Canadian film critic Mark Peranson found himself on the set of Birdsong in order to play the role of Joseph in this tale of early-Christian history. Taking advantage of the opportunity, he filmed his own documentary about the making of the film. He spontaneously recorded how individual scenes were made and the specific method of working with amateur actors. Never look at me,” Serra would tell the actors over and over again. “Never talk to me; always act. Walk away, listen to what I tell you, react. Using a walkie-talkie, the director would give them absurd directions and expect them to improvise. In the scenes with Mary (Montse Triola) and Joseph, the actors would speak their lines in different languages—Triola in Catalan; Peranson in Hebrew—and wouldn’t be able to understand one another. I like to exert pressure on the actors, for fun. I do strange things, sometimes in an aggressive way. The element of innocence is already there, so I have to add layers of pressure—pressure, pressure, pressure—to create the necessary intensity. If I didn’t, it would be too light, fun, but too light.
Mark Peranson is editor and publisher of Cinema Scope magazine, programmer for the Vancouver International Film Festival and programming coordinator of the Vancity Theatre in Vancouver. He is also programmer for the Festival del film Locarno since 2010. He made his feature film debut as an actor in Albert Serra's Birdsong. With Waiting for Sancho, Peranson made 'a kind of making of' this film of Serra. Known for La última película (2013, co-director: Raya Martin) starring Alex Ross Perry and Gabino Rodríguez.
2008 Czekając na Sancho / Waiting for Sancho
2013 La última película (co-direction)