NEWS,  Tango & Cinema

Tango & Cinema: “Assassination Tango” (2002)

Robert Duvall´s excuse to unite his two passions: tango and cinema.

When tango gets into you, there is no escape from it. After falling in love with milonga, it is impossible to let it go. Immediately after meeting it, you will embrace it and incorporate it in every aspect of your life, like Robert Duvall does.

The successful American filmmaker came to know tango in Broadway and has ever since declared himself as a milonga fan; a fanatism that inspired him to write, direct and act in “Assassination Tango”. A film that gets to the core of his profound love for tango culture.

This film narrates the story of John J. Anderson (Duvall), a man that was born and raised in a violent outcast New York society, who is hired as a hitman by an Argentine family to kill a retired General in this South American country.

Once he is settled in Argentina, Anderson begins to lose focus on his mission due to some cultural interactions that he finds in this country. Tango and the charm of a woman make him lose his aim. In this way, Robert Duvall uses cinema as an almost autobiographic representation of his relationship and passion for tango. With bitter metaphors he exposes some of his feelings, experiences and sensations towards milonga.

The vast majority of the scenes are filmed in Argentina, a country that Duvall has visited more than a dozen times and where Luciana Pedraza, his partner, was born. He met her in a Porteña bakery in the 90´s. In the movie we can see Luciana interpreting the part of Manuela, an Argentinian dancer that guides the hitman Anderson through the different milonga places of the city.

Delighted by the movie’s plot, Francis Ford Coppola, director of “The Godfather I and II”, decided to finance the project that his friend, Duvall, wanted to film: Assassination Tango.

Among the movie cast we may highlight Panamenian singer Rubén Blades, the actress Kathy Baker, and tango dancers Pablo Verón, Jorge Dispari, María Nieves and Geraldine Rojas.

“Assassination Tango” ultimately visually portrays the contents of Duvall´s mind and heart: love for tango, cinema and a woman.


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