Friday, January 16, 2015

OSADOS 1x00 - Sidonie

Hey there! Here's the latest project I've collaborated in, a series of short videos featuring Pere Espinosa interviewing artists and bands from the Spanish/Catalan indie music scene. In this pilot episode Pere interviews Sidonie, one of the most renowned Barcelona-based bands in their style. Not my cup of tea but they seemed to be nice lads. I can't post the video in the post -ooops- so I'll just leave the link HERE.

Ep! Aquí teniu l'últim project en el que he col·laborat, una sèrie de vídeos on en Pere Espinosa entrevista artistes i bandas de l'escena indie catalana/espanyola. En aquest capítol pilot en Pere entrevista els Sidonie, una de les bandes del seu estil més reconegudes de Barcelona. No són el meu rotllo però semblaven bona gent. No puc penjar el vídeo o sigui que us deixo el link AQUÍ.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Yesterday night I saw a cat die. I was coming back from work, and as I walked down the Northern Station avenue, he walked out of the bushes surrounding the Camp factory right in front of me. I stopped and looked at him: absurd superstitions aside, black cats have always appealed to me. Actually, I have the same feeling with most single-coloured animals. Maybe I shouldn't say this: there's always someone ready to call you a racist for any stupid reason. Be it as it may, the cat walked calmed, ignoring my presence, his glance stuck on the road. He stopped for a brief moment and, suddenly, he started crossing to the other side on the run. I saw it coming but there was nothing I could do.

It happened in slow motion, as it happens with such things. There was only one car passing down the avenue. One single car. I can't understand how the cat didn't see they would both get to the same place at the same time: an hunter should be more capable of "calculating" distances and speeds. Had he crossed the road walking, without a hurry, he'd still be alive. But he ran. On the other hand, the car's driver either didn't see him or he saw him but didn't care at all.

A sharp blow, a gasped meow. The car didn't stop until the traffic lights at the corner with Joanot Martorell St., further down the road. It quickly turned to green and away it went. From where I was standing it seemed the driver couldn't care less about the cat that was silently rolling on the asphalt some fifty metres behind him. Actually, he was only moving his upper half: his spine was clearly broken. After some extremely long seconds of spasms, he eventually stopped. Lying on the road, as if he was sleeping. No blood or guts, no weird postures. Just a black silhouette on the asphalt, in peace, a small and unimportant horror compared to the church of Our Lady of Fatima framing the scene.

He was only a couple metres away from the other side. A bigger, white-and-brown cat came out of the park next to the church and slowly approached. I did the same, not because of the urge of giving the dead cat a closer look but because I wanted to be sure he wasn't in pain anymore. The other cat stared at him in silence and then looked at me. It reminded me of a similar situation that happened some years ago: the living cat came closer to the dead one and started meowing and pushing him with his head, as if wanting to wake him up from that improvised nap. Yesterday, though, the cat didn't come that close. He was probably scared of me. He just walked back to Fatima's park and I resumed my way home.

Yesterday I saw a cat die. All of a sudden, without a reason. And I searched for an explanation because we've got used to look for them and to try and give a meaning to what happens. It didn't have any meaning. As all the other things that just are. Looking for answers to unexisting questions is one of the people of leisure's great dangers.

[You can find the original article in Catalan here. I usually write the blogposts in English and then I translate them into Catalan. Funnily enough I've found the other way round to be slightly more challenging.]

Related: The butterfly.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fantàstik 2014 coverage / Cròniques Fantàstik 2014

My coverage of the Fantàstik 2014 film festival is already published in full. I paste the links here in case you want to take a look at it!

Ja estan publicades les cròniques dels tres dies del Fantàstik 2014. Us deixo els enllaços per si hi voleu fer un cop d'ull!

Dijous 18 - Inauguració:

Divendres 19 - Nit Fantàstika:

Dissabte 20 - Gala Fantàstika:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fantàstik 2014

On December 18, 19 & 20 I'll be covering this year's Fantàstik (Granollers' fantasy film festival) on Nació Granollers,the digital newspaper I usually write at.

Els dies 18, 19 i 20 d'aquest mes estaré fent la crònica pel Nació Granollers  de l'edició d'enguany del Fantàstik, el festival de cinema fantàstic de Granollers. No us el perdeu!

PS. I owe you a couple posts, they'll probably be coming soon.

PD. Us dec un parell de posts, probablement els escriuré d'aquí poc.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Novel / La Novel·la

First of all, here's an article that I found extremely enlightning. It's all about developing, writing and rewriting a story. It's script-oriented (and focused on the Hollywood film industry) but a fair share of its pieces of advice can be very useful to anybody involved in a story-based creative process.

These past days I've been reopening some of the projects I had on hold and I've worked on most of them to a certain extent. I'll try to write about some of the others in the next few days but today I'll focus on my novel. I finished -you know, "finished"- its first part last week and I'm moderately satisfied with it. In fact, I've received good reviews from the two people that have taken a look at it. However, as I tried to work on the remaining three parts problems started to arise all over the novel, and I found them closely related to some of the issues the aforementioned article deals with.

