Tango (1998) Movie Script

The credits will be superimposed over...
1. The city of Buenos Aires
on a winter morning.
The sun rises over the Rio de la Plata...
lighting up Buenos Aires.
2. Mario's apartment.
He lives on the top floor
of an old building...
that is still a distinguished
central address.
The furnishings are quietly modern...
parquet floors, simple furniture,
functional lighting.
Who is Mario Suarez,
the hero of our story?
That's not as important
as what happens to him...
and what he does.
We hear a woman singing
the first notes of a tango.
Mario is pensive.
Life is so strange, friend
I didn't love her
when I met her
Until one night
she firmly said to me
"I'm tired of everything"
and left
Life is so strange, friend
That night
I fell in love with her
I sacrificed so much
trying to forget her
partied my life away
All over town
How could I know
that her affection
Would cause me all the troubles
that it did
I wasted my life in bars
So they'd all see
I'd forgotten her
But that was a lie
And when I was alone
I cried like a woman, my friend
2 whole years we were together
I never dreamt
that I'd fall for her
How could I know
that she'd bewitch me
That I'd do anything
to see her again
Life is so strange, friend
That was the night
I fell in love with her
I didn't know you were here.
I came for my necklace.
- Why did you come, Laura?
- I told you.
For the necklace.
The keys...
I found them among my things.
Can we talk, Laura?
What about?
You and me.
Haven't we said it all?
I can't live this way.
You're everywhere, Laura.
I miss you.
Come back.
Mario, let's not start again.
You don't understand.
Hug me.
Like that.
- No!
- Please hug me.
Please, I want to. Kiss me!
Let go of me!
You're hurting me!
Let go!
I'm living with another man!
I'm happy!
Is he a better lay?
Don't be crude!
Hi, Mr. Mario.
- How's everything going?
- Just fine.
I'm moving into the studio.
I'll need a mattress,
hi-fi and video...
a few chairs, a table.
- Can you handle it?
- Leave it to me.
- When are you moving in?
- Tomorrow.
- How's your leg?
- Much better.
In a few days, I won't need this.
- It was a miracle!
- I feel asleep.
I wasn't drunk or on drugs,
as they said. I was exhausted.
All I remember is
a truck coming at me.
They say your whole life flashes by.
You see too many movies.
Didn't happen.
I woke up in a hospital
with a broken leg.
It could have been worse.
Mr. Mario, you don't know me.
I'm a pro at this.
I'm very good.
The best of the Guardia Vieja.
Where's Fuentes?
Back to your place.
They're calling us.
Don't forget us.
"The Creole Waltz", Maestro!
Everything's ready for a rehearsal.
- Hi, Mario.
- Waldo.
- How's the leg?
- I'm ready to dance.
How do you like the place?
I like it.
I'll leave you with Andres.
If you need me,
I'll be in the workshop.
Let's have the slides.
Left side.
Right side.
- Be right with you.
- I'll come back.
No, tell me.
I've thought about our talk
on t103he lighting.
I think I get it.
You want to use color
to tr106avel in time.
And use light to show
our hero's passage...
from outer light
to inner darkness.
That's it.
How are the rehearsals?
I hear you're complicating
the show, adding slides...
a wind machine, new dances
and lots of other gimmicks.
- Who told you?
- Never mind.
You've got good spies.
I'm looking for links
to give it unity.
Sure. We're using new materials...
textures from abroad...
It's interesting.
I have no idea
how it'll come out.
Listen to me for once!
Don't complicate things.
Today, audiences want simple things.
They're used to TV,
everything predigested.
They want pure entertainment...
no moralizing, no politics,
no heavy thoughts.
The similar it is,
the happier they are!
I talked to them.
- Really.
- We had a meeting and...
- nd?
- They want a good show...
and they'll do anything
you want, but...
- But?
- Think of other people.
Especially the investors.
If they don't like me,
they can fire me.
Don't be so arrogant!
That's not it.
If they don't trust me...
I'll quit.
