Full HD /16:9 / 90′ / 2018-2019
After his wife’s death, with whom he lived for 35 years, Lucio fights solitude face to face/ defenlessly. His retro-futuristic mansion, camouflated in the middle of a forest beside an empty village, stays abandoned and it’s filled up of powder, of spider’s webs, of freedom.
With his laptop’s screen as the only window to the world, Lucio starts at his 86 years old a long trip: his mind starts expanding. His masterpice, the last of a list of weird inventions and brainwaves, takes shape: a spacecraft 20 metres long that, according to his profecy, is called to be the vehicle of the future.
The films gets on board the flying saucer to share his captain during the quixotic voyage towards the 10/7, his imaginary planet. On route, tension, friction and mistery appear. Lucio hides, multiplies, escapes. It starts a pursuit inside a labyrinth of mirrors, an initiating/tic drif, a space carreer. The films falls into a black hole, a faith crisis.
The closer it is to the 10/7, the farthest it’s of watching it.
The day I met Lucio he told me a fable-tale that I will never forget: “When I was a child, someone gave me a lesson of life (?). I was walking along a path that crossed a little stream, with just two handspans of water. There was laying a donkey, at death’s door. Its back legs slided and it wasn’t able to jump out of the stream with its charge. Its shepperd-owner, an old farmer from the village, he told me it was about to die. “Is he exhausted?”, I asked him amazed. “No”, he answered, “he is drowning”. That day I learnt something that has made me to be who I am, something that has lighted up the way: donkeys drown by their asshole.”
That story contains the key of the inscrutable labyrinth that is Lucio Ballesteros, an aged man with anticuated manners who hides a free soul, libertarian and agitator. All on him perspired contradiction and, instead of dissipate while I started knowing him, that contradiction grew, the muddle become more and more rizomatic, dark and, at the same time, more cinematographic.
Since that day, since that donkey drowned, Lucio’s mystery, his incredible biography, his magnetism in front of the camera, added carats to a film more and more dense, polyhedral… more and more imposible. I noticed soon that I had in my hands one of those glittery characters who-that show up to the filmmaker one or twice in his life. But hesitation emerged slowly. I needed to know if that gemstone was authentical, and for that I had to break it.
In one of our first filmic duels, armed with our two cameras, Lucio and I signed our imposible triangle, the mirror spiral this story become. I was focusing on Lucio while he as shooting himself with his handycam. The narcisism, the obscurantism of the protagonist crashed frontly with the cutting and threatening look of the narrator. In the exact momento of the collision, when the thread stretches and it’s time to bang… “Who is Lucio Ballesteros for real?”. At that momento a little mouse crossed the scene and, chasing it, Murias the cat pretending to hunt it. My camera leaves Lucio dodging the bullets and focuses to the floor, where the magical methaphor was happening. The little mouse hides behind a column and Murias tries to catch it. Finally, she lets the mouse go… The camera comes back to the original framming: Lucio at the firing line. “Do you feel like a hunted mouse when I shoot you?”, I ask him. “Look, to be true I am what you want me to be, I am the way you see me, I’m a projection of your mind. Here it’s no clear who hunts whom.
10/7 is the log book of a journey towards an imaginary planet, but as well it’s the diary of a breakup, of a pursuit that become obsessive since the author finds, among the video files Lucio entrust (to) him, a disturbing sequence: a médium shot of the living-room. At the background, a table and an armchair. Besides them, a body laying on the floor and a bloody puddle behind its head : Nuncia. Lucio presses the REC button as if he was shooting a psycho-drama scene. He turnes the viewfinder to check the frame, he gets closer to Nuncia, he tries to revive her: “Come back, don’t go through that tunnel, Nuncia, don’t let yourself go”. Anyway, during the 15 minutes this graphic testimony of the accident that caused Nuncia’s death , Lucio doesn’t forget-loose the reference of his camera, of staging. His pose is rigid, hammy (overdramatic). Why did him decided to shoot his wife’s death?
Days after this disconcerting discovery, when I was surfing on his YouTube cannel, I found a saxo interpretation, one of the first he published after Nuncia’s death. Its title was “I didn’t kill her” and Lucio introduced it this way; “For those who suspect I killed her because she was mine, as this song says, it’s not true. I didn’t kill her. Not at all, I loved her so much”.
The way to the 10/7 wouldn’t be easy. The film setted the course towards darkness.
Direction: Xoel Méndez
Camera: Xoel Méndez
Executive Production: Simone Saibene
Sound: Amaro Rúa
Image postproduction: Pablo Cayuela
Graphic design: F. Javier Hurtado
Production and Distribution: Noveolas Producciones