Ezekiel Montes made his feature film debut with a violent thriller full of familiar faces for which, in addition to directing, he also writes, produces and photography. This one-man band offers ‘The Dead Don’t Know How to Live’ a noir that blends South with Korean violence in an irregular but explosive mix.
Get out of the crisis
Tano has worked all his life for Manuel, a construction entrepreneur who at better times ruled the entire city. Now, in his final hours, Tano sees how Manuel can no longer handle the entire structure as he faces a changing generation, new people, new businesses, new ways of running the company, with the same violence as always and with new and most terrifying ones. enemy.
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From an already mystical series we don’t stop checking it out. Filmmakers like Paco Plaza, Alberto Rodríguez, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Koldo Serra or newcomers like Raúl Arévalo have tried to remind us that national thrillers never stop. Before them, we’ve also tested the waters with brutal works like Enrique Urbizu, without going any further. But unlike the filmmaker, Ezekiel Montes had no support from regular productions. Without subsidies or help, the Malaga man took his films from nowhere.
“I feel very comfortable not having to be held accountable. It takes a certain rebellion to run a film. I think in Spain, on an industrial level, a film like mine cannot be made. Film noir with the tone that he needed this kind of film. I had the total freedom that I wanted. needed to make that film.”
Despite the somewhat disorganized narrative that ends up dissipating a bit with constant churning of the ingredients, and where the unfinished edition gets rounded out (I imagine that’s a consequence of an independent production that shouldn’t have had more options in the editing room), Ezekiel Montes’ debut leaving some shocking moments in the increasingly short memory of the casual viewer. And that’s because the story tells something Montes knew perfectly well: “It really caught my attention. Corruption, violence, I know perfectly the codes of the universe.”
It seems that Montes has decided that when it comes to violence, there is nothing better than violence. It is in that brutal outburst that the film is most comfortable, though it also fails to amaze it curiously and somewhat uncomfortably at times. “I know those characters very well. I have restrained a man from trying not to step on other people’s heads.”
That violence, like it or not, is completely justified in a film that would be meaningless without it. The protagonist is still a bully who has been dealing with all kinds of trouble and violence for twenty years. Viewers need to feel that Tano may not be ready for this new foe. “It is necessary, otherwise the character’s journey will be meaningless. He will never be in danger.” And the evil incarnation is nailed by newcomer José Laure: “This is a discovery. We own the Malaga film school and organize the casting. He studied there and we realized that writing a little with him in mind can give us a lot”.
Because what really matters here, beyond the violence, is the ideal cast. “Without Dechent there would be no film. We discovered his emotional journey and his heart, something very difficult. We built it. thinking that all that evil and pain explains what he’s doing. Not sharing it or approving it, just understand it.”
‘The dead don’t know how to live’ is the green dog in our cinema, a film that exists because the director has proposed it based on work and a dedicated cast in which Antonio Dechent and Elena Martínez stand out with two intense and physically worthy interpretations. Now we have to wait for the commercial results so that Montes can successfully expand his criminal world on the big screen.