Ándres Duque: My Outburst with Iván

In this issue, Andrés Duque, speaks in first person, about his relationship with Iván Zulueta, and the steps taken to record his documentary IVÁN Z

My Outburst with Iván

I saw “Arrebato” (Iván Zulueta) for first time in a retrospective offered by the Cinemática of Caracas about the best of Spanish cinema; it was around 1991. As well as much other people who had previously seeing the movie, I had the feeling I had just participated in a hypnotic and bloodsucker experience. The film addressed me, or better said, it arouse some of my childhood memories with an exciting faithfulness. The pleasure of watching picture card albums and letting yourself getting lost in those sceneries, all the erotic load that Betty Boop or Peter Pan can awake, the sticky textures of some objects, the light sparkles bouncing out when the sun comes into the window, well, a world full of memories started resettling my mind to right after lead me to the outburst. From that moment, I could not take this movie out of my mind.

I started looking for information about Iván in the year 2000, and I could only find anecdotes that seemed to be fiction more than reality. In any case, the myth surrounding him and his eccentric, obscure, inscrutable character attracted me to such a point that I ended finding a way to meet him through Álvaro Machimbarrena, a friend of mine that helped me contacting him and later produce the documentary “Iván Z”.

Getting to his house with the camera to develop the documentary, it was not an easy task. A year and a half had to pass until our friendship strengthened, and he would not find himself uncomfortable with my presence. I was clear that I was going to shoot everything in his house and I had prepared a large questionnaire revolving around his seclusion and his present life. I was not so much interested to go into his career as a filmmaker or into his movies, I believe they are self-explanatory. I was more interested in demystifying his secretive image by taping him in his day-to-day life.

I was surprised that Iván was always thinking about stories and that his memories had not left him aside and his intense trips throughout the cinema, but in that moment he found himself more secure drawing and staying at home; it was also his family’s home and source of all his cinema and life inspiration, that after all, represented the same thing for him.

In the top-floor apartment where he slept, it could be found his most appreciated objects, those who he liked recording with his super8 camera and that remind him to a happy childhood: picture card albums and Walt Disney figures with Blandi-blups backgrounds. Lou Reed was also there cleverly inhaling a substance that seemed to be rolling tobacco, and a weird leopardess woman sighting through a window a city that is out of her reach. But there was much more going on, a cinema ticket clerk quite bad-tempered, maybe because she just realized that her husband is a drag-queen, a drowned mermaid in a fish tank full of jellyfishes and a set of amateur films about world wide tours. The light came out of the window and became the narrative thread, it went around all the rooms and passed through a TV where, once we found ourselves with midnight creatures that moved around intensively, as trying to push the end of a programme that left us immersed in a completely darkness, the last frontier.

Andrés Duque