Don't dramatize! They trust you!
That's why they hired you.
But they want a simple show
with no headaches.
They've got their problems,
I've go mine.
But I won't put up with interference!
- As usual.
- As usual.
Fuck it!
Tonight is a special night...
because here among us are...
dear friends who came
to keep us company.
Like Maestro...
Carlos Nebbia!
Give him a big hand!
We'll impose on
our distinguished guest
and ask him to delight us
with a tango!
Go, Maestro!
Next, in this emotion-filled night
we hear this unique orchestra
playing a milonga!
- How are you doing?
- Not as well as you.
Don't exaggerate.
I'm Angel Larroca,
the owner of this place.
Angelo to my friends.
- Maestro Stein.
- Delighted.
- Mario Suarez.
- Delighted.
It's a real honor for us
to have you here.
May I take a moment of your time?
I'd like to talk to you.
- Now?
- I'd be grateful.
Let's go to my table.
We'll have more privacy.
Be careful.
- Allow me.
- I'm okay, thanks.
See you later.
The guy's dangerous.
What can I do for you?
I'm not quite sure how to put it.
my life is all set up.
Business is fine,
and I've got money.
This place is just a whim for me.
Are you aware that I own
50% of your show?
- I put up the money.
- What about Alex and Fontan?
They're in on it too.
But as I told you, I'm in control.
Don't look so glum.
- I didn't realize that.
- I'm not your enemy.
I'm a big fan of your work.
What I'm going to ask you...
is perfectly normal.
I'm in love with a girl.
She's wild about dancing.
I think she's talented.
I'd give my life for her.
You understand me?
Of course.
That's her, over there...
dancing with the old man.
He's my father.
Your father's a pro.
Let's say, as good as one.
But I didn't inherit his talent.
All I'm asking for is...
an audition for her.
No favoritism.
I won't put any pressure on you.
It's a deal.
She can come by the studio
at 11: 00 a.m. Tomorrow.
Let's do the same as yesterday.
Separate the men and the women.
The women, this side, OK?
- Later they'll mingle.
- OK. Can I start?
Yes, and don't stop.
Hello. How are you?
To your places.
Girls on this side.
Boys on that side.
We'll do a basic eight-beat step.
Ready, Maestro?
Five, six, seven, eight...
Very good.
The eight in 16 beats.
Five, six, seven, eight...
A double sentada in 16 beats.
Lmagine you're holding a boy
in your arms. You too!
Girls, put some joy into it!
Some love, some spice!
A double hook, in 16 beats.
Very good.
Now we'll do...
the double hook...
then the parada.
First the voleo in eight beats.
Now the parada in 16.
Form a circle.
Now we'll do...
Move counterclockwise.
Now we'll practice...
the basic step...
the double hook...
the voleo, the parada...
and the finale in 16 beats.
Make the girls sit more.
I want to see one body
with four legs!
Let's see some joy!
- What do you think?
- Brilliant!
He's marvelous!
We've found a clip of Tita Merello.
- And Mercedes Simone?
- We're trying.
The little there is
in bad shape.
The best we found on her
is a movie from 1932 or 1933.
Called Tango.
- You've seen it?
- Sure.
It had Tita Merello,
Libertad Lamarque...
Azucena Maizani and Simone.
What a foursome!
What a cast!
See you in five minutes.
I'll be in the shop.
- Fine.
- Do you like it?
Some things need fixing...
- How are you?
- Fine.
- Congratulations.
- Thanks.
Laura, can I talk to you?
Forgive me?
I don't know what came over me.
You know I couldn't harm anyone.
I don't know.
It'll never happen again.
I swear it!
All right. It's forgotten.
What you're doing is fabulous!
- Really?
- Fabulous!
Mario, excuse me.
I want to take a shower.
I'm tired.
He wants to dance with you.
- No, with you.
- No, you!
- I don't dare.
- No, go on!
Not bad.
Very good. You've gotten better.
Don't overdo it.
That's enough. Thanks.
