An Interview with Ignacio Agüero (Director)
The History of Space Told by Light
Q: You used footage from a filming process spread over one year. Why did you limit yourself to one year?
IA: Time is an important factor in filmmaking. This is a documentary, and is unlike a film with a script that can define more or less your shooting period. It was crucial to choose carefully what I wanted to shoot within a year and how to show it. In that sense I was taking a risk.
Q: Why did you choose to film people who ring at your door?
IA: It’s somewhat of a game. In this film, I wanted to film strangers. Visitors ring a doorbell and knock at a door because they want to form some kind of relationship with the people inside—they are looking for something. When the door opens, the entrance becomes part of the house. You could say that the visitor rings the bell because she/he wants to be a part of this space. The person inside acknowledges the visitor by opening the door. She/he is offering the visitor to share in the space. If the homeowner accepts my visit and begins to talk in front of my camera, it means she/he has joined my game. It was an interesting discovery to see the possibility of engaging with a stranger. It is in fact a very serious game. Moreover, in this film I hoped to investigate the meaning of space in a house.
Q: What kind of space do you think a house is?
IA: The house is a limited space framed by walls, and also a cluster amidst the larger space called the city. The house is also a historic space. There are many objects in a space, but they are full of history from another space and time. That triggers memories and images. “Reading” a small space can be associated with the “reading” of the entire world. That’s why I wanted to take advantage of a limited space in this film.
Q: Why did you follow sunlight in your filming?
IA: All animals chase the sun. The sun is warm and bright. Light illuminates things and makes things clear. It is thanks to light that we can sense space. When light enters a space, objects stand out against the shadow. Things are nothing more than objects, but if you keep looking carefully you can sometimes discover something that is hidden. A camera and an observer are needed to do this. Light is always moving. It’s exciting to see how light can change a space. It changes within the course of a day, and the course of a year. The observer can create a story from those changes.
Q: Why did you choose to leave the interpretation of this film open?
IA: The act of “reading” a presented space belongs to the audience. Space is like a book, where the imagination of the reader plays a larger role than the story itself. How the book is embraced or what is embraced relies on the individual reader’s experience, imagination, memories and other variables. Film is like a kind of bomb, and once it is dropped it can explode in many directions.
(Compiled by Uno Yukiko)
Interviewers: Uno Yukiko, Kimuro Shiho / Interpreter: Hoshino Yayoi / Translator: Fujioka Asako
Photography: Kusunose Kaori / Video: Kimuro Shiho / 2013-10-13