Jaume Figueras: “Gregory Peck was charming, Tom Cruise is a fake and Kim Basinger, the funniest”

Jaume Figueras will collect the Gaudí de Honor-Miquel Porter award this Sunday for “his importance as a film chronicler, key to the generation of film vocations in this country”, according to the Acadèmia del Cinema Català. With more than sixty years of career, in charge of the famous office Mr. Belvedere of frames or interviewing the cream of Hollywood in front of the mythical program Cinema 3from TV3, this morning it was the 82-year-old veteran journalist who stood in front of the camera to answer questions from his professional colleagues: “I feel like Julia Roberts in notting hill!”, he exclaimed with a bit of a cold and with a wide smile.

It is the first time that the Academy has awarded the Gaudí de Honor to a journalist. What do you think?

I am very happy and surprised. When Judith Colell called me to tell me the news, I said: ‘what are you telling me?’ And she told me that they didn’t have to limit themselves only to people who show their faces in the profession.

His passion for cinema was born from a very young age.

The truth is that I was extremely lucky. My parents had a dairy business and couldn’t go to the movies on the weekends. That’s why we used to go to premiere theaters two days a week. They came to pick me up from school and we went to the Windsor, the Astoria or the Montecarlo. On weekends I went with my schoolmates and in the end I ended up seeing more movies than anyone else. It was like a drug that started as a child.

Did you always know that you would dedicate yourself to the sector?

He had a clearer vocation as an exhibitor. When I passed in front of the Excelsior cinema and every Monday I saw what was announced for the next week, I thought that I would like to work on something like that. But thanks to the Three Kings bringing me a typewriter when I was eight years old, I started writing movie reviews. My professional destiny would have been to do Chemistry to promote the theme of the dairy industry of the family business, but it did not bring me. I went to the university to do a course and I skipped classes to go to the movies.

The journalist says he felt like Julia Roberts in ‘Notting Hill’ today

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What would you say has been the movie of your life?

The 400 hits, of Truffaut. When I saw her, she was also the age of Antoine Doinel and I felt identified. She’s so rich… with such a great soundtrack. And as an entertainment movie I remember The Three Musketeers, by George Sidney, at the Windsor, which was the cinema of my life, the most luxurious and comfortable in Barcelona. My mother was a fan of Metro movies and I was a fan of musicals like Singing under the rain either mermaid school. I have been very eclectic.

In the Cinema 3 program he had the luxury of being able to interview all kinds of movie stars. Who did you have better chemistry with?

There were two, specifically. Gregory Peck, who came to introduce Old Gringo and he was older, he was a charming person. And with Joan Fontaine I didn’t have an interview but a long conversation. She was a movie fanatic. From national cinema, Antonio Banderas, who is cordiality personified.

‘The 400 blows’, by Truffaut, I would say that it is the film of my life. When I saw her, she was also the age of Antoine Doinel and I felt identified.

And who fell at his feet?

Lauren Bacall. tv3 I had the custom that when a guest star came to the Àngel Casas program, they offered us a space beforehand to interview her. When I interviewed her, I caught her bounced. She was angry with the hotel because she had badly ironed a dress of hers. It is seen that I did a questionnaire that was not going the way I was supposed to. If I could delete the interview from the file, she would. I also really liked Richard Dreyfuss because he would put phone books under his ass to make himself look taller. something tremendous

Now it is very lucky to be able to get a 15-minute interview, often shared and through videoconference

I see it deadly. It already happened with the change of Cinema 3 from TV3 to Canal 33, changing the schedules, broadcasting on Saturday mornings… there was a kind of collective laziness and I was already of an age and I preferred to leave it. The Billboard de Betevé has disappeared dramatically, film days it continues quite well and has a huge archive that allows them to make very elaborate pieces. I think the culture in general is being mistreated.

I really liked Lauren Bacall and Richard Dreyfuss

Who would you have wanted to interview and couldn’t?

