Alícia Gorina Gives A Voice To Teenagers In Her Review Of ‘The Virgin Suicides’
What today would say the Lisbon sisters protagonists of ‘The Virgin Suicides’ (1999), operates cousin Sofia Coppola based on a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides ? Do Catalan teenagers of today think the same as those American girls? How much has society changed in these 20 years?
The director Alícia Gorina (‘Watching Peeping Tom’, ‘Solitud’ ) embarked on an interesting creative process to find out in ‘Aquell dia tèrbol que vaig sortir d’un cinema de l’Eixample and I will decide to turn me into an om ‘. His first surprise was to discover that most of the actresses selected to interpret his montage did not know the film that had so impacted him.
This Thursday the Lliure de Montjuïc gives voice to five teenagers with a lot to say. The young Alícia Falcó, Blau Granell, Roc Martínez, Abril Pinyol and Lea Torrents came out of a “very hard” casting, as they say. Gorina received 300 applications but only conducted individual tests on about 50 girls.
Of these, only some were chosen to carry out collective tests, which are key to seeking a certain group balance. “There was a lot of talent and it was difficult to choose,” says Gorina. “I needed five self-confident actresses who would not ‘shit’ in a large theater like the Fabià Puigserver,” says the director. “People with a lot of energy, who could contribute a lot, put us in doubt. Girls with acting resources because,he needed people capable of explaining themselves naturally . “
The dramaturgy has been created from the ideas, feelings and thoughts expressed during the casting combined with the inspiration of other voices such as Jeffrey Eugenides, Albert Camus, Donna Haraway, Paul B. Preciado, Greta Thunberg, Joey Soloway, Virginia Woolf and Wikipèdia .
The show does not intend to give a voice to a generation “because that would be impossible” but it does show different girls with different lifestyles but who convey a certain harmony. “Although each one has its own personality, I wanted all of them to form a whole, because the Lisbon sisters also gave the impression of being a single character .”
The film tells how in a residential neighborhood of the 70s in what seems like a perfect family with five daughters, everything falls apart when the 12-year-old girl commits suicide. And it will not be the only one. ‘The Virgin Suicides’ left Gorina in a state of ‘shock’ when he saw her 20 years ago .
Almost all of the chosen ones had never seen the film before the ‘casting’, not so the actors who play the parents in the play, Joan Carreras, a new Max award for ‘Història d’un senglar’ and Mia Esteve. “In the play we are a projection of what they see and think about adults,” they explain. Some characters stereotyped and terrifying eyes of their daughters in fiction.
What’s left of the Lisbon?
Do girls commit suicide today for punishments that they still consider unfair? “The Lisbon sisters do not commit suicide just because of that but because of the idealization that is made of them”, considers one of the protagonists of the montage. “They feel oppressed,” adds another.
They believe that the problems between the world of parents and adolescents have not changed much in these 20 years. In this new version, topics such as climate change are added and aspects such as sexual abuse, insecurities, relationships, gender and family are touched.
“Young people may like the work but I recommend adult audiences come and listen to us for two hours so that they understand our day-to-day life”, explain the interpreters. And they recommend that whoever does it go “with an open mind” and “wanting to learn new things because often the older ones close in band and stop listening to us. They just stand there.”
Unlike ‘Watching Peeping Tom’, Gorina’s acclaimed montage that also started from a film, this work is “more theatrical.” It is also in a large format, a new challenge for the director. It has a scenography by Sílvia Delagneau and Max Glaenzel that refers to those American high school parties of the 90s , those that take place in a gym or sports field.
“There is a reflection on how all this imaginary influences us”, comments Gorina for whom the piece connects with her first proposal ‘Puputytto (The bunny girl)’, by SaaraTurunen. “The issue is different but both are marked by feminism and adolescence,” says the director.