The Color of Fame (Venezuela)

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It took writer-director Alejandro Palacios more than seven years to complete this film about a young couple on the verge of being evicted from their apartment, but intent on winning a Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest.

I wanted to make a movie that reflected a day in the life of a Venezuelan couple, but at the same time to create a film with international appeal.

Venezuelans have a mixed cultural identity, combining American and European cultures. I wanted to reflect on the miscegenation of cultures, and I wanted to talk about trying to find our own identity, our own path and our own way of life.

And so, as a paradox, I thought of using the icon of Marilyn Monroe to make this point. She is your icon, an icon of the U.S. But then we use her life as a reference for a Venezuelan couple. It is absurd. It's the degradation of a human being through an icon.

When we approached the idea of Marilyn, she was not the first option. We thought about Madonna, but we wanted to be more inclusive. Marilyn was ideal. She was a diva, and she had all the tragedy and the success wrapped up in one individual.

I grew up in a simple, middle-class family in Caracas. My mother is from Venezuela. My father worked in construction, and he had no relation to the arts. But he is Italian, he came from Italy, and as a boy, I liked seeing the European movies. The films of the neorealism movement, like the ones by Vittorio De Sica.

I started filming in 2001, and then the political crisis here meant we had to stop it for a while. I finally finished the film last year.
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