Noel Alenjandro makes films focused on beauty, sensitivity and sexuality. He has been for several years a collaborator for Erika Lust, pioneer in the feminist and ethic adult films. Now the time has come for Noel to move on as a independent film maker and he is ready to give some dignity and quality the gay adult genre deserves! Noel latest film, “Thank You …” was recently shot in Berlin.
KALTBLUT: How did you get to work with Erika Lust?
Noel: Well, I was 24 years old and I had spent 3 years working for a terrible multinational company, my self-esteem was of course “ on the floor” because I studied cinema and TV, and I was very passionate with that world. So when I decided that I’d had enough, I started looking for a job vacancy in any production company in my city, Barcelona. Soon I found an offer on the internet and after some interviews they hired me as their video editor and production assistant .
KALTBLUT: Were you already attracted to porn before?
Noel: No, but I was really attracted to any kind of art that breaks the taboos of our society. I always wanted to talk about those things nobody even thinks exists or happens.
KALTBLUT: Did you think about working in the porn industry before that?
Noel: No, not really. Apart from the obvious phantasies, like lots of us I guess. There are a lot of misconceptions about this industry and everything related.
KALTBLUT: What did you learn working along with Erika?
Noel: I learnt that society is still very much in the beginning of understanding how different this genre can be. Working in porn also showed me how uncomfortable we feel about our sexuality. A complete childhood without any kind of sexual education made us believe that sexuality needs to be kept secret. I also learned that there is a lot to be explored in this genre which can make me feel really proud of what i do, kind of a pioneer feeling .
KALTBLUT: How was it to shoot you first production Eloi & Biel?
Noel: Eloi & biel was my first project as director (and producer), I wanted it to be fun and aesthetically pleasing. I remember we spent the weekend in the forest laughing and drinking wine, (we were learning how to make a film but on top of all we wanted to have fun and joy) and really remember that we all got the feeling that something wonderful was going on there. It was maybe the very first time that somebody was making an explicit film under a melodramatic context. Of course there were a few directors that also dared to go further with this genre but it really felt that way. Actually I always thought that the percentage of porn that really changes something today is less than 1%.
KALTBLUT: Why do you think gay porn needs changes?
Noel: I really can’t understand why all porn looks the same. At the very beginning anyone grabs a camera and films. There should be some intention to narrate something. If after some films a producer still wants to keep this lack of sensitivity and keep it flat and without emotion, then something is wrong with their way of thinking. Or they just don’t care what they are doing. Porn was initially a prolongation of mainstream cinema, it showed what the regular cinemas didn’t dare to show. Actually, it was played in the same theaters as mainstream cinema, but then it came so popular that it suffered the inevitable industrialization and became completely flat and monotone. You only need to go and surf on today’s porn. It’s all pretty much the same.
KALTBLUT: Watching “Thank you” your last production, I really had the impression to watch an amateur movie rather than mainstream porn. Is it an aesthetic you’re looking for?
Noel: It’s something more than that, it is all about the sensitivity. It’s a vision, I really use porn to communicate my feelings and to describe my phobias. Porn is my vehicle to desperately communicate to the world my fears and my desires, which seems normal for every amateur or professional director .Clearly the aesthetic is something largely missing today in gay porn and it depends on the will of every director to reach for it. So if it does not exist it means that there is no will to change the porn today, which is rather surprising to me. I talked with Erika lots of times about how crazy it is that this genre is the most exploited of all but at the same time the less explored. That’s shocking, but might mean something. Maybe porn and sexuality is still the last taboo.
KALTBLUT: Do you actually work with professional actors?
Noel: I do prefer to work with people out of the industry circuit but it’s not easy. I believe that not only muscled bodies can inspire sensuality and sexiness to the audience. I don’t reject anybody, to me the most important is the face and the way they loose their look into the emptiness.
KALTBLUT: How much do you script and how much freedom do you give to person in the movie?
Noel: Normally I follow a script but sometimes I like to improvise, for example, “Thank you” is a completely improvised film, “Eloi & Biel” was a completely different film at the time I wrote it but when I started editing I felt the need to change things. I try to give life to my characters.
KALTBLUT: How do you cast the people playing in your movie?
Noel: I usually schedule a Skype with them and I ask them many questions about themselves and their lives. I like to listen to the way they speak, if they are passionate, if they like what they do… I start to build the character from the very beginning and I like to imagine what kind of situations would they be involved regarding their way of being. It is really important to understand that they are not professional performers so I really have to build a character based on their own natural behavior. It’s a fantastic challenge and I got great feedback.