Borja Cobeaga: “Madrid nationalism would make a good comedy”

Borja Cobeaga: “Madrid nationalism would make a good comedy”

The first heat wave of the summer fell right at the start of filming in Madrid for the series I don’t like to drive, and the mid-August heat still finds filmmaker Borja Cobeaga (San Sebastián, 45 years old) in the same city in full assembly of the project , which will premiere on TNT later this year. As if that wasn’t enough, the rise in temperature coincided with the relocation of the screenwriter of the program Vaya semanita and Ocho, surnamed Vascos, and the director, among others, of Fe de ETA to a house in the mountains. In a resigned and comical tone, he says he lives like in the movie This House is a Ruin and feels like a “backpacker” in his new home while they’re done painting.

His ideal plan is a morning film session – recently a children’s film with his son – followed by a meal. Another great hobby is traveling in a caravan, an “unexpected” passion that he himself didn’t think was possible and that his wife discovered a few years ago. It was also she who gave him the license plate to learn to drive when he was already 40 years old, like the protagonist of the series played by Juan Diego Botto. Cobeaga’s wife, son and caravan are in Galicia, so he resorts to another hobby: drinking wine “without trying to intellectualize it” and without any fondness for txakolí.

Questions. What was before, the caravan or the driver’s license?

Answer. My wife took me camping and I thought she was scaring me, anyone who knows me wouldn’t find me there, but I loved the caravan’s ritual of arriving and setting up the table and awning. There’s wonderful stuff for a gossip and a sense of adventure that isn’t epic at all. When we then moved from the center, I had to learn to drive.

P Costs a lot?

R I’m very clumsy, I failed, I dropped out and then I taught, but I never wanted to take the exam. I passed the fourth. I realized that everyone had a story when they learned to drive, the driving schools… When I first got behind the wheel, they took me to the Carlos V roundabout [junto a la estación de Atocha]a shock I got into the series.

P Have you already got the urge to drive?

R I’m scared, so I usually drive a high-end car that pushes me and resists, I look like an old man driving, but I scratched the body a lot. Parking garage pillars are like kryptonite to me. Of course I’m a better pedestrian now, I’ve rebalanced myself.

Filmmaker Borja Cobeaga on August 12 at Bar Gloria Bendita in Madrid.Filmmaker Borja Cobeaga, on August 12th at Bar Gloria Bendita in Madrid. Claudio Alvarez

P From 2014 to July he was the head of DAMA, the copyright administration for audiovisual works. Do the makers lose or win with the platforms?

R Eight years ago, the topic of platforms sounded like a foreign word. They are multinationals that in many cases do not even have a headquarters in Spain, now we are starting to win but we have to be vigilant.

P is there a bubble Is the boom over?

R Rather, there was a golden age. Now the platforms are becoming more and more like the most traditional television. The theme of the series began very demanding, but it is assimilated. Gone is the “we fund your dreams” and creator comes first and now there is more control and less diversity.

P What do you think of the new audiovisual law?

R It’s a stab in the back. When the big operators don’t have to deal with independents, it’s an I cook it, I eat it.

P Are we living in good times for comedy?

R It’s always a good time because the audience is big, but the producers are afraid of failure and therefore rely on adaptations of hits from other countries. And you want to be successful or fail with your own ideas.

P Is laughter the best antidote to tension and political violence?

R There is amazing footage, the politicization of today reminds me of what we lived in the Basque Country when every gesture, even saying good morning, had a fee. Madrid’s nationalism, something I never thought could happen in this wonderful and disgusting city, would make a good comedy. There are also recent comedies and satires about the transition.

P Is laughter dangerous?

R Much has been said about the limits of humor and sometimes you’re accused of sugarcoating and humanizing history by making jokes, but in the end comedy always finds its way.

P What humor do you dislike?

R I hate pot humor.

P Has fatherhood its grace?

R Sometimes I think that my son is a reincarnation of Hitler and that he should do a screenplay called Mi luchita.

P What do you miss about San Sebastián when you go to Galicia?

R The Galicians belong to them, more than Catalans or Basques. In Sanxenxo there is a ghost of Donostiarra Pijería that I recognize and the beach of Silgar strolls like La Concha. Of course, before I left, I had never seen any domestics wearing caps in the arena.

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