Where do you get all that energy?
- You joking?
- It's impressive.
It's my whole life.
My passion!
Good rehearsal.
What about the girl?
She's very good.
How long to train her for a lead?
You want her to dance a lead?
You like her?
We'll go all out.
I'm Elena Flores.
Thank you for taking me.
It's a real pleasure
wor291king with you all.
I saw you dance with the Maestro.
He's not easy to follow.
- It was very good.
- Thanks.
I hope I don't let you down.
See you. Bye.
Lend me your cane.
Hold onto me.
And bend down. Look...
the floor rises here.
So when the immigrants advance...
we don't see them at first.
- The ramp.
- Sure, on the ramp.
All you'll see is the sky...
and the horizon.
The sun starts to rise. It's dawn.
Then gradually, heads appear.
Whole families.
Men, women, children,
young and old.
All dressed...
in turn-of-the-century clothes.
They carry suitcases, bundles.
Maybe a man carrying
his kid piggyback.
What do you think?
Nice image, yes.
We start with a static shot...
using the whole set.
You want props orjust a backdrop?
Or plastic frames?
A backdrop with a Rosco mural.
The images will vary
with the lighting.
Front or back lit.
The light can keep changing...
from dawn to dusk.
The light will symbolize...
exile through the ages.
What do you say?
Now we have to make it all move.
I have some ideas.
Still a bit fuzzy.
- I have until?
- Tomorrow, Carlos.
- And the music?
- A tango.
Agri has such a sensitivity.
A virtuoso.
De Lio always looks so absent.
Look at Salgan... 81 years old.
Eighty-one? Incredible!
My most vivid memory
of this school...
is of Don Leandro Garcia Echenique,
my teacher.
A Spanish Civil War refugee.
He taught me to love poetry.
A stern man, very brusque...
but so affectionate.
He started classes with
"Long Live the Republic!"
"Be seated."
I went to the French school.
My father was a concert violinist.
He taught me theory and notation.
Did you like that?
Yes. Family tradition mattered to us.
Granddad was a musician.
And Dad thought he had
a boy genius under his roof.
Turns out he was right.
Only a few small mammals
coexisted with them.
Mankind appeared much later...
when the dinosaurs disappeared...
mysteriously from the planet.
Gradually, the mammals
spread over the earth.
What's the subject?
You're talking about...
You're so distracted.
This can't go on.
I was saying that when
the dinosaurs reigned...
What do you think?
It's very good.
You need patience to teach them.
Yes. Few children move in harmony.
They're still green,
can't control their bodies.
the little couple there.
The girl has a feeling
for rhythm and dancing.
But he's an oaf.
He can't be taught.
Yet she'll only dance with him.
That's how great loves
are born, eh?
You said it.
I used to dance too.
- You danced?
- And how!
But I've no partner now.
My wife died last year.
Life has no meaning for me now.
The girl putting on her shoes
is my granddaughter.
Anita has dancing in her blood.
They say musical sense
is hereditary.
Who knows?
the girl dances as well
as her grandfather.
Don't stop, kids.
The group... faces in profile.
Hands down close at your sides.
Neither group should mix
with the other...
before the fusion point.
- Okay.
- Bon't forget...
half the floor will be black,
half white.
- You want them further apart.
- A bit.
Okay, farther apart.
We'll start again.
Don't look at the floor.
Be careful. Don't be nervous.
You're both too far ahead.
How's it going?
- Fine, but she gets away from me.
- Keep at it.
In the Pampas,
the knife is in the belt.
In the slums they hide it...
in their sleeves,
ready for use...
sharp side up.
It's an extension of the arm.
Okay, the blade is on the left side
of the jacket.
Both are right-handed. Go!
Not so direct.
Be more catlike. Stalk.
Very good.
That's good.
One of you should break out...
and attack hard, right?
A deep thrust, a scream. Now!
Hold that position.
That's the way.
Junior, wait.
Sorry. Carlos, hold this
for me a second.