I started writing this novel knowing what I wanted it to be about. Its core. I also knew some of its events, characters and the like. I even had a sort-of-clear idea of how would it look like in terms of shape. The easiest way to describe it would be as a psychological coming-of-age novel. It's being written in free indirect speech and it doesn't follow a chronological order. I don't quite like the identification with the coming-of-age genre, and the novel surely has its differences from many of them, but my reluctance is probably more of a prejudice because of all the cheap novels this genre has spawned. There are some great ones, though, and I prefer to think of them.

Be it as it may, when I finished writing the first part I realised I have introduced some small changes on it, not as much on the events but in the way the protagonist lives and understands them. And as it happens often with stories, the smallest change can start a change reaction leading to a dire need of refurbishing its whole structure. This is not exactly what has happened on this case... let's just say that the structure wasn't as strong as it should by and thus it has trembled quite a lot for changes that otherwise would have required only some minor arrangements. It doesn't worry me much, though. This is a long-term project. I don't have expectations of having it finished anytime soon, and all the "unnecessary" extra work will also mean extra experience in -long- prose writing and in developing my characters' psychological aspects. Sometimes it's good to work in a different way.

Primer de tot, aquí teniu un article que vaig trobar molt interessant. És sobre el desenvolupament, l'escriptura i la reescriptura d'una història. Està orientat als guions (i centrada en la indústria cinematogràfica de Hollywood) però una part important dels seus consells poden ser molt útils per a qualsevol que s'involucri en el procés creatiu d'una història.
Aquests darrers dies he estat reobring alguns dls projectes que tenia aturats i he estat treballant en tots ells fins a cert punt. Intentaré escriure sobre alguns dels altres durant els propers dies però avui em centraré en la meva novel·la. Vaig acabar -ja sabeu, "acabar"- la primera part fa uns quants dies i estic moderadament satisfet amb ella. De fet, he tingut bones crítiques de les dues persones que li han donat un cop d'ull. Tot i això, quan vaig intentar seguir treballant en les tres parts restants, van començar a aparèixer problemes per tot arreu, i em vaig adonar que estaven estretament relacionats amb alguns dels problemes de què tracta l'article d'aquí dalt.

Vaig començar a escriure la novel·la sabent sobre què volia que anés. El seu nucli. També en sabia alguns dels fets, els personatges i coses així. Fins i tot tenia una idea és o menys clara de com seria en termes de forma. La manera més senzilla de descriure-la és com una novel·la psicològica sobre la maduresa personal. Està escrita en estil lliure indirecte i no segueix un ordre cronològic. No m'agrada gaire la identificació amb les novel·les "iniciàtiques", i aquesta història és diferent de moltes d'elles, però probablement la meva reticència es basa més en prejudicis, a causa de totes les novel·les dolentes que s'han escrit en aquest gènere. N'hi ha de molt bones, però, i prefereixo pensar en elles.

Sigui com sigui, quan vaig acabar d'escriure la primera part em vaig adonar que havia introduït alguns petits canvis, no tant en els fets sinó en la manera com el protagonista els viu i els entén. I com passa sovint amb les històries, el canvi més petit pot començar una reacció en cadena que duu a la necessitat de reforçar tota la seva estructura. Això no és exactament el que ha passat en aquest cas... diguem que l'estructura no era tan sòlida com hauria de ser i per tant ha tremolat molt per canvies que d'una altra manera només haurien requerit uns quants arranjaments. No em preocupa gaire, però. Aquest projecte és a llarg termini. No tinc expectatives d'acabar-lo gaire aviat, i tota la feina extra "innecessària" també voldrà dir experiència extra en escriptura de prosa -llarga- i en el desenvolupament dels aspectes psicològics dels meus personatges. I a vegades és bo treballar d'una manera diferent.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Corollary: The butterfly / Corol·lari: La papallona

There's a butterfly rambling around my house. I hardly ever see butteflies in my hometown, and when I do they're normally small and white or pale yellow. This one's different, though. It's black and quite big, with white spots and an vivid orange lining on the wings. It comes and goes, and I see it every so often. Sometimes it's every two weeks, sometimes every month, and some other times I see it two or three days in a row. And of course it disappears during the coldest months of the winter. I know for a fact it can't always be the same: as far as I know butterflies live weeks, months at most. And still there's been one of such black butterflies in front of my house for the last two to three years. I don't know how many eggs do butterflies lay. They're probably a lot, but I always see just a lone butterfly. I've just seen it now, from my balcony, flying around at the beginning of October. I hadn't seen any for the last months, and although I didn't miss it I've felt a relief of some sort when I've looked down and I've seen a black and orange spot going up and down the street.

