Everlasting Love (Amor eterno) is a commission from the Spanish television channel Calle 13 which is why the length is only 69 minutes long. Forés was given free reign on the subject matter as long as it fit the commissioned genre, and was an hour’s length. Calle 13 supports film makers, and premiers each month a new budget film, which included Forés latest dark offering.
The film industry in Spain has suffered a crisis when taxes were increased in 2012. “For the movie goers in 2011 it would typically cost £7, and in 2012 that rose to £10. So a lot of people stopped going to the movies and the industry just collapsed” comments Forés. Prior to 2012, television channels were required by law to invest 5% of their annual gross into film, which afforded big budgets and marketing support. In 2012 this rule was no longer compulsory and the film market as a result has become flooded with budget films, with very limited promotion. “It’s very easy to make a film, either via the camera on your phone or if you have access to a camera, but that doesn’t mean that all films are going to turn out good… there is a lot of noise from low budget films, but there is no outlet, promotion or circuit” comments Forés.
In the horror thriller, Everlasting Love (Amor eterno), middle aged language teacher Carlos (Joan Bentallé) frequents a woodland cruising area in Montjuïc where all sexes are welcomed. A teenage girl is dumped and deserted by her boyfriend and clearly in distress. When a male stranger approaches her to offer assistance, he suddenly pulls her into the bushes and despite the screams, the cruising continues around them as if it is role-play. Any preconceptions of the film title Everlasting Love being a romantic or coming of age film are quickly dispersed.
As Carlos walks through the woodland cruising area he sees one of his students Toni (Aimar Vega) with an odd group of friends. After class one night, Toni is in need of a lift home, despite being reluctant at first Carlos agrees. As they are driving along, Toni’s stomach growls in what must be the loudest and longest recorded tummy rumble on screen (it sent this viewer into hysterics). Laughing, “It depends also where you watch it as we weren’t sure if it would be heard, and the sound designer chose it, but yes its pretty loud” says Forés.
As the car journey continues, discussion leads to sexual experiences. Like the guide from Cosmopolitan Magazine ‘How To Have Sex In Your Car’ the twosome move to the backseats for an intense coupling, despite the intimate environment. “It was supposed to be his (Toni) first time” recalls Forés as we discuss the youth’s apparent endless endurance.
With just an 8 day shoot, script and full rehearsal, the production allowed room for improvisation. “We were shooting from sunrise to sun set everyday; it was the kind of film which we didn’t know what the outcome would be like.” The location scouting at the cruising woodland area in Montjuïc apparently scared a few visitors. Close to the city (Barcelona) it’s not dissimilar to Hampstead Heath in London, “Beautiful but there are hidden spots, the condoms on the ground in the film are actually there” recalls Forés.
“The character Adam (friend of Carlos) is actually played by a musician (Sonny Smith) from San Francisco, we flew him over”, continues Forés, in the film only the two leads are actors, the rest of the cast are friends of the director or people that he knows. “One thing I had for certain in the beginning was to reveal the ending of the film with that particular track of music” ‘Too Young To Burn’ is performed by the band Sonny & The Sunsets. “The final scene is so genuine, it wouldn’t be the typical oh my god reaction, he was sad but it was absurd what had happened to his friend.” Marçal Forés and Sonny Smith met in San Sebastian in 2012 when Animals was screened at the Donostia Zinemaldia Festival De San Sebastian.
The film’s title as the audience learns is a double entendre, “It was fun to play with the title for such a dark love story.” While playing at the Sitges Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya Situges, some audience members went to see the film just based on the title expecting a romantic love story and were understandably shocked. “One of the themes of the film is based on a quote by Salvador Dalí” Forés points out ‘El canibalismo es una de las manifestaciones más evidentes de la ternura’ Cannibalism is a sure sign of affection. “It so graphic and literal that you want the other one, to be part of your body” assures the young director smiling.
The award winning director Marçal Forés studied for his Masters of Arts at the London NFTS (National Film & Television School), and then went on to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Barcelona at the ESCAC (Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya). Forés released his first short film shortly after graduation Yeah Yeah Yeah (2004) and Everlasting Love (Amor eterno), follows Forés debut full length feature, the fantasy horror Animals (2012).