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 Oriol Puig's diary 
Week 1Week 2Week 3







 

WEEK 4:
Atomic Romanticism in Central Park

At the beginning of the week, I shot my last exercise for the NYFA: a short video clip using any song you wanted. Having observed the dynamics of previous shoots, I tried not to complicate things and to reduce mine to the bare minimum: only a few locations, a few shots, a few actors, simple roles and a very basic story that could be understood with no need for any dialogue. Under the circumstances, the most sensible thing was to aim very low and simply try to achieve a minimum of dignity. I felt that any greater ambition would mean I’d fall on my face.

In my opinion, the end result is borderline. It’s impossible for me to feel proud of it, yet at the same time it doesn’t really embarrass me. The exercise undoubtedly has some clear defects: if you take a fairly shaky story and add to it quite a few very underexposed and out-of-focus shots, editing problems and hard-to-read texts that make the piece difficult to understand, the result is obviously not an audiovisual masterpiece. Even so, I actually expected something worse. I suppose that’s the nice thing about being a pessimist. You’re always favourably surprised.




















In an act of self-immolation, here’s the link to The WORK. Don’t hesitate to make my ears burn.

During this fourth week, I coincided with Angel Pazos and his girlfriend Patricia. Angel was in New York to attend the one-week workshop he had won with El Origen de la Familia in the 30-second section of Notodofilmfest.com. I think that Angel was one of the few award winners this year whose merit has not been questioned.

We first met by chance at the school in the NYFA toilets. Don’t ask me why, but we looked very suspicious there. More than film students, we looked like a couple of Spanish rent boys seeking their fortune in NYC. In spite of the great joy of chatting with another member of the future generation of filmmakers amidst uric acid fumes, we decided to change venues and continue our conversation in a bar, including Patricia this time. The truth is that I was glad to increase my social life a little during those days. Both of them are great and we had a good time.

Since it was my last week, I took advantage of my free time to visit everything I had been leaving for later on and to buy some trinkets for family and friends. Among other sites, I had time to go to the MoMA and the Guggenheim (both of them were fantastic) and to have a few private moments in Central Park. The incredible power of suggestion that the Park had on me during my




















last visit was terrifying. Let me explain. From some of the comments I have heard, which were often tinged with dislike, I have never been known as being a model of romanticism.  Personally, I have always felt I possessed a sort of subtle romanticism, unjustly overlooked by my partenaires, but with time I have come to believe that perhaps their complaints were partially justified, particularly because of the sincere repulsion that certain demonstrations of affection in certain situations produce in me.

Well, let me tell you that if they sit me down on a slope in Central Park and play the appropriate song full blast on my MP3, I am overcome by an ATOMIC ROMANTICISM of such dimensions that it could make all the trees in the park burn by spontaneous combustion. In a matter of minutes, I felt an urgent need to follow the women running in Central Park and ask them to take me with them, even if on four legs and with a collar around my neck.  Suddenly, all that grass seemed to have been conceived exclusively for smooching, and I was angry that the park hadn’t considered installing a rental service that offered mates for temporary visitors. You know, someone to walk hand in hand with like a decent couple.

Luckily, before doing anything that would have seriously damaged my self-esteem, I decided to calm my impulses by buying pistachio ice cream and I fled the park listening to Cat Stevens, while meditating as to whether my thoughts, which seemed so endearing at the time, really differed a lot from those in the mind of your garden-variety rapist.




















Mid-week, Angel and Patricia took me dancing in the Meatpacking District. We ended up going to a discotheque filled with Asian Americans where a couple of rappers offered a very funny show including songs charged with HIGH SEXUAL VOLTAGE. Apparently, the artists’ insolent tone must have influenced the entire discotheque because a few minutes later a waitress shouted “Bloody Bastard!” at Angel for not having compensated her rotten service with a generous tip. Anyway, we didn’t let her intimidate us and we continued to visit the furious young lady until we all ended up making exquisite movements on the dance floor in complete harmony with the earth’s rotation and the position of the stars.

The day before I left, I had a farewell dinner with Sylvia. As always, it was very pleasant to chat with her and have her show me some of the city’s most enchanting places. What can I say? She’s a magnificent person and that’s that.

I said goodbye to the academy in a much more uninspired way. As usually happens whenever I organise something, I made a mistake upon purchasing my return ticket and it coincided with the last day of classes, specifically with the screening of the course’s most recent work. I was able to attend four or five projections, including my own. The class received my “video clip” with more puzzlement than enthusiasm, although it did bring a smile to the professor’s face. As my flight was about to leave, I had to disappear in the darkness, in the middle of the screening, like a fleeting shadow that no one saw. I whispered a timid good-by which was returned by a few people and I left on the run. Goodbye NYFA.

I had enough time at the airport to lose my boarding pass, recover it at the newsstand where I had bought some magazines and think of all the things that I hadn’t done in the city. One of them, which was what most infuriated me, was that I had not kept my promise to my friends and former workmates at Minsk (www.minsk.es). It was simply to have my picture taken in New York wearing the “Ex-designer” T-shirt they gave me when I left the studio and to post it in this diary. In my defence, I should say that they chose the wrong model and gave me a woman’s T-shirt making it difficult to walk through the city streets as a travesty. In any case, I take advantage of this occasion to tell everyone that now that that pair of rascals have gotten rid of me, they have become the definitive graphic design studio. Take advantage of the fact.

As for me, what can I say? After winning Notodofilmfest.com, I decided to be brave and abandon my old job to try and do what I like, even if I end up failing. Anyway, I have to admit that as I returned by plane to Barcelona, feeling very nostalgic about having to leave New York and slightly terrified as I headed straight for unemployment, I couldn’t stop saying “OK… WHAT NOW? WHAT NOW?”

Week 1Week 2Week 3

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