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Gianni Da Campo
13-year-old Pablo is a quiet, lonely boy with a troubled past. His only friend is Julia, a shameless 15-year-old girl who is more than willing to help Pablo with his transition from childhood to adolescence, and give him some advice on sex, love and life in general. On a quiet country road just outside of the village, Pablo meets Paco, an oddly calm, well dressed stranger whose car just broke down. Nevertheless, he seems more interested in the boy than fixing his problem. At first Pablo maintains a cautious distance from the stranger, vaguely heeding his fellow villagers' advice to keep his distance. However, the boy's subconscious quest to find understanding of his dark past and guilt makes him lose all of his protective layers. He sees a new friend in Paco; someone he can open up to and feel valued by almost like a replacement father. As Pablo's affection grows for the man, he is unknowingly and blindly being lead toward a tragedy that will scar him for life Written by
Tiny Sumo Entertainment
Faithful to pure hyper-indie tradition, the director sold his house and most of his belongings to pay for this first film, and faithful to the same tradition ... has remained bankrupt since. See more »
A striking setting and unusual, ambiguous situation
The director says for this first film he gave his all, sold his house and spent $500,000 to make it with mostly non-actors in a beautiful part of Andalucia. Noel is good with the camera, with landscape, with improvisation, and with music, which he composed (he plays guitar). He uses simple elements, a mysterious man arriving with a broken-down car, a 13-year old boy missing a father, a flirty girl, a nosy postman--but the drama becomes quite complicated.
I'm not sure all the dots get connected or all final tragedies are necessary, but the ambiguous situation of the boy bonding with the man and the suspicious villagers feels original.
The director came to Spain (from where?) and settled in Andalucia 13 years ago to study Flamenco guitar. He has a recording studio, composes and plays multiple instruments, and also teaches music and drama in schools. The young actors in the film including his talented teen star Gonzalo Sanchez Salas, he trained in acting workshops for months before shooting the film.
'En tu ausencia' was in some festivals including Vancouver (2008) and Palm Springs (2009) but went straight to DVD in the US. It would be nice if Noel were able to make more features after this promising beginning.
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