Give me the knife.
It should be loose in the hand...
the wrist flexible.
It only stiffens to strike.
Your latest acquisition?
What do you think?
She has a lot to learn.
She's young.
She can learn.
You should know.
But watch out,
her 'godfather' is dangerous.
Let's do the trio.
We need another look at it.
You won't need that.
Did you like it?
- We'll rework it.
- Okay.
Thanks. See you later.
Listen, everyone.
We'll do the introduction.
Who did the introduction?
Take your places.
I want to talk to you.
- Must it be now?
- If you can.
I can't.
- They're waiting for me.
- Then when?
Ask me to dinner.
All right.
You living with somebody?
Come off it.
You know who I live with.
Angelo Larroca.
An excellent godfather.
We're splitting up.
Why, if I may ask?
We don't get along.
I'm hard to live with.
Living with someone is awful.
Every time I've tried,
it's been a mess.
I'm a special case.
I'm sort of solitary animal...
one of those old lions...
who roam the African savannah
Lionesses are different.
They gather, unite, hunt...
whelp, nurse...
protect their defenseless cubs.
They have a concrete mission in life.
Nurse, protect, mate...
That's a woman's mission in life?
What did you think I said?
I didn't mean that.
I respect women too much.
Maybe that was a bad analogy.
have been raised
to hunt and fight...
for thousands of years.
he hunts in his own way.
Let's say he goes haywire...
for a little power...
or a medal or money,
a form of power.
It'd be a shame if women...
followed men in their folly.
That's what I meant.
All I ask of men...
is to respect me, listen to me...
and not treat me like a nut
spouting nonsense.
Why is it so hard for men
to admit that a beautiful woman...
can also be intelligent?
Must a good mind always go
with an ugly face?
That's not what I think.
How can I put this?
You wake up one day,
look in a mirror...
and say, "I've aged."
You go outside
and the young call you mister.
They look at you askance.
To them, you've gone over the hill.
You're an old fart.
Time goes by...
your hair starts to fall out...
then the rest falls apart.
You like good food, you get fat...
you get lazy, stop going out.
despite the physical decay...
you feel as energetic as a boy.
So what do you do?
Why is it unseemly for a man
to act like a boy?
I can't enjoy a girl of 18
because I'm an older man.
How old are you, anyway?
You seem younger.
Let's see if I can complete this.
On that day you wonder...
"What life have I had?"
"What's happened to me?"
"Where are my youthful illusions,
my dreams?"
You can't say that. It's unfair.
You've done wonderful things.
Thank you.
Maybe. But I can't help feeling
I've wasted my time.
That I only touched
the surface of things.
All I did was to swim frantically...
to avoid sinking into the muck.
How does that sound to you?
Pretentious, eh?
But vivid, right?
all that to say I'm a good guy...
modest, simple...
sensitive, hardworking, honest...
unable to organize my life...
And deeply frustrated in love.
It's very nice.
I have to leave, Mario.
Stay with me tonight.
I can't.
Someone's waiting? Sorry.
It's all wrong.
You got carried away
by your imagination.
That's not enough,
and you know it.
You need more discipline.
What's the dramatic line
that fies all this?
The woman leaves him.
The guy falls apart,
but another woman appears.
A younger dancer.
They falls in love.
- He falls in love?
- Does he fall in love?
Or is he grasping at straws?
And her?
Does she fall in love?
She exploits it.
He pursues her, despairs
if she's not there.
She's everything to him.
She hides, slips away.
She plays.
He has no time for games.
What's the woman do?
She returns?
I love you. I adore you.
I need you.
What a lot of nonsense.
Never changes.
But there's no other way
to tell the story.
Inspiration, where are you?
What is inspiration
but work, work, work?
Who said that?
A labor leader.
What are you doing?
- How did you get in?
- The janitor let me in.
What are you doing
with the wind machine?
Lmagining a scene.
- Was I in it?
- Of course.
Beautiful as ever.
- And unexpected.
- I came to keep you company.
