The relationship of Enrique Villalonga with cinema began one Saturday night, back in 1992 when the movie ‘The Wild Bunch’, directed by Sam Peckinpah, was on the TV. He was only 15 years old and, for some reason, the movie left a lasting impression on him. “What affected me was how it was both extremely violent and melancholic in the way it depicted the friendship between the bandits.
To witness or discover in the same film two elements that for me at the time held opposed connotations really shook me”, explains filmmaker and audiovisual director Enrique Villalonga (Ibiza, 1976). The documentary “Erwin Bechtold, a portrait of an artist” and the short film “the taxidermist’s son” are some of the signature pieces of his cinematic career. In addition, he made the series “Aiguallums” about creations by Ibizan artists and he is also the founder of the Ibizan audiovisual production company Filmótica.
Cinema, art and the island of Ibiza are your three great passions. What role does each one of these plays in your life?
I guess that my relationship with the island has always played a very special role. I started with drawing as I was a fan of comic books. Then I moved on to cinema, after that painting and for the last 10 years, I have dedicated myself to filmmaking.
How did your relationship with cinema start?
When I was 13 or 14 years old, I saw a film on the television that had a great impact on me, The Wild Bunch, by Sam Peckinpah. Whilst talking about it with my brother Adolfo, who is a musician, he suggested that I try my hand at making a short film. And this is how I created my first piece called “The tranquillity of the closed tap”.
Do you have more fun screenwriting or directing?
As a scriptwriter, I am more relaxed. Directing is a different kind of fun, perhaps because of the adrenaline. Nevertheless, I think that it’s the editing stage that I enjoy the most as it’s the phase in which writing and filming gain meaning.
How would you describe yourself as a director? And as a film critic?
As a filmmaker, I like to provoke emotional and intellectual reactions in the viewer. I do not consider myself a film critic and although I have studied many films shot in Ibiza, it was from a historical and informative perspective rather than from a critical one.
How was Filmóteca born and how has it evolved?
Filmótica is the name of my audiovisual production company. I created it in 2012 with the idea of becoming a professional in the industry. Filmótica has managed to establish itself as a producer of films that specialise in cultural content relating to Ibiza and Formentera.
Is dedicating oneself to Ibizan cinema profitable?
I have no idea. In my case, I have a seasonal job in the catering industry.
In your opinion, what is needed to be successful in the cinema world?
I believe that it is mainly a question of luck.
What is your opinion on the current condition of Spanish cinema?
It’s getting better and better. I think that people’s preconceptions about Spanish cinema are changing.
Tell us about one of your last pieces of work “The Encyclopaedia of Eivissa and Formentera” (EEIF) relating to films shot in the Pitiusas. What led you to make it and what does it consist of exactly?
It was a piece of work commissioned by Felip Cirer. I created the section in the EEIF relating to movies filmed in the Pitiusas.
As coordinator of the video library of the Ibiza Film Commission (currently the Ibiza Film Office), you know the films that have been shot on the island very well. Could you define Ibizan cinema in a few words?
It’s based around the many stereotypes that the island’s image evokes.
How has Ibizan cinema evolved over the last few years?
Since the year 2000, we have seen more productions by local filmmakers thanks to the digital cinema (which has much cheaper production costs). On another level and in general terms, international productions shot in Ibiza have been inspired mainly by the nightlife.
What are your likes and dislikes as a director?
I love close-up details of people’s eyes, hands and feet. I really don’t like very loud sounds, I am sensitive to them.
Which actor or actress would you love to work with?
I am watching a TV series called “Rillington Place” starring Tim Roth. He does a magnificent job. I would love for him to play a part in one of my films.
Which have been your main artistic influences?
The comics of Richard Corben, sometimes credited as Berni Wrightson – Creepy, 1984, “The Savage Sword of Conan”. Horror films from the 70’s and 80’s, Sam Peckinpah, Brian de Palm, David Fincher… The list is long…
You ventured into horror territory with the short film “the taxidermist’s son” (2013). Would you like to work in this genre again? What other sorts would you like to explore?
I have always liked horror movies and it’s a genre I would like to return to because I feel comfortable in it. I would like to explore fantasy and action genres although always in a personal way.
What are your next projects?
To take a break from my series “Aiguallums” about the creative process of artists in Ibiza and Formentera (I have shot 30 short film documentaries for it until now). And to turn my energy to some fiction short films that I have had in mind for a few months and which I hope will leave no one indifferent.