Two years ago Febiofest screened Handsome Devil by John Butler. This time out the Irish director has come to the festival to present his third film, Papi Chulo, which explores the friendship between a US weatherman and an older Mexican man who he hires to paint his porch.
“Fourteen million Irish-Americans live in the US and I was one myself. I lived also in Los Angeles and if you drive to meetings there as a director and get lost you have the time to see the city and the society that lives there from an outsider’s perspective. I find the clash of cultures there fascinating, particularly in the context of what’s going on in the US right now. I was interested in how much a Latino worker and a middle-class white guy could give to one another,” said Butler, explaining why his latest movie is set in L.A.
The film in Febiofest’s Queer Now section, which is set for its American premiere in June, was based in part on improvised dialogue between the leads Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño. It was the latter’s first major part. “And he’s been acting for 40 years. But mostly he only spends a day on set and they don’t even give him make-up,” said the director. Asked what he most loves about his work, he said it was discussions with viewers. As well as trying “to present my truth about life.”
You can also encounter John Butler at a screening of Papi Chulo on Monday at 19:30.