This beautifully performed Argentine road movie brings two contrasting personalities together as they journey to their hometown for a family funeral.
Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.
Esteban (The Student’s Esteban Lamothe) gets a call to say his grandfather has died and picks up his cousin, also called Esteban but known as Pipa (Esteban Bigliardi), to drive home for his funeral in the town of General Villegas in the North-Eastern corner of the province of Buenos Aires. Esteban is prim and proper with a job in the city and a fiancée he constantly talks to on the phone; Pipa is scruffy, easily led and appears determined to ensure the pair take as long as possible to get to General Villegas. Gonzalo Tobal’s debut feature is an attractive road movie grounded in a pair of terrific performances from two of the poster boys of the new Argentine cinema. Nacho Rodríguez’s atmospheric score provides both ambience and a smart comment on the ensuing action, accompanying each stage of the men’s emotional trip home.
On the one hand, an idea that I’ve had in mind for quite a while now: to work with two 30-year-old characters who were close until some years ago, when life and their respective choices drew them apart. One of them followed the path ‘that was expected of him’ and today feels more or less happy with that choice without questioning it too much. The other, having sought an alternative path and tried to somehow rebel against the family heritage, finds himself now lost, and attacks the other as if he was to blame. The reunion of these characters who have drifted apart for a long time, added to their mutual grandfather’s death, the return to childhood places and their reunion with the whole family, necessarily confronts them with a perspective of change and the fatality of time's course. To capture this spiritual and ethereal perception, and the emotions it carries, by the medium of filmmaking was itself one off my greatest challenges in doing this film. On the level of context, I wanted to portray the universe of the productive land, and the medium-scale rural producers of the Argentine pampas. I got to know General Villegas some years ago by chance and, without a doubt, most of what I got to observe on that trip was the root of this film. It was an opportunity to discover a new world – very close and hidden at the same time – that Argentine cinema had never shown me. At the same time, Villegas seeks to portray an urban generation that has a hard time embracing adulthood and facing the pain that this entails. The film unravels in the clash between these two worlds.
Born in Argentina in 1981, he has written and directed four short films that have received acclaim at numerous international festivals, with Now Everybody Seems to Be Happy winning the First Prize of the Cinéfondation at Cannes in 2007. Villegas is his first feature.
2003 Cerrar la tapa [doc s]
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