Exclusive Interview: Director Igor Legarreta Creates Touching Vampire Drama With ALL THE MOONS

Premiering this week on Shudder, all the moons is one of those wonderful reimaginings of the vampire genre that seems to happen every 10 years or so. With deep emotional resonance and a number of weird and chilling moments, director Igor Legarreta focuses on a young girl (the haunting newcomer Haizea Carneros, with minimal dialogue) who is mortally wounded during the Third Carlist War in 1876. in Spain. She is healed – and transformed – by a mysterious woman (Itziar Ituño), who lets her know that she will now be able to see “all the moons” – in other words, the child is now a creature of the night, immortal. and dependent on blood. The film becomes a saga of the young girl, who goes by the name of Amaia, going through many years, falling into the custody of farmer Candido (Josean Bengoetxea) and trying to regain her humanity.

In her second feature, Legarreta (who scripted with Jon Sagalá) created a film that uses genre tropes and imaginative variations on them, to explore what it means to be human. all the moonswhich won Best Director, Best Cinematography (Imanol Nabea) and the Audience Award at last year’s Fantasia International Film Festival, heralds the arrival of a major new talent on the international genre scene, who spoke to FANGORIA about his moving and chilling achievement.

Have any specific vampire movies or novels inspired all the moons?

I would say any good vampire movie has helped influence all the moonsbut there are two that I consider most relevant: Leave the one on the right in and Interview with the Vampire, both of which feature unforgettable vampire characters. On the other hand, mountaineer and Pan’s Labyrinth are there too.

How did you choose the Carlist War as the backdrop to start your story?

We wanted to show the war in the film as a sort of loop, a backdrop that is always there; it is something that appears, disappears and, sooner rather than later, comes back again. The idea was that war is something that, paradoxically, is part of life, and it is not difficult to find, in a short time, different conflicts in the same territory.

How much did you want to adhere to traditional vampire traditions and how much did you want to change/reverse?

We were very clear that we didn’t want a “monster” as the protagonist – a being that kills humans for food. Somehow we wanted a vampire who was “more human than humans”, a being who wished to reclaim their mortality, reverse their new nature. Someone who refuses immortality. This idea guided us in terms of our heroine’s tone and journey.

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What larger themes were you trying to address with this story?

I would say the main theme of the film is acceptance – acceptance of how random, fragile and painful existence can be. But it can also be long, full and beautiful. And the acceptance of death as something that gives us perspective on our own lives. As Freddy Mercury said, “Who wants to live forever?”

How did you approach the violence in the film, both as a theme and as a shoot?

In general, violence is shown implicitly. The spectator lives with the protagonist his long process of understanding and acceptance of his new nature, and his discovery of the rejection of a hostile world. To a large extent, our protagonist suffers less from the violence that comes from outside than from the consequences of his own inner violence, which arises from loneliness and the impossibility of recovering what has been lost.

Did any of your backers ask you to make it a more explicit horror film?

From the start, everyone understood that all the moons wasn’t a typical horror movie – that it was a vampire movie, but closer to fairy tales and ancient legends that have been passed down through oral tradition. A vampire film where the most important thing is not the blood itself.

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How did you find Haizea Carneros, your wonderful lead actress?

I once heard that finding a child protagonist for a movie was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Let’s say we were very lucky because we found our needle, and without a doubt, she is the great discovery of the film.

From the start, I was aware that the strength of all the moons depended on his lead. So as soon as we found Haizea, we set up a coaching team to work with her. She had to be trained emotionally and technically, all in a very short time. It was Haizea’s first time on a professional shoot, and she had to understand, at the same time, the nature of her character and the dynamics of shooting, with a crew of 50 people and a camera in front of her.

However, it was quite easy for me to get Haizea to immerse herself in the magical world we had created. Few tools are more valuable than a 12-year-old girl’s imagination. Haizea’s performance is composed mainly of gestures, looks and silences, and it is full of subtlety and sensitivity.

How did you find all the beautiful places and how did it happen on them?

In a film where the use of dialogue is measured, we needed the settings where the action takes place to help convey the emotional state of the characters – and give the story that magical aura that the story creates. It was a process of finding and securing, although luckily the Basque Country is a land full of beautiful places. But there is no beauty without suffering: Rain, cold, snow, mud, forests, caves, lakes… It was quite a difficult shoot.

Were there any scenes that were particularly challenging for you or Carneros?

Due to regulations regarding minors, we couldn’t shoot with Haizea after ten o’clock in the evening, which, in the case of a vampire film, was a small handicap. [laughs]. We had little practical time to film it, which was probably the hardest part, more so than the bad weather conditions.

How do you think all the moons fits into the vampire genre, and the Spanish tradition of horror?

It’s hard to know… I think the movie is, in some ways, special, with its own personality, finding its own way. It is the first vampire film entirely shot in Basque, one of the oldest languages ​​in Europe, which focuses on its characters and their conflicts, but with a love for the traditions of myth and genre cinema. -same. It’s a little ode to mortality with a little vampire girl as the protagonist. I believe time will take all the moons in its proper place.

AT all the moons opened in Europe, and if so, how was it received there?

The film was released in Spain last year, in the midst of a pandemic, so its box office there was seriously impacted. As it was an independent film, the producers preferred not to wait to release it, which was perhaps not the best decision. Booking at Fantasia was its first big success, and I hope that little by little the film will reach more viewers.

Do you have any horror/genre movies in the pipeline?

I love these kinds of films, but I like films in general, so I work on different types of projects. But, of course, some of them are genre films. For a long time, but mortally, long live the horror!

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all the moons is now streaming on Shudder. Click below to watch.

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