The bed: photographs, sculptures and texts

The bed: photographs, sculptures and texts

In her creative process Celia Rico surrounds herself with poems, literary texts, essays, songs, photography and sculptures…

When the director and actor Lola Dueñas worked together on the mother’s character, who was in fact mourning her husband, they wondered how to make his absence felt and they did it by means of using every day actions such as sitting on the bed. The director shared with the actor some pictures of Duane Michals.

‘I showed Lola a picture by Duane Michals where a couple of people are embracing on a bed. Under the photo there’s a caption that says: “This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon, when things were still good between us, and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen, she did love me. Look, see for yourself” 

I told her that the photo would also serve her as a proof of happier times.

We never spoke again about who the deceased husband was or what he was like. I only asked her to keep that image in mind.’


George Segal’s sculptures

‘The bed was essential in many ways. Not being a mother Lola told me that sometimes she needed a good grip in order to avoid flying off like the daughter does in the film. George Segal’s sculptures helped her to feel the weight of maternity, an inspiration which she used to portray through simple postures when sitting on a bed. It was a physical task, about positioning the body, but also an emotional one. We found those sculptures moving, not quite knowing whether those bodies were merely resting at the end of the day or were portraying the weight of a long life lived. Perhaps both.’

Segal’s sculptures were also inspirational for the embracing scene at the end of the film.

Xavier de Maistre, Joseph Brodsky and Adrienne Rich’s texts

‘When moving around his bedroom, Xavier de Maistre stops by the bed and asks himself: “is this not the bed where an ecstatic mother who’s just given birth, forgets about her pain?” A place where immense joy, figments of the imagination, and hope can strike. He also says it’s the place where we are born and die. After his parents’ demise Brodsky writes that their bed, miles away due to the imposed exile, used to be their burrow, their last island, their unforgettable space. To be sure, their safest place at the time, yet most helplessly so. In Anger and Tenderness Adrienne Rich reflects about the sleepless nights spent in bed by those vigilant mothers who keep an ear out in case something goes wrong, yet have trouble facing the growing independence of their children.

All these texts were by my side when filming Lola Dueñas getting into bed, carefully taking up only one side of it because the memory of happier days still remained at the other end, as well as making the painful presence of absence felt. I also took the texts along when we filmed the scenes in the middle of the night, when she woke up as if her keen ear could still perceive her daughter’s cry. Also, when that daughter (Anna Castillo) went back to her bed trying to regain Brodsky’s safe yet helpless burrow, that last island.’

In the film. Estrella in her bed [55']
In the film. Estrella in her bed [‘62]



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