Alejandro Amenábar remember when he predicted the quarantine of the Coronavirus in ‘Open your eyes’


The film is prescient. We said Alfredo Castro a few months ago, talking about how Pablo Larraín had set fire to Santiago de Chile in ‘Ema’ months before the country burned in a revolution. And in the case of the coronaviruses, we have already talked about how many have resorted to ‘Contagion’ to search for similarities with the crisis that we are living in today. But there is a Spanish director who also predicted something out of all this, in its way.

'Open your eyes'

Alejandro Amenábar shot the Gran Vía of madrid deserted ‘Opens the eyes’, an iconic image (reproduced with Tom Cruise in Times Square new york in the remake ‘Vanilla Sky’), which now has become a reality because of the alarm condition imposed by the Government to combat the pandemic of the COVID-19.

The director has remembered ABC how was filming this time in his second feature film, confessing that many friends have suggested that he had a premonition. “In all. The truth is that I don’t remember why, Mateo Gil and I decided to start the script of the movie with that picture, but I guess that was because it represented such a few the nightmare perfect of alienation,” he admits.

Precisely this is the feeling that is overpowering even to spend the quarantine at home alone: “I think that in the past few days I’ve spoken or I’ve met (virtually) with more people in the last month. I have strengthened links with the more I want to and I have recovered with those who had a little left. It is possible that there is something very positive in the background of all this,”.

The director of ‘for the duration of the war’ recalls an anecdote that occurred in full filming of the scene: “A guy came up to me and said: “Are you the director? You know that I’ve worked as an extra in the film and so, without extras, it’s not going to look real”. A trial that Amenábar considered ironic, bearing in mind that the image has finished coming out of the fiction of our lives (although without trees, sadly).

How to cut off the Gran Via

If you had not paralyzed all the filming because of the state of alarm (one of the many catastrophic consequences of the pandemic on the audiovisual industry), and if Amenábar was rolling ‘Open your eyes’ today instead of in the summer of 1996, it would not cost him much to get a Great Way deserted. But at that time it was a very complex work, as recalled in ABC a few years ago.

The producers chose the 15th of August to take advantage of the exodus of the people of madrid during the bridge of the Dovebut the city Council gave them the permission to roll from 4 in the morning to 8 in the morning. Had to lengthen the recording two hours more than stipulated, and heedless of the warnings of the police.

It was between five and six shots, re-opening the street to traffic for 20-25 minutes between them. “We got four people, with a megaphone and 20 kids, friends of my son’s institute, who were in charge of controlling the unexpected departure of the people from the hostels and websites on the asphalt”had Emiliano Otegui of the production team of the film.