Art & Design

Watch ‘Tramuntana,’ a Stunning Film by Actop Made Exclusively for BULLETT

Art & Design

Watch ‘Tramuntana,’ a Stunning Film by Actop Made Exclusively for BULLETT

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César Pesquera, co-founder of Actop, guides us through Barcelona’s underground arts scene, describing its unapologetically chilled-out atmosphere as something only achievable by proximity to the Mediterranean, “There is definitely a Mediterranean influence that makes everything more playful. You can tell that’s what makes it different from the London or Berlin scene.”

Pesquera and his Actop partner, Alvaro Posadas are originally from the center of Spain. “It’s a bit like Germany over there,” Pesquera says, but he believes it contributes to Actop’s eclectic aesthetic. “In a way we feel we are a part of both trends.”

Pesquera is reminiscent of the Barcelona he moved to twelve years ago, a throw back to the the tanked and topless metropolis that lured artists, musicians and bohemians of every creed and nationality: Finnish expats seeking refuge from frigid Nordic winters like Pan Sonic and Jimi Tenor, or Americans like DJ Rupture who believe the grass is always more liberal on the other side of the Atlantic. Spain’s economic crisis has since spoiled Barcelona’s allure as a bohemian destination. “With time everything got more controlled and expensive. I think the city got domesticated somehow. Things are tougher now but still there are people doing amazing stuff with massive international impact, like Dvein, Alex Trochut or CANADA.”

CANADA, a Barcelona-based production company, is internationally regarded for their imaginative music videos and short films, such as Justice’s “New Lands” video.  Actop contributed graphic design and VFX to the video as well as the final credits. Reminiscent of a desktop-computer-age virtual reality game, the credits are a far cry from the video’s futuristic, post-apocalyptic sports arena, a nod to Actop’s relentless thwarting of expectations.

But Actop is doing something very different than CANADA. For one, the collective has had as many museum exhibitions as most bands have played concerts on tour. Their visual art blends traditional graphic design with hyper-real elements. One part is corporeal, the other intellectual.

Their films have a similar aesthetic blend. Such is the case in Tramuntana, a film created exclusively for BULLETT’s Surreal Issue and produced by Story:WeProduce.  Actop partnered with Art Director Christian Lopez to elucidate the link between the famed Tramuntana wind, known for dramatically shifting in velocity and direction without warning, and a slew of mental disorders afflicting the land it blows through. Tramuntana transports us to Cadaqués, a sleepy Catalonian fishing village in the north of Spain, to discuss the wind with its inhabitants and explore the land’s complex geology. The film features a blend of ethereal expositional footage and surrealist imagery, the result of which is part documentary, part surrealist manifesto.  The film presents a sort of future-forward interpretation of Cadaqués’ former frequenters: Dalí, Picasso, and Miró to name a few. It is a film that evokes the wind swept tenor Spain’s surrealist movement, ushering Actop to the center of Barcelona’s creative circle.

TRAMUNTANA from BULLETT MEDIA on Vimeo.

TRAMUNTANA
A film by ACTOP and Christian Lopez

Produced by Story:WeProduce

Written by César Pesquera and Christian Lopez
Directed by César Pesquera
Art Direction by Christian Lopez
Executive Producer, New York: Jack Becht
Executive Producers: Víctor Mata and Ana Laura Solis
Producer: Víctor Mata
Director of Photography: Jose Luis Bernal
Postproduction: Alvaro P. Posadas and César Pesquera
3D Artists: Iria Rodriguez and Víctor Pesquera
Production Manager: Marc Monclús
First Production Assistant: Virginia Etxarri
Make Up: Patricia Arnaiz
Costume and Props: Gerard Ferré
Location Sound Mixer: Roberto Alonso
Sound Design: Paisaje Sonoro
Editor: César Pesquera
Lettering: Marta Cerdà
Music: César Pesquera

Featuring:
Enric Rotllan
Pedro Sacaramento
Shigeyosi Koyama
Chris Little
Juan Manel Tajadura

Cast:
Katharina E. Grosse
Seila S. Grau
Karen Mora
Clara Midori Lopez
Jaime De La Torre
Marc Monclús
Virginia Etxarri