Friday, 15 May 2009

Astronautas on SBS

I love watching foreign films, which usually airs on SBS [with English subtitles, for I am no linguist]. Caught this Spanish "Lolita" film mid-screening and curiously caught my attention. Have you seen this film? I'll try to catch it again in full next time. Slept at 3 AM...

Astronautas [Astronauts]

"This unconventional, visually inventive film tells the story of the odd detoxification process of a middle-aged heroin addict, Daniel [Nacho Novo], who has been advised by his psychiatrist to follow a ten-point programme designed to reintegrate him into ''normal life''. His rehabilitation will depend on the help of teenager Laura [Teresa Hurtado], who enters his life by chance, and with whom an unlikely and touching love story unfolds."

Director/Writer: Santi Amodeo
Year made: 2003
Format: DVD
Duration: - 86 min

More review:

"Astronautas comes from Spanish director Santi Amodeo, who attended the film and gave a Q&A session after the film.

The title of the movie refers to someone who may have all the comforts of modern life, but remains disconnected from his environment. Daniel (played by Nancho Novo) is such a person. A former heroin addict, Daniel is working through a decalogue, or 10-step recovery program. As part of his therapy, he is renovating his apartment, which in itself is a metaphor for the rebuilding of his life.

One day Daniel finds a teenage girl (Teresa Hurtado) waiting outside the door of his neighbour's abandoned apartment, who turns out to be his neighbour's younger sister. He gradually admits her into his life, and in the process, she affects and changes him. Astronautas was not quite as comedic as I assumed from the festival guide description, but was rather a dramatic story with lighter moments and surreal animated segments seeded throughout.

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and it provided a different view of a subject tackled by another film at this year's festival, Clean, with Nick Nolte and Maggie Cheung. Both movies had at their core the story of a heroin addict trying to get their life back on track, but each told their tale in a unique way.

Some tidbits from the Q&A:

- This was his first solo directing effort. His two previous films, The Pilgrim Factor and Bancos were co-directed with Alberto Rodriguez.

- The animated interludes throughout the movie reflect Daniel's personal reality.

- The people with bowling balls for heads in the animated segments come from the animator on the film, who was asked by Amodeo to come up with a prototype of man.

- When Laura removes paper cutouts of bowling balls from a drawer in the apartment, it represents her taking out Daniel's life from the drawer into the real world."

I am looking still for this ten-point programme, it may help me to combat my blogging addiction.


Sidney said...

Hmmm... I think I should watch movies more often... too bad days have only 24 hours! :-(

JayAshKal said...

Watching TV is a ritual of winding down for the day... especially in this cold weather.