Marco Berger (Buenos Aires, 1977) may seem as if he has a dream job: he is a film director whose films focus on homoerotic sexual tension between beautiful straight men. In GagaOOLala we love his films and this week we have launched one of his masterpieces Hawaii, which joins the other Berger film in our catalogue Taekwondo (only available in Taiwan). To accompany this release, we have contacted Berger to talk about his films and, of course, his taste in men!
Marco Berger / Source: Instagram
1. Your films are all more or less about straight or straight-acting guys who turn out to be attracted to guys and fall in love with a guy, is this your ultimate fantasy? Or have you experienced it personally?
Most of my work is about my fantasies or issues that I am interested in and that I want to work with. I rarely use my personal experiences but in this case, yes, I did experience it.
2. You really captured the ambiguity of sexual attraction and made the audience crave for it with your characters. Is it your intention to make people feel both tortured and pleasured at the same time?
I never want the people to feel tortured! Even though they are love stories I do try to work with suspense to trap audiences into the story. The only torture is maybe to wonder all the time where this story goes. My intention was never to torture, of course. Actually, the opposite, I just want them to enjoy the story even you do not know it ends.
3. You’ve worked with Manuel Vignau in Una Última Voluntad, Plan B and Hawaii. He is definitely very charming and also a very good actor. Can you share how you met him and one or two of your personal experiences with him? Why has not he been in your films since Hawaii? Will you two work together again?
A common friend introduced me Manuel Vignau. He is a very nice person, very beautiful to shoot and we are friends. After Una Última Voluntad, I wanted to work with him again right away that is why I called him to make Plan B. Then, after Ausente, I wanted to give him the chance to try different roles, that’s why we made Hawaii. I would surely work with him again, it only happened that he didn’t fit in Mariposa or Taekwondo.
4. Mateo Chiarino is also amazing eye candy but different from Manuel Vignau. Can you share what their interactions were like on and off the camera? And for you personally, which one is more of your type of guy?
They became really good friends while working. We cannot forget that Hawaii is an independent and very small film so we were very few people working for several days together. Sometimes it is not so easy to make two straight guys shoot gay scenes, but in this case, it worked quite well. None of them is my type of guy. Or both are. I don’t think I have a type actually.
Manuel Vignau and Mateo Chiarino in Hawaii
5. How did the actors react to the full frontal nude scenes? And how did they feel about those scenes on the big screen, especially the close-ups?
They understood it was important for the film so, even though it is always uncomfortable, it worked really well. They both love the film, but still feel embarrassed about their own nudes.
6. Can you also share some interesting facts about Taekwondo?
Taekwondo was actually the film that I personally enjoyed making the most. We became really good friends, we had fun and the result was amazing. We didn’t have any big problems during the shooting and there was a pool, so sometimes it felt like a holiday. I even celebrated my birthday in the middle of shooting.
7. Why did your first three films feature only two characters? Films that came out later on such as Weekend and Paris 05:59 are also like that. Do you think it’s a trend in gay films?
I am not aware of this trend. I made them like this because I just didn’t have the money to support bigger ideas. One location and two characters is the easiest way to write a story. I may have made all my films (the six of them) with the budget of Weekend. Or maybe less. Hawaii’s budget was of 20,000USD. It is impossible to make films like the ones I have made with so little money. But I made them anyway. Being underestimated director, it is still very difficult to think bigger and grow. Films are all about money, you know?
8. Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together was shot in Argentina. How did audiences react to it in Argentina? Did it have any influence in your filmmaking?
People in Argentina loves Happy Together. I think every film director has been influenced by it and Wong Kar-Wai, directly or unconsciously.
Marco and his boyfriend / Source: Instagram
9. How is LGBTQ cinema in Argentina now? Has the legalization of same-sex marriage made a difference for LGBTQ people’s lives in Argentina?
The Argentinian LGBTQ filmography is growing rapidly. Now, it is actually very rich. And, of course, the legalization of LGBTQ marriage helped a lot to this fact.
10. What are your favorite LGBTQ films in recent years? Can you name the filmmakers and films that inspired you and share some information about your next project(s)?
I loved Harvest, the German film. Lucrecia Martel, Pedro Almodóvar, Gus Van Sant, the Dardenne Brothers, François Ozon, Ferzan Ozpetek, Yorgos Lanthimos, Kim-Ki Duk, Ken Loach, Matteo Garrone, Sophia Coppola are my favorite directors alive. A total mix of styles.
I am finishing the post-production of another low budget project called Un Rubio (One Blond). We are trying to find the right place to release it. Maybe in Asia, we never know. We had the premiere of Hawaii in Korea. And I may shoot another film this year called El Cazador (The Hunter).
Want to know more about Marco? Watch his film Hawaii now on GagaOOLala!