Thinking of what I wrote yesterday... No. The butterfly doesn't mean anything. Anything at all. Signs and symbols in life are even rarer in real life than they are in works of art. I just think it's a coincidence, something I'm lucky enough to see and to appreciate. Beauty is just this: beauty. And we should be more than content as it is. I don't want to make a message out of it, I tend to dislike people who are always talking about enjoying the little things. But I also find pleasure and comfort in it, at least from time to time. And I hope I'll keep on seeing a black butterfly in front of my house when I walk in or out.

Hi ha una papallona donant voltes al meu bloc. No veig gaires papallones a la meva ciutat, i quan en veig normalment són petites i blanques, o d'un groc apagat. Però aquesta és diferent. És negra i bastant gran, amb taques blanques i una franja d'un taronja intens al voltant de les ales. Va i ve, i la veig de tant en tant. A vegades és un cop cada dues setmanes, a vegades un cop al mes, i algunes altres vegades la veig dos o tres dies seguits. I, és clar, desapareix durant els mesos més freds. Sé segur que no pot ser sempre la mateixa: pel que sé les papallones viuen setmanes, mesos a tot estirar. I així i tot hi ha hagut una d'aquestes papallones negres a davant de casa meva durant els darrers dos o tres anys. No sé quants ous pon una papallona. Probablement són moltíssims, però sempre veig només una papallona. L'acabo de veure ara mateix, des del balcó, voleiant a principis d'octubre. No n'havia vist cap des de fa mesos, i tot i que no la trobava a faltar he sentit una mena d'alleujament quan he mirat avall i he vist una taca negra i taronja pujant i baixant pel carrer.

Pensant en el que vaig escriure ahir... No. La papallona no significa res. Res de res. Els signes i els símbols són encara més rars a la vida que a les obres d'art. Crec que només és una coincidència, una cosa que tinc la sort de poder veure i apreciar. La bellesa és només això: bellesa. I hauríem d'estar més que satisfets amb això. No vull convertir això en un missatge de cap mena, normalment la gent que sempre parla de gaudir de les petites coses em desagrada. Però jo també hi trobo plaer i reconfort, encara que sigui de tant en tant. I espero seguir veient una papallona negra davant de casa quan n'entro o en surto.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Note: Mystification / Nota: Mistificació

A couple of days ago I was talking with a good friend and he mentioned something I've also thought a few times. When analysing works many critics especulate on their intentions. They look for hidden messages, morals, symbolic elements... As they observe very carefully every single detail of a piece of work, they think there must be more than meets the eye. They might not do it with works aimed at being blockbusters (especially in cinema and music) but you know what I mean.

It doesn't take much time into the creative world to realise how wrong they can be.

You are watching a movie and -I used the same example on the conversation- and you happen to see a poster hanging on a wall. It's likely that some critics -and university professors, too- might state that the poster symbolises... say, life's dynamism. Everything comes and goes just like you take posters out either to leave the wall as it originally was or to change it for other posters. Well, it could just be an aesthetic choice: the director liked the poster. Or it could be that they shot the scene at someone's place and the poster happened to be there. But it's fairly easy to find things if you focus on looking for them.

The message of all these being: we tend to take everything too seriously and to consider things that don't mean absolutely anything to be very important. Sometimes art it's just art and not every detail has been carefully thought of. Sometimes it just happens. And although sometimes it's true, it's also good to remember that -sorry, meme- not everything happens for a reason. We also have our share of meaningless things we have to put up with instead of trying to rationalise them. And I believe this also applies to the greater picture: life.

Fa un parell de dies parlava amb un bon amic i va dir una cosa que també he pensat alguns cops. Quan analitzen obres, molts crítics especulen amb les seves intencions. Busquen missatges ocults, moralines, elements simbòlics... Com que observen molt atentament cada detall d'una peça, pensen que hi ha d'haver alguna cosa més que el que es veu a simple vista. Potser no ho fan amb obres creades per ser èxits rotunds (especialment en cinema i música) però ja veieu per on vaig.

No cal passar gaire temps al món creatiu per adonar-te de com en poden estar, d'equivocats.

Estàs mirant una pel·lícula i -vaig fer servir el mateix exemple a la conversa- veus que hi ha un pòster penjat a una paret. És probable que alguns crítics -i també professors universitaris- proclamin que el pòster simbolitza... jo què sé, el dinamisme de la vida. Tot va i ve tal com tu treus un pòster de la paret per deixar la paret lliure o per posar-ne de nous. Bé, doncs podria ser només una tria estètica: al director li agradava el pòster. O podria ser que rodessin l'escena a casa d'algú i el pòster ja hi era. Però és molt fàcil trobar coses si et concentres a buscar-les.

El missatge de tot això és: tendim a prendre'ns-ho tot massa seriosament i fem que coses que no signifiquen absolutament res ens semblin molt importants. De vegades l'art només és art i cada detall no ha estat meticulosament estudiat. A vegades, simplement, passa. I tot i que de vegades és cert, és bo recordar que -ho sento, meme- no tot passa per algun motiu. També tenim uns quantes coses sense cap raó que hem de suportar en comptes d'intentar racionalitzar-les. I crec que això també s'aplica en un context més ampli: a la vida.