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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

David Marqués is back behind the camera for El club del paro

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- Madrid will provide the backdrop for a new production starring two comic actors at the peak of their powers, Carlos Areces and Fernando Tejero

David Marqués is back behind the camera for El club del paro
Director David Marqués and actors Carlos Areces and Eric Francés on the set of El club del paro

Late March saw filming get under way in the Spanish capital and surrounding area for El club del paro, a new project for David Marqués following the hugely successful co-screenwriting gig that was 2018’s Champions [+see also:
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— directed by Javier Fesser and Spain’s highest-grossing (and most lauded) film of the year, taking almost €20 million at the box office. For his latest project, Marqués has turned his writing skills to devising a plot peopled by characters played by Carlos Areces (recently seen in One Careful Owner [+see also:
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), Fernando Tejero (featured in 2020 musical My Heart Goes Boom! [+see also:
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), Adrià Collado (who appeared alongside Tejero in the TV series Aquí no hay quien viva), Eric Francés (Rosa’s Wedding [+see also:
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), Javier Botet (who could forget his turn in the pitch-black Amigo [+see also:
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), María Isasi, Carmen Ruiz and Veki Velilla.

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In the director’s words, “El club del paro cuts out the sentimentality that drags down a lot of comedies, focusing instead on the only thing that should concern us: laughter. Yes, it is difficult to distance ourselves from tragedies like evictions, corruption, unemployment, the erosion of workers’ rights and the financial crisis, but it is important to approach all of these issues with a good dose of caustic humour — just like the man on the street or at the local bar, because after a couple of beers, everything starts to look different. As Monty Python teaches us at the end of The Life of Brian: always look on the bright side of life; learn to laugh at yourself and everything this country is going through.”

Its creators argue that “it’s the comedy we’ve been waiting for in this unforgettable year: a bracing critique that cuts deep into this society that we’ve all helped create and which, it would appear, we might sink further still.” The plot (based on Marqués’ eponymous short film of 2013 and featuring three of the same actors, plus Alberto San Juan) leaves us in little doubt as to what to expect: “Every morning, four friends — Fernando (Areces), el Negro (Francés), Jesús (Tejero) and Benavente (Collado) meet up in a bar to down some beers and put the world to rights in the way they do best: cursing out the entire world and everyone in it. The four at least have one thing in common: all of them are out of a job; well... all but one.”

David Marqués is known for his previous features Dioses y perros [+see also:
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, codirected with Rafa Montesinos, selected for the 2014 Malaga Spanish Film Festival and featuring Hugo Silva and Megan Montaner; En fuera de juego [+see also:
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(2012), a coproduction with Argentina that also stars Fernando Tejero; and Ibizan trilogy Cualquiera (2003), Aislados (2005) and Desechos (2010), the second and third of which are headlined by Adriá Collado and Eric Francés (who also appears in the first film). Last year, Marqués paired up with Álvaro Fernández Armero to direct the topical TV series Diarios de la cuarentena and worked with a coalition of filmmakers (including Fernando Colomo and Miguel Bardem on the mini-series Relatos con-fin-a-dos.

El club del paro is a production by Sunrise Pictures and Vértice 360.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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