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raymac Written by raymac
Oct. 9, 2011 | 4:08 PM

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Director Gil Mateo on BLACKTHORN

One of the things that I like most about Westerns is that it’s a truly moral genre. The characters face life and death, and other very important matters (freedom, commitment and loyalty, courage, treachery, ownership and money, justice, friendship and even love) in very pure and simple terms. The decisions they make are not only very dramatic, but set examples. What more can you ask from a film? From any dramatic work? It’s a genre that helps us look at our own life and find a way to face it.

BLACKTHORN encloses all these subjects in such a way that we realize how contemporary they are, how important moral outlook is in the world we live in nowadays, in the society we have built, that seems to have forgotten it or considers it obsolete… By facing these matters from a modern point of view (conscious of the fact that the legendary American outlaw will end up as just another extra in Hollywood Westerns) the outlook is obviously nostalgic.

In my opinion, that ever present melancholy is the most attractive part of this project and forces us to get intimately acquainted with our main hero: That tired and lonely old man who, for an instant, recovers all his energy and dreams due to someone who seems to reincarnate the past, his old friends and ideals, but turns out to be an imposter (the young mine engineer who, what irony, proceeds from the Old Continent).

A disguise that is an obvious metaphor of a future where moral is dangerously hazy as personal interests take top priority.

Therefore, for me BLACKTHORN would not be a film made up by grandiose images and “traditional aesthetic,” of slow camera movements and tall crane shots; but of closer images, near to the characters, that allow us to see the landscape through their eyes as they reveal the most intimate side of their dramatic voyage: The deep seated feelings our main character feels for the land that has sheltered him; his feelings about the past and how they are reawakened by the appearance of his new comrade; his feelings towards the woman with whom he spends his afternoons, although the passion of love is absent, affection, respect and carnality are all present; his feelings toward a young man he has never met but who could very well be his son, to whom he writes and directs every last effort; how he feels about the small things that surround him, his clean but simple home, his horses, what he chooses to take with him on this last trek, where he chooses to sleep each night as they advance…

Let’s get as close as possible to the characters and their story, by doing so, we will be capable of making a truly universal film.

- Gil Mateo