“What’s in there is not normal. /Noto a supernatural presence / cas something else movesand I plan to leave, nor hold on longer / […] In the Sworn farmhouse / hthere are strange noises everywhere“. The old mansion built in the mid-siglo XIX, now abandoned mass in the Guadalhorce highwayhas inspired numerous horror legends as well as songs and programs by Iker Jiménez. Some reporters and onlookers claim to have lived paranormal experiences inside.
Netflix just released Indelible of Jorge Rivera, the chronicle of a cursed short filmed at the Cortijo Jurado at the beginning of the 2000s. The documentary recounts the numerous unforeseen events when shooting the first film by the Malaga native there: from the disappearance of its protagonist after suffering an accident to the deletion of its montage five times or the fire in one of the locations. a final blow It was never released or released, and some today consider it cursed.
The director moved to Denmark in 2004 and forgot about the unfinished project. Time after, Iker Jiménez dedicated a program to him in Millennium 3 to the supposed haunted house. “Someone talked about my short and it went viral. I had no idea why he was out. A friend called me and told me that he had read articles on the internet about my film where they assure that he had recorded with a ouija board and that I saw things flying. Searching blogs I found every single thing,” she recalls.
Rivera then decided to make a documentary telling his own story and that of the film crew. Producer Kike Mesa proposed an ambitious project where he would face “those who believe in these things and those who don’t, and since each one will draw their own conclusions“, he sums up. The platform included Indelible in its catalog last weekend and has become one of the most viewed titles.
The public will hear, right at the beginning of the documentary, Rivera’s voiceover summarizing what happened: “I never got to finish it and they still keep asking me. For many, the fact that we recorded in the Cortijo Jurado could unleash a curse on the film and the team. In addition to bad luck that defies statisticsI have not yet been able to explain accidents such as the deletion of the short film five times”.
Rivera thought of adapting the terrible old mana short story by HP Lovecraft, in the short a final blow. For this, he had the screenwriter Adelardo Méndez Moya and Kike Mesa, the producer who managed as director of photography for that one. The actor Rafael Castillo recalls a process “with a lot of effort”. “It was a time when to survive as a performer you had to do a thousand things,” he is honest.
That filming was quite “fun” and “intuitive”. The Cortijo Jurado played a fundamental role, since most of the film was set in that mansion that “looks like the house of Psychosison top of a hill, with many urban legends around such as black masses in the chapel and satanic rituals” celebrated there a century ago.
The producer of the short Paulino Cuevas, recalls the “seedy atmosphere of the house”. “The farmhouse was completely abandoned. They gave me the key to the padlock that opened some bars. We never saw anything,” she says. On the first day of filming, one of the children fell ill and was hospitalized for four months.. In addition, the power went out from time to time and there were many rats.
The first night after shooting at Cortijo Jurado, the first misfortune occurred: the protagonist, Hans Meyer, fell at home and broke his leg. Lone Pedersen, script for the short, recalls Hans’s accident and the fire at one of the locations. “They were always things that could pass for normal,” she admits.
“The greengrocer where we filmed burned down. Hans fell and I was the same height as him. We did some shots where you could see my shoulder. It is a super nice typical neighborhood greengrocer with all prices in pesetas and white walls. When Hans got out of the hospital we went back to recording there. I asked the owner and she told me that there was a fire a month before. We don’t know if it was an electrical failure,” recalls its then director.
Another of the actors, Ángel Baena, thinks a lot about a planned event in the municipality of Colmenar. “It was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine. We arrived, we rode and everything was cloudy. then it rained. It was often cold, “he explains in the documentary. Bad luck returned to make an appearance (once again).
The director tried to put the film together five times. “We use two different computers. We tried five times. There was always something wrong with the montage. All the material that we had recorded was broken and there was no way to recover the footage. At the end of the fifth montage it was deleted from the pc. At the same time, I mounted for other people on the same computer and only this was deleted, “he recalls.
Rivera continues to wonder how the tape could have been erased five times. “It was funny to me at the time. Some in Malaga told me that I was making up all this to give myself publicity. I just wanted to finish my short. I didn’t want a damn movie. Weird things were happening. Rare not understood as supernatural, but as curious and random things“, he points out.
Between them the disappearance of German actor Hans Meyer, the protagonist of the short. Numerous versions were told about what happened (they even related it to the Russian mafia) and, of course, it’s easy to get sugested after shooting in a haunted house. The documentary team found out that he died a natural death in his home country three years ago.
-Maybe everything was a product of chance, bad luck and inexperience?
-Of bad and good luck. Only time teaches you if it is good or bad. Hans was a fluke. The film was finished and we got to put it in credits because two days before finishing the montage a person assured me that he had died in 2019.
a cursed generation
The filmmaker also pays tribute in his documentary to a brave generation of directors from Malaga in the 2000s without means but with a lot of imagination and drive. Manuel Bellidojournalist from south channel specialized in cinema, explains it this way in the film: “For different reasons this generation has the label of damned, and it is not something that has been capriciously put on. Movies that have fallen by the wayside, actors and producers that have left us prematurely”.
Bellido fondly remembers the enthusiasm of José Miguel López, Pablo Cantos and his own world or Fernando García Rimada. And also to people who “of their own free will, having the talent to go far, decided one day to park the camera like Gaby Beneroso and Kike Canalla“. “We are facing a cursed generation,” he says.
Making movies back then was very different. “Pressure and necessity overcame logic and reason,” he says. John Anthony Vigar, current director of the Malaga Film Festival. Those interested in shooting films had an unparalleled enthusiasm and passion, but there were no means, technicians or industry.
“Audiovisual is professionalized in Malaga. Canal Sur opens and the audiovisual communication career can now be studied at the University. There is a boom in directors in Malaga at the beginning of the 2000s”, says Enrique García while speaking in Indelible of “a professional curse”. Rivera at that time had just finished his degree in stage direction at the Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático.
The documentary is dedicated to Juan Domínguez, a “fabulous and better person” makeup artist. “If he and I talked about an idea tomorrow we were recording. He was an enthusiastic and super crazy guy. There was no budget or means. Back then digital was coming out. You recorded at night and you didn’t see anything. There was a lot of creative madness. I throw myself into the street, I record and it will come out,” recalls Rivera.
Buy cameras on a Friday and return it on Monday
At that time there were no shooting plans or anything like that. “We arrived and shot. There were also other very professional people serving foreign productions. The people around me, from Audiovisual Communication, grabbed the faculty camera and recorded. Look what the journalist Francisco Griñán has to say. Some bought the camera in the English Court on a Friday and returned it on Monday,” he says.
-Have you ever thought about taking up the project again?
I am now 20 years older than then. She would do it differently now. The time to do so has passed. It’s not that I don’t do it out of superstition, it’s that I’ve changed as a person and I make a different type of cinema.
-Have you returned to Cortijo Jurado?
-I’ve been there. Now it looks like a super ugly pink bologna bar. when we roll Indelible They offered us the farmhouse to record, but it lost its cinematographic charm because it was already a half-built work.
-It is very curious how you connect the story of the Cortijo Jurado, its adaptation of Lovecraft and the urban legends around the haunted house…
-One of the theories that there are for people who believe in these things is that when you enter an enchanted place and do things of terror they awaken certain energies. That is the basis of Lovecraft’s stories where there are gods or presences that are sleeping and people wake them up. There was a story to tell there and it was Indelible.
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