Espacio público

Espacio público
18 min | Spain | 2006

The esplanade of "El Escorial" (Madrid) is a huge and ascetic plain made of stone -built under the reign of Felipe II in the XVI century- which is crossed daily by tens of peoples. The idea of this film is to describe this space and the figures that cross it. Spring up then the chance choreographies arising from the day-to-day life. The general intention is to find the extraordinary inside the ordinary and to show the distinctive manners of walking of each passer-by, as well as what they have in common. This is the case for example with people from the village who always walk straight, following the stone paths. The film tries to vindicate public space, and the beauty and mystery that uprise from daily and repetitive things.

Original format: 
DV. Color
No dialogue

Daniel V. Villamediana
Daniel V. Villamediana
Daniel V. Villamediana
Daniel V. Villamediana


Festival Internacional de cine de Gijón 2006
Documenta Madrid 2007
Festival de cine Huesca 2007
Festival Cinema Jove 2007

Text on the film

Espacio público is a piece of work that arise from the observation and fascination for an space: the stone esplanade next to the Monastery of St. Lorenzo de El Escorial (Madrid). I found the theme of the movie after observing this place each and every afternoon during a month and a half, going around the same time of the day, trying to find out in which way could I describe this space. Soon I found out the regularity of the movements of the passers-by, their strolls in straight lines, and those choreographies that come about by chance, and that only come to existence when someone captures them. I searched for the repetitive movements in different people in order to emphasize, on the one hand, the idea that it is the space imposing its way of being transited and, on the other hand, to capture the choreographies arising from daily life which, additionally, I was able to contrast with other ‘already created’ choreographies that took place in the same place, as if it were a dance show.

But the main challenge I had to face was to make that space comprehensible to the viewer, as I didn’t have enough length to make the viewer see it in a single shot. It needed to be fragmented, limited and, therefore, I created ceilings in many of the shots in order to enclose it, and thus being able to play with the entrances and exits of the characters. It was not only about watching them move, but also about turning them into images framed within certain limits and create a world around them thanks to the framing work.

It was, however, necessary to find an image with which the spectator could get an idea of the whole, something difficult to achieve since the esplanade is truly wide and is divided in a square angle, and the camera cannot fully capture it. Additionally, I did not want to use a wide-angle lens because it would warp the space, turning the straight lines into curves. Fortunately, Maria Cristina High School was nearby, where I happened to find an engraving that not only was useful to help me find a more complete image of the esplanade of the movie, but also related the past with the present and showed how that plaza had been an immutable public place for centuries that had been transited by thousands and thousands of passers-by who were probably doing the same routes, following the stone lines composing the floor of this esplanade for centuries.

Daniel V. Villamediana.

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