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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 09.13.12] Spain comedy drama crime



Road trip movies are most popular with coming of age stories. There's something about travelling somewhere and discovering some new part of yourself or growing up. Occasionally, they're even good fodder for horror movies and sometimes comedies. Truth be told, they're rarely about old people and what's more, as quirky as El Morto y Ser Feliz (The Dead Man and Being Happy).

Javier Rebollo's new comedy is indeed a roadtrip story, one that sees a dying hitman named Santos who escapes his deathbed for one last assignment. Along the way he makes a few stops and picks up a passenger who derails his original plans. It's not exactly a new story but Rebollo's movie has a very different aesthetic and the fact that it meanders through the non-tourist areas of Argentina should provide a fresh take on the story, not to mention the fact that it features leads who have long come of age.


I love this trailer, sadly devoid of English sub-titles, which introduces our cantankerous lead, played the Spaniard Jose Sacristan, and his romantic counterpart Alejandra (Roxana Blanco). It's definitely quirky and the titles are hilarious, particularly the "action scene" which appears over a scene in which Santos' dead station wagon is being pulled along by a truck. Rebello certainly has a sense of humour.

The Dead Man and Being Happy will premiere at New York film festival in October.


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