Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes

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Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes
Pbcposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Israel Adrián Caetano
Bruno Stagnaro
Produced by Bruno Stagnaro
Written by Israel Adrián Caetano
Bruno Stagnaro
Starring Héctor Anglada
Jorge Sesán
Pamela Jordán
Music by Leo Sujatovich
Cinematography Marcelo Lavintman
Edited by Andrés Tambornino
Distributed by Palo y a la Bolsa Cine
Release date
  • January 15, 1998 (1998-01-15) (Argentina)
Running time
92 minutes
Country Argentina
Language Spanish

Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes (Spanish: Pizza, birra, faso), is a 1998 Argentine drama film, co-directed and co-written by Israel Adrián Caetano and Bruno Stagnaro. It's also known as: Pizza, Beer & Smokes. The drama features Héctor Anglada, Jorge Sesan, Pamela Jordán, and others.[1]

Pizza, Beer, and Cigarettes is the film that's known as "the spark that ignited the New Argentine Cinema when it premiered at the international Mar del Plata Film Festival."[2]

The motion picture was filmed entirely in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Plot[edit]

This story takes place in an impoverished district outside Buenos Aires. It tells about a corrupt group of teenage misfits: the not-so-bright Megabom (Alejandro Pous), the asthmatic Pablo (Jorge Sesan), the nerdy Frula (Walter Diaz), and Sandra (Pamela Jordan), the pregnant girlfriend of El Cordobes (Héctor Anglada). All are squatters living together in the same house. The group wanders the city and steal in order to survive. After letting go of their former employer, a crooked taxi driver who paid them a cut of what they could steal from his passengers, Pablo and Cordobes steal from a crippled street vendor, which ultimately leads to Sandra being arrested.

Sandra, because of her pregnancy, starts to think about her future and the life she can make for her expected baby. When she is released from jail after a short time inside, she makes Cordobes promise he'll straighten up and find a decent job instead of stealing again. In the meantime, she stays with her abusive father. Aided by his friends, Cordobés starts looking for more profitable scores, so he can move to Uruguay with Sandra.

Frula arranges a job with his contact, Rubén which involves stealing a fancy restaurant with unreliable guns. Rubén drives them to the spot which turns out to be an ordinary place. The stickup goes sloppily and the alarm goes off, urging the five robbers to escape. Rubén cuts ties with the others after paying Cordobes a misery for his job.

Running out of time, the group decides to rob a local nightclub. Pablo and Cordobes get back in touch with the cab driver, only to beat him up and steal both his money and his guns. However, they grow fond of the passenger, a middle aged woman from Cordoba, and let her arrive to her destination safely. Immediately after being let out of the car, the woman discreetly calls the police, who begins tracking the stolen cab. Back at the nightclub, Pablo, Frula and Cordobes get past the bouncer and proceed to hold the ticket workers at gunpoint while Pablo acts as a diversion, with Megabom as lookout outside the club. The bouncer, however, barely manages to notice Pablo and Megabom switching guns, so he begins acting more suspiciously. While the others start taking the money, Megabom notices a policeman following them, and proceeds to bother him and damage his motorbike in order to create a distraction. When Cordobes gets out of the ticket office, gun in hand, he is shot in the chest by the bouncer, who is then killed by Pablo. Hearing the screams and gunshots inside, the policeman attempts to enter the nightclub, but begins to beat down Megabom after he hits him in the back. When Frula, Cordobes and Pablo get to the cab, Frula catches a glimpse of the bloody and bruised Megabom. Enraged, he draws his gun at the officer, but is quickly shot down. Pablo manages to escape carrying a badly wounded Cordobes and steals another car. He drives him to the docks and gives him the money, so he can leave with Sandra, while staying behind to turn himself in.

Crawling, Cordobes manages to get to the docks, where he realizes he won't make it to the boat. Reunited with Sandra, he is forced to confess he didn't make good on his promise, and tells Sandra she should go alone, for the kid's sake. They kiss farewell, and a dying Cordobes manages to get a final look at Sandra while the boat departs. When the police arrive, they find his dead body and inform the station via radio.

Cast[edit]

Distribution[edit]

The producers used the following tagline to promote the film:

Four friends. One city. Only one way out.

The film first opened in Argentina on January 15, 1998.

The film was shown at various film festivals, including: the Fribourg International Film Festival, Switzerland; the Toulouse Latin America Film Festival, France; the Montevideo Film Festival, Uruguay; the Gramado Film Festival, Brazil; and the Torino International Festival of Young Cinema, Turin, Italy.[3][4]

In the United States it was not released as a feature film, but rather it was released in DVD format on December 27, 2005.

Accolades[edit]

Wins

  • Argentine Film Critics Association Awards: Silver Condor; Best Film; Best First Film; Best New Actor, Héctor Anglada; Best Original Screenplay, Bruno Stagnaro & Adrián Caetano; 1999.
  • Fribourg International Film Festival, Fribourg, Switzerland: FIPRESCI Prize, Israel Adrián Caetano and Bruno Stagnaro, for a first feature by two young directors who dramatize with force and without sentimentality the predicament of the teenage marginals of Argentina; and Grand Prix; 1998.
  • Gramado Film Festival: Golden Kikito—Best Director; Best Film, Best Screenplay; Israel Adrián Caetano and Bruno Stagnaro; 1998.
  • Toulouse Latin America Film Festival: Israel Adrián Caetano and Bruno Stagnaro; 1998.

Nominations

  • Torino International Festival of Young Cinema, Torino, Italy: Prize of the City of Torino Best Film - International Feature Film Competition, Adrián Caetano and Bruno Stagnaro; 1998.
  • Argentine Film Critics Association Awards: Silver Condor; Best Director, Bruno Stagnaro and Adrián Caetano; Best Editing, Andrés Tambornino; Best New Actor, Jorge Sesán; 1999.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pizza, birra, faso at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ Shpuntoff, Richard. MovieMaker Magazine, "Don’t Cry for Argentina," Issue #54, Spring 2004.
  3. ^ Gutierrez, Maria Alejandra. Goliath, "Bountiful rebound of Argentine cinema," May 1, 2004.
  4. ^ IMDb, awards section, ibid.

External links[edit]