Monday, March 3, 2008

Horror Yearbook interviews Carlos Atanes

Carlos Atanes talking about the “CODEX ATANICUS” with Wil Keiper for the Horror Yearbook:

“When I originally contacted director Carlos Atanes about his collection of short films Codex Atanicus, he warned me about what I was getting myself into and of course I didn’t listen. After I watched everything on the DVD, including the intro by actress Arantxa Pena, and the trailers for his other films, I was left wondering how a guy who makes his living talking about titties 95% of the day was going to review something like this. So before I went out and made a fool out of myself once again, I thought “fuck it,” I’ll just ask Carlos to explain them himself.

Codex includes the three shorts Metaminds & Metabodies, Morfing, Welcome to Spain, and the trailers for PROXIMA and FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions, as well as the previously mentioned introduction.

I will give you the same warning that Carlos Atanes gave me: his films are not like the movies we normally cover on Horror Yearbook. While Welcome to Spain may scare you away from visiting Spain, and Morfing may show the horrors of trying to make an independent movie, I would really not classify his films as horror. They are, however, just strange and disturbing enough to make them worth a look.

Horror Yearbook: First can you tell us a little bit about yourself so people can know who you are?

Carlos Atanes: I am a handsome guy from Spain who has been writing and making movies since a lot of years ago. Independent and underground movies. Until 2000, we’ve made several shortfilms which brought me reputation of odd filmmaker. I have collected into the“CODEX ATANICUS” the three ones that I think are the most significant (from 1995 to 1999), “Metaminds & Metabodies”, “Morfing” and “Welcome to Spain”. It has been a necessary work because they were hardly watched at the time they were made. At time of incipient internet and before digital facilities, the circulation possibilities were very limited. For example, those short-films were never seen at USA until now.

HYB: Why does the actress drink milk at the end of the intro? Did she just win The Indy 500?

CA: Arantxa was who suggested it, paying a little homage to me. She also has had drunk another big glass of milk in “PROXIMA”, my latest sci-fi movie. And through several of my films we can see girls drinking milk from big glasses. It is a joke, a “trademark.” The connotations of swallowing milk are obvious for me, but I like to let people thinking what they wish. I am not trying to impose an exclusive meaning. Besides, the milk at the “CODEX” intro is specially appropriate, because it reappears at the end of the second chapter, “MORFING,” in a festive and dripping sequence that I can’t reveal now. That’s one of my favorite sequences I’ve ever filmed, which has been banned in YouTube repeatedly, when someone has uploaded the fragment. The three actresses who took part in it (Arantxa was one of them) were a little wary at the beginning, but after doing it they were delighted, they were like liberated from something mysterious. It was a sort of shock treatment against repression. I was the first one who filmed a sequence like that in Spain. And somebody said that it is the first sequence like that in a non-pornographic movie. I think it’s a truthful gossip.”


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More info about Carlos Atanes films at

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