By Mariano COHN, Gastón DUPRAT


Comedy - Development 2012

Through an implacable look, the movie deals with different aspects of the movie world: ideas, festivals, actors, directors, industry, critics, and audience as the main character, a retiring famous actress, is faced with many projects for her last appearance on the big screen.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Comedy
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Director(s)
    • Mariano COHN, Gastón DUPRAT
    • Writer(s)
    • Diego BLIFFELD, Mariano COHN, Gastón DUPRAT
    • Synopsis
    • The film starts with a sign that reads “The End”. A dedication is read and the credits run. The light is turned on; some whistles and a few people applauding can be heard. We realize it is a premier in an international film festival. Alicia Castillo, the leading actress of the film that has just been screened, is among the spectators. Alicia is an acclaimed actress, a diva of the Argentine cinema. She is wearing sunglasses. She stands up, goes up the stage and takes a microphone. An organizer and a translator of the festival get closer to assist her. Alicia delivers an improvised and unexpected speech. She admits the film is bad and apologizes to the present audience for the “crap” they have just seen. The present audience and the director at the theater feel embarrassed. The actress leaves sadly. She gets into one of the festival cars and asks the chauffeur to take her for a ride around the city. Pablo, a well-known critic of a very important newspaper, publishes a report praising the actress, despite the embarrassment of the film.
      Ten years later. Alicia has not made a new film ever again due to her embarrassment and insecurity, despite lots of serious, deceitful directors pass through offering her scripts from different genres and styles. Alicia does not read scripts, so directors have to read them to her personally. Each script she is read turns into an imaginary film within the main film. This allows seeing Alicia playing different roles in those potential films. This resource is repeated during the whole film with different mechanisms and solutions each time someone presents her a new film.
      Germán, Eugenio and Alicia have a first meeting at the hotel to talk about an idea that Germán came up with. It is the story of an old flight attendant who has a gray and monotonous life. She is about to retire. She is doing her last flight. As he tells it to her, we see that Germán’s story turns into a film. That is, we see a mini film within the main film. Alicia appears in a plane playing the flight attendant role. During the flight, she bumps into a strange passenger, about sixty years old, who pesters and provokes her; he asks her uncomfortable questions, guesses things about her personality to the point of making her rethink her whole life: He suggests her to leave everything and move together. He tells her he will wait for her at the conveyor belt of the airport. The plane lands and passengers get off. She is stunned; she goes to the plane exit. Her workmates, who have organized a surprise farewell party, meet her on her way. During the toast, the flight attendant permanently looks through the windows. The strange passenger is waiting for her, down there, at the airport. Once the celebration is over, everything indicates she is going to get off to meet him and change her life, but she does not do it. Fear of the unknown is stronger. With a fake smile, she welcomes the new passengers who are going to do the reverse route. Her face shows great melancholy. Germán finishes telling his idea, and he realizes his eyes are very swollen; it seems to be an allergy.
      Alicia wants to shoot a film with Germán, she admires him, but the idea does not convince her, as it is not the kind of film she is looking for. She thinks the story is too insignificant, with a unidirectional character, and few points of view. With this view, Eugenio decides to leave aside Germán for the time being and introduces Alicia to other directors. Lots of directors unsuccessfully pass by with different offers: a feminist director who offers her to make a science fiction film, a scriptwriter who offers her a comedy, and finally a Spanish director who offers her to make a detective film. Lots of incomplete movies stared by Alicia stay in the audience’s eyes.
      Eugenio contacts Germán again and renews expectations. He knows Alicia wants to make a film with him. She asks him to keep on thinking, and prepare another script, not so secretive, less linear, and with a richer leading role.
      Alicia also has her own contacts and she meets a young director with a rock star appearance, who gets closer to her with an extreme idea: to make a film about a blind woman, the whole film would be based on a subjective camera of what the blind woman can see, the screen is completely in black, and the story is told through the senses only. Alicia has the satisfaction of rejecting a film by the very fact that her character is called Mabel; she would never act in a play where the main character has such a name.
      Generally, Alicia has a hysterical attitude. She tenses up and eases up relationships, she causes misunderstandings, she attacks and then takes back what she says, she double crosses, she interferes, she is a bit awkward, she causes friction and uncomfortable situations.
      Germán works restlessly on his new idea to present it to Alicia. He talks about these ideas with his friends, he becomes obsessed with work. He comes up with an idea that he likes and he starts working on the concept of the movie in which one main character plays twin sisters with different lives. One is a poor maid. She lives alone, she has no children. The other one is the opposite: she is married, she has children, grandchildren and a good economic position. They are completely different, and one day they decide to exchange their lives. With an improved idea, he calls Eugenio to tell him the concept and explain him that he still needs an appropriate end.
      In parallel, Alicia negotiates with Schwartzman, a mediocre but successful business filmmaker. Finally, Eugenio finds out Alicia’s double cross and shows her up. Alicia explains she is going to make Scwartzman’s film only for money, but Eugenio and Germán’s film is the real film of her dreams, and she perfectly knows Schwartzman is not a great thing as a director. This event strained their relationship. Germán continues with his allergies every time he meets Alicia. The project cools off a bit.
      Alicia tries to get closer, behaves properly, and tries to build the relationship up again. Germán is sleeping next to his wife and he receives a call from Alicia, who tells him for two hours about a dream she has had, which could be useful as an idea for a film. Alicia’s calls to Germán at inappropriate hours increase, she tries to please him but at the same time she is too demanding. All these sharp remarks tense Germán’s relationship with his wife, who begins to hate Alicia more and more.
      Suddenly, Schwartzman kills himself. The television informs he threw himself to the Iguazu Falls, while he was shooting a broadband advertisement. Obviously, the film with Alicia is never made.
      Germán meets with Eugenio and Alicia. He has a large script, the one about the film with the twin sisters, for which he finally found an appropriate end. He arrives early and he waits for them at Eugenio’s office hall. He is seated, and then he stands up and looks through the window from the eighth floor. He opens a large window on to the street, he put his head out of the window and looks down. He calculates the distance from there to the street. It seems that he is tired of the situation, Alicia’s rudeness, the work in vain, the comings and goings, all the ideas thrown to the bin, his nervous allergy. He picks up the folder with the script and tears a page out, he folds it in two, and he folds it again and again, and makes a little plane. He throws it through the window and does the same with all the other pages. From the window, he sees the sky full of little paper planes.
      Eugenio and Alicia arrive. Germán is silent; it looks as if he is going to tell them he is going to leave the project. But it is not that, there is a change in his expression and he starts telling them about a new idea, completely different from the one he has brought. He tells them it is the story of a movie diva that has not filmed for ten years because her last movie was a disaster. Currently she is looking for a script to film, but due to her insecurity or fear nothing convinces her, she comes and goes, she goes over the same, and never makes up her mind. She lives in a hotel for free, because she was invited by the owner. Among the main actors, there is a producer, a friend of hers who gives her projects, a young director who unsuccessfully thinks up different scripts, and a merciless film critic who is very fond of her. This actress double crosses and flirts with other directors. Alicia and Eugenio understand that Germán is telling them their real lives; he is listing all the things they have gone through together. They were excited about the offer and they understand the game. They think the idea is great.
      With his story, Germán reaches the present time; that very moment they are living at the office, the moment in which the director tells the actress and the producer about this movie. Germán asks Alicia which could be a good end for this story. Without intending to, Germán is putting forward an exercise to Alicia: somehow he is asking her how she wishes to continue her life. Alicia chooses her custom-made end.