To Katharine Hepburn, because it was impossible. Instead I have been lucky enough to interview Michelle Pfeiffer or Kim Basinger, the funniest in the world.

Oh yeah?

came to present Nadineby Robert Benton. At that time, news came out that Bertín Osborne was preparing a film with her in Miami. When I asked her about Bertín, she told me: ‘Bertín, who (who)’? and from then on the laughter was apotheosis.

Tom Cruise explained in his memoirs that he would not have a coffee with him

I think he is a great professional but he is very false. When I interviewed him for interview with the vampire He was very cordial but when he finished he became serious and went the other way.

The 82-year-old Catalan journalist cites 'Aftersun' as one of the recent films he has liked the most

The 82-year-old Catalan journalist cites ‘Aftersun’ as one of the recent films he has liked the most

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Who would you like to interview right now if you could?

With Paul Mescal, the protagonist of aftersun. The other day I read what he is doing A Streetcar Named Desire in London. She has an interesting track record. at the scene of aftersun who cries on her back moved me.

This week Gina Lollobrigida and Jorge de Cominges have left us. How was your relationship with them?

With Jorge it was very intense. I worked in frames and he was editor-in-chief of the magazine. We understood each other very well. He had an extraordinary culture. I never interviewed Gina Lollobrigida. It’s funny, but it seems that no one liked her. I think she was better when she was doing comedy, but I personally think she didn’t have much of a sense of humor.

With Jorge de Cominges we understood each other very well. He had an extraordinary culture. I never interviewed Gina Lollobrigida. It’s funny, but it seems that no one liked her

Elisenda Nadal offered to run Mr. Belvedere’s office in frames when i was very young

I didn’t know Elisenda at all. In the ABC cinema on Balmes street, which closed years ago, they showed Italian films that were not seen as The adventureby Antonioni. I went to see the movie with my friend Antoni Kirchner and Elisenda was there. She told me that the person who ran the office had to leave it for a personal matter and she asked me to try it. Fifty years it lasted. It was very stimulating because it was contact with the concerns of the people, who were obsessed with censorship. Many films were not released and others did so with cuts. There were also supporters of American and European cinema… there was a very intense dialogue.

You, who have been a benchmark for several generations of film journalists, from whom did you learn?

One of my teachers was Miquel Porter, a wise man, the man who brought cinema to the university. And then José Luis Guarner, who worked in The vanguard Y frames. He also said that he was not a critic but a chronicler. They chronicled with an irony that let you know if that movie was worth it or not.

Miquel Porter and José Luis Guarner were my teachers. They made chronicles with an irony that allowed you to know if that movie was worth it or not.

Movie theaters continue to suffer after the pandemic…

I go to the Renoir cinema a lot during the week and from time to time those who run the theater tell me that such a film surprises them by word of mouth. It’s the best formula for a movie to work right now. as beasts is a brutal example. I am not entirely pessimistic.

Writing has been his other passion and he has published two books. Do you have in mind to write something else?

I wrote some short stories and for my eightieth birthday the Random House publishing house was kind enough to print me 200 copies. I like to write short and make headlines. And someone who has opened my eyes recently is the Nobel laureate Annie Ernaux. I did not know her work and I have been fascinated by her anarchic way of writing, the richness of her language. I want to be this year’s Annie Ernaux!


Presentation of number 2000 of the magazine ‘Fotogramas’. From left to right Toni Ulled, Maruja Torres, Jaume Figueras and Elisenda Nadal

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When do you see current Catalan cinema?

I miss that Catalan cinema reflects the daily life of Catalans. alcarràs It has set the standard for a very local story to have universal significance and please everyone. As an industry we don’t have much, we have to hope that four producers have the will to do things. The daughter of a thief I thought it had a lot of quality. suro I really liked Cesc Gay’s films, and in general.

I miss that Catalan cinema reflects the daily life of Catalans

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Jaume Figueras: “Gregory Peck was charming, Tom Cruise is a fake and Kim Basinger, the funniest”