If you've never thought about which day of the week might be
your last, the latest feature directed by Daniel Gruener and edited
by Crew Cuts' Gabriel de la Mora, Morirse en Domingo (Never On
A Sunday) might just change that. The film follows one Mexican
family's misadventures after a beloved uncle passes away on a
Sunday, a day in Mexico coroners don't work. Based on real life
experiences of screenwriter Antonio Armonia, the film is an often
hilarious yet poignant drama about family, life and death in modern
Mexico?and about the strange places the deceased might end up if
they depart on that fateful day of the week.
Gruener, repped for spots through ADN Films, has worked with de la Mora on a number of projects, but this was the editor's first fictional feature film. Says Gruener of de la Mora, "He can smell the rhythm of things and has this intuition of how to cut scenes. He also understands how I shoot very well."
For his part, de la Mora enjoys the challenge that comes with Gruener's working style. "He's always inventing different things so every project is different," he says. "He shoots for the editing process and aims for a different editing style on every project so it's a lot of fun. This movie features a lot of different editing styles."
Never On a Sunday is now available on DVD through Amazon.
"Mexicans have become the world champions of (side-stepping) the law and imagining the best way to go around the law and cheat a little bit to earn a living. When you're watching these characters as a Mexican, you identify with all of them because they reflect so many parts of our society. It was important to me to see how the audience reacts to the characters. In certain countries it is understood there is an order to things and you cannot violate that order. But in Mexico you know that maybe you can solve the problem yourself and don't necessarily need to go with the order because sometimes that way can be too bureaucratic and complex. So we learn how to solve things ourselves.
In the film, while many of the characters are trying to solve problems their own way, they are actually just complicating their situation more. What I was trying to say is that you cannot violate the order all the time because not only do you not get anywhere, you also make it worse for others. You can't live like that. Our society is maturing and slowly entering the First World and beginning to understand that the only possibility we have to be a better country is to behave in a more orderly way."
"I'd never edited a fictional film so I had no idea how to do it. In commercials, it's 20 or 30 seconds but on film the most difficult thing is to give it the right pace and allow the actors to express their emotions. The script was also changing quite a bit during shooting so I hadn't really read a final script before I started editing. It was a bit like watching the film as I went along which was really fun for me. I learned a lot from Daniel throughout the process, such as cutting it down gradually. The first cut was a bit more than three hours and we would edit out certain sequences little by little, but we took our time."
To discuss this article, visit the Creativity Forums.