Nathalie’s five tantalizing answers about the directing and filming Dutch – De Nieuwe Regisseurs, Nov 2012
Off-screen interview ‘Man looks at Woman Woman looks at Man’, 2000
NAC: The script was all made of images. It was the entire city, all the monuments of Rotterdam: the Willemsbrug, the Erasmusbrug and so on. CvS: The atmosphere is not at all Dutch or Rotterdam-like although it was entirely shot there. NAC: I get to hear that a lot. People watch my work and say "What a beautiful series of Russian shorts you made" when it was actually here in Rotterdam where I shot the townhall in the mist and a frozen Maas river. But they think it is in Russia. CvS: There is also that heron. NAC: Right, the heron flying above me while I bike. This was purely coincidence. Although coincidence does not exist. I was biking along the Kralingse forest for the third time in a row. The camera was shooting from the car and they were following me. At a certain point the bird started to fly along. In the end we did not even use all of it as he followed me for another two minutes. I have a good connection with herons, you know. In all of my work a heron is appearing sooner or later. We shot the film without sound and had it made later on by mister Figner and his son, the last foley artists of Saint Petersburg. Take that shot where the water is pouring out of the man's belly. As they were working in the Lenfilm studios the water had been cut off for two weeks in a row. There was no water tap, so mister Figner's son had to shake with his hand inside a bowl of water while Figner himself would produce a loud hissing noise. The result is a running water tap with air coming through. I think it works perfectly. Even knowing how it has been made I would not doubt it a second. And they did the sound for the entire film like that. It was an amazing thing to see. I suppose the spectator may expect to see a series of beautiful images that will surprise him and captivate his attention. But if one starts thinking too much about the actual meaning of it all, you might get confused. If you just allow yourself to be immersed by the beauty of it, it should not be an unpleasant experience though. In any case there will be no tough action or pornography...
After Rudolf van den Berg (De avonden) its the turn of director Nathalie Alonso Casale to go after Reves novel Werther Nieland – De Filmkrant, Jan 1997
Nathalie Alonso Casale Memory of the unknown: ‘Above all do not forget to live’ – de Filmkrant net-version nr 164, Feb 1996
IFFR interview, 1996
I have this feeling that there is this fixed group of people who get subvention money and that it is very hard for a fledgling filmmaker to interpose. TV asked by me to direct series and other stuff but I don't want to work with them. TV is not cinema. I asked only once for support from the national incentive fund but it is impossible without TV. As I choose to work without, incentive funding is also a no go. A year ago, I had to make a terrible choice. I was asked by TV to direct a film but then they made me choose between doing exactly what they wanted -by changing essential aspects of the film - or not making a film at all. Well, I chose not to make a film, even if I was well aware of the fact that I would probably never make any other film. That is bad stuff. It's over limits. It's no longer a matter of 'budget possibilities' but rather an intervention in the actual soul of a film: the way something is going to look, whether you can or not shoot in that particular setting, whether its going to be a fast or slow rhythm. All those things that make a film a film is being decided upon by people who do not necessarily know much about cinema. People who accidentally enrolled into a TV company and maybe work there for a couple of years. You hardly ever get to meet trustworthy people there who know what cinema is and would therefor be able to give you the necessary space as a director. And then you eventually shut yourself off. So I chose not to make that film. I was lucky because in the end the Dutch Filmfund supported me and I was able to make it. Amazing. I was convinced that it would be the end for me as a fledgling filmmaker as this is usually what happens when having trouble with TV. You just know that from then on it's a no go. And surely enough you can't make movies when being all by yourself. It is quite frustrating to see that a lot of small experimental films are being made with huge budgets and that the bigger features are mostly given away to those well known directors who already have a lot of experience. In that sense there is quite little space for emerging talents although I'm sure there are quite a few of them in the Netherlands.
TVO interview ‘Memory of the Unknown’, 1995
I love working in Spain. My father is Spanish and I was raised with Spanish language and with the Spain of twenty years ago because that is when he left his country. I have always been extremely interested in the History of that country, more even than in its actual state. At most I'm interested in the contrast between the actual state and what it used to be. I like to chose a region of Spain and then see what I manage to get out of it when collaborating with the locals and their traditions, or anti-traditions. On this occasion we will shoot in the provinces of Cataluña and Castilla y Léon. I shot my first movie at the age of fourteen on video and entered filmschool in Amsterdam when I was seventeen years old. During that time I made three or four shorts on 16 mm. I love films as I have always been very much atracted by the image and the sound of things. And in film both these aspects happen to congregate. I completed filmschool with Memorias sin Batallas. After that I worked as an actor and as an editor for Argentinian and Dutch filmmakers. For the past two years I have been preparing a movie in Russia. It's a complicated project as we work with a very international crew. Simmilar to the situation we are facing right now. Right now we work with Russians, Armenians, Austrians, Catalans, Dutch, English and Germans. It's not easy to manage a very diverse group of people, but it is also what makes it utmost interesting for me. The subject of this film is in fact the questioning of myself and the spectator about where the truth lies. Truth is something thet can be manipulated in many ways. In a global way, though History, as after a period of fifty years things might just as well never have happened. Like for example they state that there have never been concentration camps during World War 2 and people start to believe this as the witnesses have died or because nobody wants to talk about it. Truth can also be manipulated on a more personal level, for example when we show ourselves to the outside world the way we wish to appear. We extract the things we wish we hadn't experienced and we don't want to remember from our CVs. This film is supposed to confront the characters with their own, possibly ugly, past. There is this international group of people who travel with a bus from the Netherlands towardsthe sun and the beach of Spain. But during the night the whole environment burns down and the next day all the passengers see through the window is smoke and soot. They lose their way and find a little village in which an old lady has been waiting for years for her husband to come home. She believes he is one of the passengers of that bus and is being brought back to her. A village festival is being organised and little by little the passenger whom she believes to be her husband actually starts believing this as well. When in the end they find their way again we see them being surrounded by black fields while believing they reached the sun and the beach. We are now searching for various extras for a scene in which people are running from a fire or a war. We need old people as well as women with children who will be willing to help us shoot this scene an hour before sunset.
‘Mild vision on Armenian village life, wisps of damp mist and dancing dust particles’ NRC Handelsblad, 29th sept 1993
RTL4, Veronique interview, 1999