When he saw it on a platform, Sergi Belbel already realized that The Party was a very theatrical film, but in the midst of the pandemic he saw no further. It was Jofre Borràs, who is now his assistant director, who proposed to the Anexa production company to turn this small wonder of the seventh art in black and white into a theatrical piece. Asked for the pertinent permits, they did not give them any problem. Thus, the one that will premiere at the Poliorama on September 15 will be the first theatrical adaptation of the film.
The party is a 2017 British film, scripted and directed by Sally Potter, which recounts the party that the new Minister of Health celebrates with a group of friends to celebrate her appointment. Everything will go from bad to worse, needless to say, and Potter will shoot everything and everyone, quite ignoring the conventions of current political correctness. Belbel celebrates that the author is a woman, because that exonerates her from being accused of many things that a man would be reproached for: "It is good that the author is a woman, because she crosses some politically correct thresholds that, if they had been written by a man, they could suppose some scolding. All the current issues appear in the work, but without the viewer having the feeling that they are talking about these issues: health, public and private health, feminism, homosexuality... The author does not leave a puppet with a head”.
The adapter and director is very excited about this project, because he was able to play the game of similarities. If Potter featured Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer and Cillian Murphy, Belbel will premiere its version with Marta Ribera, Lluís Soler, Àngels Gonyalons, Jordi Díaz, Montse Guallar, Queralt Casasayas and Biel Duran, a luxury deal.
When Anexa proposed the project to him, Belbel immediately accepted it: "I immediately said yes because I saw that so British transferred to our society and our Mediterranean reality, with a certain progressive left that has not done as well as we expected." The director describes The Party as “political vaudeville”.
“The big surprise – he continues – is that the text is written as a single theatrical scene. It looks like theater and I don't know if it's before or after the movie. Sally Potter has given us absolute freedom to adapt it and change the music we want. We have decided to keep the British scope, with the English names, because adapting it to a Minister of Health seemed too small for us. It is a very short and fast-paced work, which requires a very precise job”.
Belbel has proposed to go unnoticed as a director: "It is a very character work, and my job is to see seven people in action without my footprint being seen." And he also refers to why they have kept the title in English: “We have not translated it in order to maintain the double meaning of party (party and political party): the new Minister of Health celebrates a party with her friends, fellow party members ”.
The playwright also tells how he made the adaptation: “When I translated and versioned the text, I forgot about the film, and I didn't watch it again until the end. When I did it, to check that I hadn't done something wrong, I got bored, because I had already seen it a few times, and I realized that I had taken it to a very different place. In the theatrical production there are 20% of replicas that are not in the film, ”he concludes.