting feelings. Films grow like seeds when your gaze waters them lovingly. 


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