At the MOMA screening of “10,000 KM” Director Carlos Marques-Marcet, lead Actress Natalia Tena, and Cinematographer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen answered questions about their new romantic-drama.
10,000 K.M. is about a couple Alexandra (Natalia Tena) and Sergi (David Verdaguer) living in Barcelona. When their plans to have a child are put on hold when Alexandra accepts a one-year photography job in Los Angeles, she and Sergi must learn how to maintain their relationship merely through Skype and text messaging.
Read what Director Carlose Marques-Marcet had to say below:
Speak about distance and what you wanted to say about distance in terms of how it affects relationships in the modern day?
Carlos Marques-Marcet: I think that distance has changed and the whole perception of distance and time is constantly subjective and changing a lot. And I thought it was interesting to see how that affects our everyday relationship with the technology we use, and how the physicality of couples has an influence on what you build up as a couple.
We then spoke to actress Natalia Tena on her experience working on the film:
What drew you to your character?
Natalia Tena: I would say that she’s nothing like me and it’s always fun to play someone who is completely the opposite of you because obviously we all have those characteristics in us. I think we’ve got all the facets inside of us to be more of an observer, and quite quiet, and a photographer, and I was interested in that. And also it was in Spanish, which I had never done. And I’m Spanish, but I was born in London so I was very scared of doing Spanish. Like learning lines in Spanish I was like, “this is a big challenge”.
So what kinds of challenges did you face filming a foreign movie?
Tena: Mainly the Spanish. I mean, just because I’ve memorized everything all my life in English like scripts and stuff at school. It’s a very weird thing to suddenly change that, but luckily David every night would help and sit with me because every day—because we’re the leads—every day we had so much sh*t to learn, just so much script. And every night he’d sit with me and we’d do it over and over again and he was so generous I wouldn’t have been without David.
Since this movie is all about long distance relationships, can you talk about how it reflects long distance relationships in the modern day?
Tena: I mean, I don’t know because I never really had them, but with my friends I’m pretty bad at it in general. I’ve got so many best friends that live around the world and what I do is I occasionally send them a WhatsApp on birthdays and stuff like that. My biggest aim is to then make money and go see them; I’m much more of a face-to-face person. And if they’re good friends you can carry on where you left off and it’s not a problem.
What was it like working with the cast?
Tena: David and the dog? David is like literally the funniest man in the world. And in fact I made Carlos introduce us before I said yes to it because I was like, “Maybe this guy doesn’t like me. You know it’s us two, and you’ve picked him as well, and if he doesn’t like me then it’s not going to work because you have no one else to buffer; it’s just us. I literally see him as a brother now and there’s very few people I work with—they become your good friends but this is a different thing.
What were you favorite moments in filming?
Tena: My favorite moment was the first act—we did it chronologically—the first act which was a twenty-seven minute sequence, which Dagmar managed to do—she’s a genius—and it was twenty-seven minutes so it was basically like theater, and that made it very enjoyable.
Anything coming up that you want to share with us?
Tena: SuperBob is a film I did just before this and it’s just starting to come out. It just came out in a festival in Utah and they went there with it and we won loads of awards for it. So it’s called SuperBob and it’s about a sh*t superhero. So he’s not American and amazing like all of The Avengers and Marvel stuff, he’s bad at parties—he can’t talk to people, he’s really awkward and he’s fantastic and that’s the next thing that’s going to coming out. I’ve got a band called Molotov Jukebox and Molotov Jukebox are about to start their second pledge campaign, which is a crowd funding thing to do on our next album, which is going to be called Tropical Gypsy.
Finally, we spoke with Cinematographer Dagmar Weaver-Madsen about her work portraying Los Angeles versus Barcelona.
How did you use cinematography to show the differences in the two characters lives across the world?
Dagmar Weaver-Madsen: There were a lot of decisions about the cinematography that we wanted to get, especially with the opening shot. Like, we wanted to show them as a couple before their lives become fragmented and we see so much of the Skype cameras. With Natalia’s apartment in Los Angeles, the light is just a certain way and you want to replicate that. And we’re shooting LA and Barcelona so we have to try and find that and make it look so much different than our Barcelona apartment. We really got into architecture and about how LA is very spread out and horizontal and the lines and the landscape of that, and Barcelona we have a lot of frames within frames and you’re seeing things through the alleys of the old gothic area of Barcelona—that kind of structure, there’s more verticals. We wanted to do a contrast between the horizontals of Los Angeles and the verticals of Barcelona, and then just having the different quality of light and trying to bring some realism to the two of them. It’s really important that both spaces feel real so that what they’re going through in the distance feels real so it really gets down to their intimacy.