“I think we as Latin Americans, are looking both sides at the same time,” declares editor Sebastián Sepúlveda about the unique perspective that he brings, along with director Pablo Larraín, to a film like “Spencer,” which explores a moment in time in the life of an iconic historical figure like Princess Diana.
The austere, dream-like quality of “Spencer” is similar to “Jackie,” the editor’s last collaboration with Larraín, which also explores a pivotal moment in time in the life of another icon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. “When you live in New York or here in Paris, you are like understanding your world as the entire world,” Sepúlveda explains. “I think you become more and more interested in ‘the other.’ It’s very important because it gives you humility. You’re very humble because you know that you’re not the center of everything.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Sepúlveda above.
The Neon film stars Kristen Stewart as Diana, who grapples with ending her loveless marriage to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing). It opens on a cold December morning in 1991 against the backdrop of the royal family’s upcoming Christmas festivities at the Queen’s estate in Sandringham. The film focuses on a transformative crossroads in Diana’s life, re-imagining what might have happened during the days leading up to her decision to break free from the family’s suffocating grasp.
After its world premiere in-competition at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, the film received raves from critics, with Oscar buzz building for Stewart’s compelling performance as the troubled princess, which takes center stage throughout the film, alongside a strong supporting cast including Timothy Spall, Sean Harris and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins, all of whom play key member’s of the family’s household staff.
“Spencer” is introduced onscreen as “a fable from a true tragedy,” putting the audience on notice that the film is not a biopic about the people’s princess as such, but is instead a fictionalized rendering of a private moment in the life of a famous public figure.
Sepúlveda valued the way in which he worked on the film with Larraín, allowing both filmmakers to collaborate throughout production, rather than in post-production. “When they were shooting, I received the rushes and cut everything the same day,” he explains. “We’re cutting and with Pablo we are discussing the architecture of the scene, of the sequence, and what we need for the scene,” Sepúlveda says. “I can think as an architect, with the director, and we can be clear on what we are missing and what we need for the film. The idea is to see the big picture.”
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