Last Circus: Alex De La Iglesia–Why I Made the Film

I’m making this film to exorcise a pain in my soul that just won’t go away, like oil stains. I wash my clothes with movies. I feel ridiculed, horribly mutilated by a marvelous and sad past, as if I were drowning in nostalgia for something that never happened, a huge nightmare that won’t allow me to be happy.

I’m a filmmaker, not a terrorist. I want to annihilate the rage and the pain with a grotesque joke that will make others laugh and cry at the same time. I want to burn out the wounds that burn my nights with acid, when the anguish becomes unbearable and the devils that live by my side whisper softly into my ears and become painfully real.

I am two people, maybe more. I can make out a spoilt child, cowardly and cruel, who enjoys hurting and pinching the cheeks of those weaker than him. I know he hates me and wants to destroy me, but the only way for him to stop torturing me is to let him out. He needs to enjoy himself, laugh uproariously, vomit all over the celluloid.

There’s also a bitter elderly woman, aware of her age and of her ignorance, but mostly of her guilt. She would like to love passionately, but knows that’s not possible. She wants to be liked, she wishes with all her might to make others happy even if she doesn’t know how to enjoy life.

Perhaps these two strange creatures define this film. Their struggle is a summary of my life, of what I’ve seen around me, a confusing and absurd display, both grotesque and disappointing, but also incredibly touching within its own stupidity. The only dignity, the only possible salvation for these cowards lost in their own hell is a good joke, a comedy, a pantomime capable of dissolving the bile that sticks to the sticky surface of reality.

I want the film to take place in 1973, when I was eight years old. I remember that time as a dream, a nightmare that made no sense.

The decline of Franco’s regime is like the prehistory of my life. It hides are wild animals, hunger and sorrow, murderers and my brothers and my mother, but, above all, my father.

Perhaps that was the year in which reality was most like a dream. “El Lute”, the death of Carrero Blanco, the TV clowns… They all come together in my memory. I’m not sure who the clown was and who the child was in that strange hallucination.

Terrorism, childhood, television. All concepts that intermingle and overlay each other in my head, creating an enigma, a hieroglyphic, that I need to decipher.