Ignasi Duarte’s unique taste for circuitous methods of story-telling is a technique exemplified in his film Montemor (2012) and is developed further here in The Monster in the Stone. The film is conducted through a single interview with Alberto Laiseca who wrote many books including his masterpiece Los Sorias, a florid and erudite dystopia wherein myth is interspersed with comedy. At the start of the film Duarte creates a single rule for how the interview will be conducted: that the questions asked will be from Laiseca’s books. The premise is simple enough, or so it seems. Then a dialogue sets in between filmmaker and the author. The former is never seen and the latter mainly shot in close-up highlighting the so oft forgotten body of an author.
In this Borgesian game, Ignasi Duarte, the paradoxical and almost invisible interviewer, creates a dizzying space, dealing with fear, death, love, and myth. A game of mirrors in which literature infuses the reality of the interview creating in documentary an undecidable fiction. Does Laiseca answer in his own name or by way of the characters in his fiction? It is undecidable and there lies the purpose and the stakes of the film. Thus when asked: ‘Have you forsaken your imaginary personality?’ Laiseca simply answers: ‘I have no idea.’
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