23 July 2014
Martha Argerich’s daughter Stéphanie has made a touching, intimate and funny new documentary about her mother. On the run-up to its UK release, <strong>Erica Worth</strong> speaks to her <br /> ...
On stage, off stage
On stage, off stage
Martha Argerich’s daughter Stéphanie has made a touching, intimate and funny new documentary about her mother. On the run-up to its UK release, Erica Worth speaks to her
The daughter of Martha Argerich and Stephen Kovacevich, and the middle child of Argerich’s three daughters, Stéphanie Argerich is a filmmaker whose new documentary – to be released this autumn in the UK – is an intimate, funny and sometimes voyeuristic portrait of her mother. Seen through Stéphanie’s eyes, this personal film explores her mother’s love, life and extraordinary talent, and exposes the challenges of combining motherhood with a glittering concert career where everyone wants a slice of ‘Martha’. Footage includes family tapes, TV archive, and of course Stéphanie’s own filming, spanning the early years of Argerich’s triumph at the Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1965 to present day.
Why did you decide to make this film?
It was a very natural thing. I didn’t know I was going to make a film when I started out. I was 11 when I filmed some of the footage. My mother had received this camera from Japan and I enjoyed using it. Then I studied photography. I always had a camera with me. So it came about as a very unconscious thing. The turning point was just after I became a mother. That’s when you see your family in a slightly different way. I could see my mother in a different way; I could be less critical maybe, and understand her differently. You also feel an urgency that life is moving by quickly – birth and death and so on. That’s how it started.
Did your parents watch the film before release?
Of course I had to show it to them and my sisters. I wanted to gain their approval at the final editing stage. Everyone was rather nervous and scared beforehand, and they all watched it together! But they didn’t ask me to change anything. I think as interpreters themselves, they understand about my wanting to be as honest as possible. I didn’t want to make some Walt Disney version of my family. I wanted light things as well because I didn’t want to fall into something too intimate, or too sentimental, or too voyeuristic. I tried to find the balance. Some people might think it’s too intimate, some might be disturbed. I’ve been happy to see peoples’ reactions to date. Nobody has ‘destroyed’ the film. And of course, it is a specialist film. The average person on the street will not see it [cont...]
You can read the full interview inside the new issue of Pianist
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