“Amsterdam”: Of love, pets and other issues in La Condesa

Love, motherhood, what is, and is not, the family are themes that, along with others that also come to the crossroads, cross the fictions of books, series and films in the XXI century, in which isolation and distance are common currency.

If you were raised or raised in a more or less traditional family during the middle of the 20th century until its end, the family model it was mother, father and children (and all the branches that detach from there for all possible sides). It doesn’t matter if a separation later becomes and the parents “reject their lives”: family is that. And if a pet joined the family in the middle, that is it, neither more nor less than a pet, not even a pet.

In the era of diversity –not only sexual–, of the reconfiguration of family ties, of the breadth of horizons, to the point of not caring where the border is to include who or what is part of the intimate circle, family it is a couple without children; a childless couple with a “pet”; the typical family –with and without a pet–; the assembled –with and without a pet–; unconditional friends and friends; and so it could continue ad infinitum. Of course, as long as there is affection and respect for all parties.

If you were raised or raised in a house in which there were no animals -except for some fish at some point in childhood-, the concept of pet-member of the family is null -what yes, it can be built with the passage of time. time (and even years on the couch), with the of construction–.

All this rodeo was to recommend amsterdama Mexican-Argentine series whose trigger is a terrier that crosses the life of nadia (Naian Gonzalez Norvind) Y Martin (Sebastian Buitron), actress and cover musician, respectively, at the precise moment in which both are going through a crisis, individually and as a couple.

Nadia, Martin and Amsterdam (HBO Max)

Loneliness, love, more or less dysfunctional families and an emblematic urban landscape of Mexico City are themes that are very present in the productions of the Argentine director Gustavo Taretto (party walls2011; the sunstroke2014; I’m not here today2007; One more time, 2010), “the two things are recurring themes, encounters and disagreements and the city”, he states. “I consider myself a very urban director. I like to inquire about love and lack of love and the moral conflicts around, or this “I want to be in a couple but I want to be alone at the same time”. A certain search for a balance that none of the characters I write ever find. And I like vulnerable characters, fragile ones. The ones who can’t sleep, the one who doesn’t get things the way he wants, the one who doubts. I like love relationships”.

And in amsterdam It is obvious. nadia Y Martin they are a bit broken, carrying backpacks from past relationships and heavy families. Maybe that or maybe their personal searches stress them, and tense them, until the crisis. And in the middle of that chaos, they come across amsterdamfor which they will fight for shared tenure.

amsterdam was, in the original script of Taretto, bopland. Two places with something in common: streets in the middle of neighborhoods with a strong presence of bohemia and night. That is the connection between Buenos Aires and Mexico, because truth be told, the first series of Gustavo Taretto It did not have Mexico City or Colonia Condesa as its urban landscape, but Palermo. “It was the decision of HBO that,” he says. He had presented a project called bopland and it happened in Buenos Aires, “and when it was already written, they decided to move it to Mexico. And I was moved along with the project,” he says. He explains that the next step was a process of adapting the scripts, “basically because of the language.”

Nadia, Martin and Amsterdam (HBO Max)
Nadia, Martin and Amsterdam (HBO Max)

However, there are a couple of issues that have not been resigned to the country, and that give the local public a kind of anchorage that brings it even closer to a story that, apparently, only has an Argentine director as a connection. The first is the character of LopezArgentine neighbor and owner of the condominium where they live nadia, Martin Y amsterdaman unclassifiable, an endearing, free and picturesque being, embodied by Marcelo Subiotto. Lopez It already existed in the original script, “in Palermo I was one more Argentine and in the ‘moving’ I thought it was nice that he was Argentine, too,” he explains. Taretto. “First because I wanted to keep some things from Argentina in the series, and Lopezmate and River I could move them from country to country, too, but above all to Lopez“, Explain. “When I see content from another country and they include an Argentine, I feel that they do not do us justice. It is built on a prejudice towards Argentines, and Lopez He had certain characteristics that I think are very Argentine and it seemed to me that he was a character to do justice to Argentine characters in foreign series. Y Subiotto It seemed to me that it was going very well to do it”, he points out.

Thanks for the music

Music is usually another of the protagonists of an audiovisual production –as long as it does not respond to the Dogma…–, and in the works of Taretto scale to a higher level. Perhaps this is because he would have liked to be a musician and because he writes while listening to music, as he tells Infobae Culture. “Since I write alone, and I don’t need silence, music gets into me even if I don’t feel like it,” she assumes with a smile.

“I like music and I am very bad at the piano. I would have liked to be a musician, but I was able to convince myself that I am a better film director than a musician. I didn’t see much of a future for myself as a musician, and there one channels the game of making characters to whom you can put things of your own that are true and others that you like, aspirational”, he confesses.

And in relation to his love for music, he says that he presented the project more than six years ago, and was startled by the premiere of la la landwhich is the story of a musician and an actress, but he breathed easy when he discovered that only his protagonists coincided in the races.

What he did not know, he admits, when he started writing the script, is that it was going to have so much music. “It wasn’t in the structure of the first build in the series that it had a theme mainstream per episode, which also defined the mood of the couple –when they doubt, when they miss each other, when they don’t want to talk about it, etcetera–”, he points out. And yes, if something characterizes amsterdam is that there is a lot of music, covers and not.

His election is another of the aesthetic bets of the series. “The soundtrack of the series is worked very rigorously,” he says. Gustavo Taretto. “For example, for the character of Martin, all the music is analog, it’s all played with real instruments and it’s influenced by the music of the 60s and 70s, which is what he likes; and all the incidental music that accompanies nadia it’s electronic, it’s very modern, as she is. in the music of Martin there are no voices, and the music of nadia it is pure voice”, he explains. And he ends: “Because that’s how they are, that’s how it should be, like the two characters, one very silent and the other very verbose.”

Nadia and Martin (HBO Max)
Nadia and Martin (HBO Max)

a time without time

amsterdam was filmed at the height of COVID, he says Taretto, however, there is not a minimum detail that accounts for it, neither in the plot nor in the aesthetic. And it is a search, a position that works very well for him. “There is a certain anachronism in my way of working. And I also like the realism in the emotions, the naturalism in the performances, but I also like that what I tell has something of an urban fable, built a bit like in the harmony of the combination of those elements, ”he says.

Another of the attractions of this series lies, precisely, in the performances of the entire cast, with their nuances and layers, but in Gonzalez Norvind and in vulture They stand out because they bring freshness and add empathy. Yes, yes, that’s the word: we all want to be friends with nadia Y Martin; we want to accompany them in the feeling –and we do–, and we get angry, we laugh and we get emotional. As in life.

Perhaps the very fact of finding a current, contemporary story, but without anchors in historical moments, which is moving for what it tells, for its characters, for how it is narrated, on what it is based, makes amsterdam a series worthy of a marathon, or better yet, of small doses of happiness. A modern fable. With an animal as the protagonist, and everything.

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