Signing a series like Easy shows to what extent Anna R. Costa (Granada, 1972) has not made things easy for her. Put your finger on the sore with this story, based on the novel Lectura fácil, by Cristina Morales, about disabled women in a supervised apartment broadcast by Movistar+.
Andalusian and Catalan, from the capital of Spain too, if only for having signed the very original Arde Madrid, this creator now flies alone and firm, with her exquisiteness and radicalism on her back, after having felt for too long in the shadow of others. Breaking ties to have her creative merits recognized has been painful, it cost her in part her divorce with Paco Leon, with whom she signed some works, lived together for 14 years and they have a daughter together. But she has said enough: “I have been vampirized,” she says.
Question. Was Madrid burning a Spain in black and white with color imprisoned?
Reply. For certain rich people, there was a bull and color, they were exempt from paying taxes, that’s why Ava Gardner came to Spain, for example. For the poor it was all grey.
Q. Was that a mix between the technicolor of the Bronston and Berlanga studios?
R. Between that he moved, if you take the lower class it was Berlanga and if you mix them with the glamor of Hollywood, Arde Madrid comes out.
Q. And Anna R. Costa, who is she?
R. I am a woman who has worked a lot for others and now life has put me first.
Q. Do you mean that your previous partner, Paco Leon, has stolen your plane?
A. Well, Paco and others. I have been like an eternal helper.
Q. And have you had enough?
R. Yes, it has been like being born again at 50.
Q. It is not a bad age to be reborn.
R. True, it’s like a birth, too. It has its side of pain and another light. I’m in those
Q. What school are you going to go to?
R. I already have school at home, where I study and work.
Q. Who will be your friends?
R. Those who are and those who come without the intention of vampirizing me. Those who approach with good vibes. Now my blood I need it for me.
Q. We have accidentally gotten into Dracula.
R. That is a sexist story. Suck women’s blood! Well, that’s what happened to me a bit: I’ve been vampirized for a while in my life.
P. Cristina Morales, author of Easy Reading, the novel on which her series on Movistar + is based, has said that a Nazi work has come out. What happens?
R. I don’t know, but that has bothered me because precisely those who are dedicated to writing must use language for what the words really mean and call what I have done a Nazi, come on…
Q. Okay, he’s not a Nazi, what’s it about?
R. Talk about freedom, protected desire, that’s something that drives me crazy. If you suffer from intellectual disability but the only thing you are clear about is desire and you are supervised in that field, what do you have left? Well, the right to exercise it does not belong to them. And that creates a lot of unhappiness. Do you know that they sedate women and not men? That explains a lot of things.
Q. What does society consider acceptable in these cases?
R. Comply with the rules, the laws, do not offend. All kinds of people with disabilities are relegated to the margins and cannot return to the center. They show us very important aspects about power, for example, or about our own self-repression.
Q. Or a complete radical challenge to uniformity?
R. You have said it, is that. Apart from the repression of her will, if it is not standard, if it breaks out of that mold, it is not worth it. She was obsessed with that being seen in the series, the paradoxes. Take that risk.
Q. You who have been born again, are you going to take more fierce risks?
R. The risks that I want to take will be to tell myself in a radical commitment to the human. Or we resurface by removing ourselves from narcissism and clinging to humanity and we don’t get ahead.
Q. Do you mean humanism rather? Because humanity brings them…
R. It is true, to humanism. We are becoming dehumanized, that worries me.
R. For competition, for a Kafkaesque and absurd system, hyper-capitalist, unrelated to work, focused on appearances.
Q. In the algorithm…
R. In what is invented, in what is artificially created… As long as I have left, I want to bet radically on denouncing that.
Q. While you were in the shade, what did you learn?
R. I went through a great crisis after the premiere of Arde Madrid. It cost me a lot for people to know that above all it was my work. At the same time, feminist demands were growing and I asked myself, what do I do? I stay silent? There an ugly fight began and our couple broke up. I was trapped in that shadow for a long time and I learned, but I was somewhat disabled for a few years.
Q. What radicality do you have on your hands?
R. Two films, one that arose as a result of my separation and another in confinement. I don’t know what will come out before, while I will direct and write some chapter of others to earn a living.
Q. How do you see Catalonia from Madrid?
R. I have been here for 12 years and I feel very Catalan, but I feel very well here. From there I highlight above all the creativity of women in the audiovisual, a brilliant and particular look, with an exquisite tone that does not show anger. Someone like Carla Simon is a very important new voice, not to mention Isabel Coixet, to whom a monument should be made. We are still not given the same opportunities and we have to bleed to carry them out.
Q. To keep talking about Dracula…