Director Rita Azevedo Gomes joins us to talk about The Kegelstatt Trio (O Trio Em Mi Bemol), a film that follows a series of encounters between two ex-lovers who still are very fond of each other.
Can you tell us about your relationship with Eric Rohmer’s Le Trio En Mi Bemol and why you wanted to take on this play?
Some years ago I meant to put this play on the stage. But it didn’t happen and I started working on another film, The Portuguese Woman.
Even still, I had worked a lot on the Rohmer text. I had the feeling of understanding it and not understanding it – simultaneously. It didn’t seem obvious or evident to me while I was searching for the right words to translate it into Portuguese, there are many layers under these lines. Then, during the first lockdown in 2020, I felt a sudden urge and need to do something, and Trio came as an idea for a film, finally spoken in the original language.
The film follows Paul (Pierre Léon) and Adélia (Rita Durão) as they extensively discuss love, passion and tenderness. What can audiences expect from these characters?
I wonder what audiences expect? I hope the film may offer some pleasure, bring some joy, and possibly, a pretext to observe how human behaviour and relationships are held in infinite misunderstandings. It’s a comedy in times ruled by fear, astonishment, separation, silenced control, and horror.
What was your experience like working with Pierre Léon and Rita Durão on this project?
Marvellous! We were all blessed by a blissed moment of creativity!
Can you tell us about your approach to the visual style of the film and your collaboration with cinematographer Jorge Quintela?
Jorge Quintela understands me, I believe. It’s a perfect duet. He never says ‘that’s not possible’.
The film takes place in a beautiful sixties modernist beach house on the coast of the Minho region. Why did you chose this setting and what impact does it have on the story?
You know, this film is a sum of miracles. To find that beach house instead of a Parisian boulevard apartment, as in the play, was one of those miracles. When I was inside that huge ‘white shell’ it seemed the ideal space to shelter those to souls: Adélia and Paul – two lovebirds in a cage.
What are your hopes for The Kegelstatt Trio at Berlinale and beyond?
That Berlinale may be the gate leading to a beautiful way for Trio.