Excerpt

Synopsis

A dog and a mare embark upon a voyage together. With every step they take, the differences between them become inevitably clearer, and yet the profound mutual knowledge they develop over time shows the potential to suddenly produce a luminous moment between the two.

Much more than a love story, “Little block of cement with disheveled hair containing the sea” is a story of needing, of searching, and, above all, of coexisting. The idea of romantic love, in whose name we decide to share our life with someone, often masks other types of needs that have no relation with a firm belief in mutual and unconditional surrender as the ideal manner of living. Nevertheless, the decision to come together and share our life with another person, despite innumerable disagreements, eventually provides a valuable experience for both parties.

The dog and the mare are metaphors for two very different people who decide to share a life journey. The reasons why such events happen are not always clear, which is why I did not want this to be the sole metaphor used to recount events. Thus, the title introduces an additional metaphor which connects to the emotional situation of one of the main characters, in this case the dog, while admitting the difficulty of encapsulating the entire experience in one simple accurate representation. 

About

Nature is an additional, third main character of the story. This is the reason why, from the very beginning, I had the conviction to locate the story in an exuberant and diverse Latin American country. I eventually decided on Ecuador because of the geographic proximity of the contrasting landscapes, which was extremely convenient for a low-budget production requiring short trips.

In early August of 2011 I traveled to the capital city, Quito. I had established Internet contact previously with members of the film community and, once there, I continued to send emails. After one month, and many meetings, I managed to assemble a bare-bones crew of two producers, a director of photography and a sound designer. The location which was finally selected for the production was the province of Chimborazo, in northern Ecuador. In early September we traveled to the provincial capital of Riobamba, for a week of pre-production. The involvement and collaboration of both individuals and institutions was crucial for the flexibility required in such a low-budget production. To this end, the fact that the executive producer was a Riobamba local and could draw from a wide circle of social and family relations was essential to achieve such a speedy start, and to reduce trade-offs to a minimum.

The selection of the main characters was also relatively rapid. Both animals required previous training, so that filming could be agile and the required actions and reactions could be guaranteed in all scenes.

The dog was a German Shepherd, on temporary loan from the Military Brigade of Riobamba, together with his trainer. The mare was also trained and accompanied at all times by a special wrangler.

Filming was made in Full HD, over ten days.The decision to film in black and white was motivated by the story itself, and its construction around central axes of opposition and contrast.

The approach was to concentrate all the action on the dog and the mare, their being the only elements shot with close-ups, and to keep artifice to a minimum. Thus, we avoided any transformation of the locations, allowing the naturally present elements to define the artistic direction. Additional lighting was not used, except in two scenes, and only due to unforeseen circumstances.

Due to the total absence of dialogue both on and off, an effort was made to make the sound singularly eloquent by creating a soundtrack based on textures that aim to subtly crystallize the emotions that are taking place under the characters' surface.

This short film was made in September of 2011 in the province of Chimborazo (Ecuador) as the final project of the Master in Digital Video of the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona).

Stills

Poster

Little Block of Cement With Disheveled Hair Containing the Sea

Cast & Crew

Written, Directed and Produced by: Jorge López Navarrete
Executive Production: Cristina Martínez
Production Direction: Carlos Enríquez
Photography Direction: Carlos Mora
Sound Direction: Cristina Arias
Mare: Kinara
Mare Trainers: Carlos Larrea
Ernesto Loza
Dog: Tomi
Dog Trainer: Aníbal Sagñay
Music: Carlo Marchionni (Decomposer Studio)
Additional Music:
Composer:
Performed by:

Music Director:
”Tired feet”
Ricardo Mendoza
“Galápagos” Brigade Band of Riobamba
Pedro Llangari
Ending theme performed by: Bernat Font
Image Postproduction: Gema Briones
Sound Postproduction: Rodrigo Villanueva
Credits: Dosdecadatres
Unit Driver: Ramiro Egas
Tutor: Gonzalo de Lucas
Poster Sculpture: Pablo Gamboa Santos
Poster Art Direction: Christian López
English translation:Diego Bravo
Web Design: simbiotica.es

Acknowledgements:

Gonzalo de Lucas, Alina Cañizares, Diana Toucedo, Jorge Fuentes, Pablo Gamboa Santos, Enrique Rodríguez, Christian López, Lewis Sempertegui, Ignacio Gómez, Pablo Iturralde, Alba Santos, Núria Esquerra, Toño Chouza, Diego Bravo, Angela María Muñoz, Javier Martinez Scaff, Rodrigo Pinto, Ana María Naranjo, Carlos Esteban Brito, Jose Miguel Muñoz, Stephanie Cox, Christian Hidalgo, Maria Isabel Rojas, Eulalia Larrea, Carlos Larrea, Carlos Larrea Valdivieso, Carlos Brito, Ana María Muñoz, Diego Granda, Martha Lucía Muñoz, María José Granda, Marisa Larrea, Coronel Druet, Capitán Freddy Bonifaz, Mayor Silva, Mayor Valencia, Sargento Bombón, Sargento segundo Parreño, Teniente Pérez, Cabo Sagñay, Adriana Barreno, Pablo Andino, Abraham López, Josefina Casigña, Magaly Oviedo, Sandra Miranda, Patricio Hermida, Sergio Estella, Aníbal Estrella, Simon Smith, Maruxa Alvar, Jordi Rossinyol, Marc Bech, Javier de Pascual, Filippo Restelli, Mario Cobo, Marcos Egea, Francisco Arnoso "Pixi", Till Schmid, Tiago Garcia, David Inga.

Special Acknowledgements:

11th Armored Cavalry Brigade “Galápagos”, Riobamba (Ecuador)
Ministry of Environment of Ecuador