Feature Film Project
St Bernard was awarded with the Santander Prize for the Development of Feature Projects, which provided a detailed work of art research, script treatment and production design. With touches of surrealism and absurdity, the project has references in the independent North American cinema of the 90s, in directors like Hal Hartley and Vincent Gallo.
Bernard might have been just one more among the many silent citizens of our cities, the type who leads a life so common that it would not be worth telling a story about him, were it not for a detail: every day he has to wear an extravagant dog costume. And he is definitely not an ordinary dog: he turns every morning into an enigmatic Saint Bernard, the lonely representative of all lost souls in this immense urbanized and technological world. A man who is a dog or a dog who is a man, thats the metaphor this everyday anti-hero provides for a funny and disturbing picture of the existential reality of our time.
New York independent cinema of the mid 90´s in authors like Hal Hartley and Vincent Gallo are among the many inspirations for the project.
St Bernard is a low-budget feature film project aimed at the international circuit of independent art cinema. Inspired by New York cinema authors of the 1990s, the film merges fiction with surrealism and doses of poetry, visual and plastic experimentalism.
The structure of the script is shaped in a minimalist diagram, in which all days and events repeat themselves symmetrically in the characters life. From this daily rhythm, at the same time monotonous and hypnotic, there are subtle variations and mutations that impel the narrative ahead. Such progression leads Bernard to a crisis, which determines a rupture both in his fictional life but also in the narrative, language and visual aesthetics of the film itself.
Metalanguage and the ironic detachment of the narrative create the conditions for poetic, philosophical flows and existencial daydreams around the characters, in moments of visual abstraction and experimentalism.
St Bernard is a film about the difference, difference of the main character, who feels dislocated, difference of the apparently identical days that he thinks to live, without knowing that in the middle of the monotony there are imperceptible changes that soon will take him to an inescapable transformation.
History is at an undefined point in the early twenty-first century, when a major technological change is under way. In the film it is represented by the substitution of plush toys for electronic toys with a mysterious USB port, symbol of the passage from analog to digital, for networking.
This context is not only a figurative backdrop to Bernard's existential drama. It is from this that the script operates a metalinguistic game between the character, the film universe and language, flirting with references ranging from cinema to theater, to literature and to the plastic arts.
The film brings a combination of fantasy with surrealism, shifting the realism of the character from an ironic perspective. Bernardo attends a toy store in decadence, every day he wears a dog clothes to work. Unsatisfied, he will have to face his fears to change his life, a step without back into the unknown.
Contemporary artworks, still photography, installations and so on play an important role in the aesthetic and visual design project of the film.