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Sarandon and Robbins Masterclass at Mar del Plata

Before leaving her hand prints in the Boulevard Marítimo´s path, the actress Susan Sarandon and her husband, the director Tim Robbins, answered the audience's most different interests and they talked with the actors present there. "Bush´s re-election was useful only for the comedy actors and the punk rockers", said the director.

An Oscar in the bathroom
The master class was signed by the actress´ sense of humour and the not always proper audience participation, which packed Hermitage´s Versailles room. Mar del Plata´s people knew that Sarandon, Oscar winner, keeps her statue in the bathroom. Going to what is more important, Sarandon said that "anybody can be better president than George Bush Jr., as he was not elected by voters".
The talk started with the actress saying that she had just asked Tim Robbins, her husband, how he had been treated during the public interview. Sarandon admitted that he scared her with the certainty that surely all the questions would be about the couple's sexual life. That brief introduction included her weakness for New York City, against Los Angeles´ supposed glamour and, once this preference was set, the audience could start with their questions. The audience's doubts kept Sarandon busy for more than an hour. Among the different characters who cleared up their doubts about the actress´ professional and every day life, there were several celebrities. The first who jumped into the (verbal) stage was China Zorrilla. The audience devoted her an ovation that had very little to envy the one that Sarandon had aroused. China answered to the ovation with a simple "I don't know whether I am a good actress or not, but I am very popular", everything in a correct English, proceeding in this way to steal her the close-up at a stroke. She asked the New Yorker if she had ever composed characters with which she ideologically disagreed. Sarandon said that did not feel comfortable in some of the jobs because of the strong connection between sexuality and violence of the plots. She added an anecdote about a rehearsal where she was asked to perform someone without love, so she had her hair cut very short so that she would be made redundant. It did not work, but she found comfort when her co-leading actor, the great actor and director John Cassavettes, assured her that the director would not manage to prevent their characters from loving each other in secret. Both actresses started a small dialogue in which China narrated part of her experience during the shooting of Elsa y Fred -later an old lady did not deprive herself to strongly recommend it to Sarandon and China was in charge of translating for everybody, become an interpret ad honorem.
In the meantime, the ex actress and civil servant Irma Roy spoke her mind with interests about Sarandon´s marital life and made a comparison between some of the "sincere" answers of the actress and the more diplomatic ones of Robbins´. The balance of her master class was juicy, above all when she ran Bush Jr. down, or when she talked at length about her work with the directors Billy Wilder and Louis Malle.
But above all the things it was an event which could make that everybody had a good time while they got closer to the intimacy of one of the most prestigious actresses of Hollywood.


Everything All right. ("Todo Macanudo")
The Festival's president, Miguel Perreira, defined the actors and directors marriages (Robbins directed three long films) as cool people. And in that familiar and confidence atmosphere it was that Robbins introduced himself to the audience. After the claps avalanche that received him, the first thing he did was to accuse his mediator Andrea Prodan, actor and musician and Luca´s brother, Sumo´s singer, of having seen him the night before spilled on a pub´s floor. The tone was set; Robbins was there to have a good time. Prodan started a series of questions that guided the meeting, making a list of Great Hits in Robbins´ career as an actor and director: The Shawshank Redemption, The Player, Cradle Will Rock.
A word game on the titles translations made Robbins talk about the difficulties that exist at the moment of getting information about what is going on in the third world countries. Reflection that ended up with Robbins roaring for New York ("The most democratic city of the USA") to create an own army and splits up from the rest of the country. This reflection created a doubt in the actor and director: about how it is easier to find the truth in comedy programmes than in The New York Times newspaper. Avoiding every applause generated by anything (including a question that generated a celebration), Robbins started to develop a thesis about the importance of the comedy: "When people search the truth in the satire or the comedy we are in trouble. Or perhaps they were always the places where to go to look for the truth". The comedy was Robbins´ weapon to camouflage the discomfort generated by certain questions of the audience, whose highest point was the metaphysic doubt that the actress Graciela Alfano had about the couple's private life during the shooting of Dead Man Walking, that film where the man condemned to death waits for the execution and where, frankly, there was not even a hint of sex. But Robbins was unstoppable and he even made a joke about the linguistic typhoon provoked by his three interprets offering himself to do the job or suggesting that perhaps it would be better that they all talked at the same time. Robbins went on his show imitating Clint Eastwood, praising his loved Robert Altman and declaring that George W. Bush´s re-election was good only for comedy actors and punk rockers. The joke unleashed a reflection that defines his way of watching and making cinema: "I think that satisfaction and comfort can be enemies of the creativity. Unfortunately, there is always a sort of beauty and grace of the art produced under oppressive conditions. When the bets are high, the artist is in a better condition to create something". The audience dispersed after to concentrate in the path and see him put his hands into the cement of the famous.

Extract from Festival´s Diary

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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