“Wrinkles”: An Exceptional Comic, An Outstanding Movie

Wrinkles 1
A photogram from Ignacio Ferreras’s animated film Wrinkles.

Wrinkles 2
A vignette from Wrinkles by Paco Roca, winner of the National Comic Award.

“Wrinkles”: An Exceptional Comic, An Outstanding Movie
The cinematic version of Paco Roca’s comic is screened in Zabaltegui
El País: ‘Arrugas’, un cómic excepcional, una película sobresaliente
Gregorio Belinchón reporting from San Sebastián September 19, 2011

Arrugas (Wrinkles) is not just any comic. It is the comic that has demonstrated that Paco Roca is a master. It is the comic that has vignettized Alzheimer’s. Replete with perfect visuals, with artistic twists and turns that take the reader into the horrifying world of the loss of memory, Wrinkles depicts the degradation of Emilio, the retired branch director of a bank, day by day in his home. Wrinkles is now a film. And what a film it is. Produced by Manuel Cristóbal, who rejected offers to make it with real-life actors “because the magic would have been lost”, and directed by Ignacio Ferreras, responsible for the drawings which perfectly duplicate Roca’s lines, the film was screened at the first hour of this morning. It was a pivotal moment, as it was the first time Paco Roca saw it.

The author, who won the 2008 National Comic Award for this work, did not seem very nervous before the screening. He made small talk with Ferreras, who was sitting on one side, and this journalist, who was seated at the other. During the screening, the artist asked the director a pair of questions about certain changes and artistic decisions. The rest of the time, there was respectful silence in the theater accompanied by a murmur of tears in the background. The session ended after 87 minutes. There was applause. The first spectators, who ran out of the theater, missed out on a gift: Rosa Lema, age 101 and suffering from senile dementia, sang a song during the credits, a treasure the soundman found in one of the homes he visited.

After turning on the lights, Roca sighed with relief: “Obviously some things changed, including the characters [one of the protagonists even had a different nationality], but the spirit is there. It says what I wanted to say.” Cristóbal explained: “The trick of going to white when Alzheimer’s begins to devour neurons during the vignettes couldn’t be translated to the screen. It didn’t work.” “It’s not important,” answered Roca, “because I see my comic there. I was worried about the ending, how the threads would be tied up and whether it would hold up. It certainly does.” He turned to his right and embraced Ferreras, who had been watching him from the corner of his eye with a certain precaution. “Congratulations.”

It will be another thing to see it in theaters. Now, with the picture already finished, Cristóbal is negotiating the commercial distribution. “We wanted to do it with Wrinkles already in hand, so they could see it and know its potential.” Judging from this morning’s screening, it has that in abundance.

Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Movies and TV, Spain, Translations

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