At 3: 00 a.m.?
I have an idea for your show.
Sit down.
Life is so strange, friend
I didn't love her when I met her
Until one night
she firmly said to me
"I'm tired of everything"
and left
Life is so strange, friend
Ever since that night
I fell in love with her
I sacrificed so much
The kid was 13 or 14.
Those brutes jumped on him...
and bashed his head in...
with their rifle butts and boots.
- They killed him?
- Sure. He was dead!
- Maria Elman.
- Delighted.
I hear you've worked out
a choreography on our theme.
We're looking for ideas
in Goya's etchings.
That's perfect.
Hist repeats itself, alas.
That's part of our lives.
The horrible, cruel part...
that we wish we could avoid.
But it's there.
Sorry. Waldo Norman,
our art director.
The tortures played tangos loud
to cover up the screams.
Imagination is a guardrail...
that stops you from plunging
into the pit of horror.
I'm haunted by images of friends...
who disappeared.
Thousands lost their lives...
in that brutal and
uncontrolled repression.
I left here when I was young.
Relatively young.
I spent many years in Europe.
When I got back...
most of my friends had disappeared.
What remained...
was this city, completely changed.
Ugly, grey and distrustful.
Why think about all that?
Ugly things are best forgotten.
Who we are...
how we live,
how little we are...
If we forget all that...
what identity will we have?
But now you're here.
We have each other.
We're lucky.
What's that?
Sound effects. They're testing.
You know, I'm worried.
I think I'm being followed.
Today when I came over...
a car followed my taxi.
- Larroca?
- Who else?
You're not imagining things?
But Angelo scares me.
He's violent.
He's Mafia.
The other day he said,
"If you leave me, I'll kill you."
Come and live...
with me.
You mean it?
If you feel that I love you,
come here.
Come live with me.
You've got problems.
I don't want to be one more.
You'll move in tomorrow?
Good work, kids.
I don't like it.
Why bring up something
that has been forgotten?
Why create more anxiety?
That number threatens
the whole show.
- It scared me!
- I can see why!
It could be softened.
What do you say, Larroca?
I want to think it over first.
- Hello.
- What did you think?
We liked the show a lot.
Very impressive.
I don't think you need that scene.
The audience won't get it.
We gave them beautiful dancing...
beautiful women...
Iovely tango music.
Then here, it all turns
to fear, anxiety.
That doesn't belong in a musical.
It's my conception of the show.
Maybe you could soften it a bit.
The generals won't like it.
Depends which ones.
There's a fascinating Borges quote:
"The past is indestructible."
"Sooner or later
things turn up again."
"One of the things that turns up..."
"is a plan to destroy the past."
Very clever.
But one washes dirty linen at home.
Depends on the linen and the home.
Think it over. We disliked it.
I wo681n't press it further.
Good night.
Why'd you want to see me?
- To talk to you.
- What about?
We could talk about lots of things.
I'd rather discuss us.
Haven't we said it all?
Not everything.
I can't live this way, Elena.
I can't forget you, try as I may.
Come back to me.
Angelo, let's not start that again.
I love you, Elena.
I love you...
and I want you.
I need to kiss you,
make love to you.
Hug me.
Hug me, Elena.
I love you!
Let go of me!
I don't love you.
I never did!
I'm living with another man
and I'm happy!
I don't care, Elena.
I don't care.
I can forgive everything!
Right now!
Let me go!
Let me live in peace.
You're making a mistake, Elena!
You're making a mistake!
No one plays games with me!
My love.
How was it?
- What's wrong?
- I got scared.
That's fine.
Thanks, everyone.
That's all for today.
I want you all in the studio...
tomorrow at 8: 00 a.m.
For the immigration ballet.
In costume and made up by 11: 00.
- You liked my work?
- Terrific!
- Marvelous.
- Was I convincing?
Let's go.
Let's see what the director says.
Let's go.
Congratulations, Maestro.
- You were great.
- Thanks.
Sorry, but one thing bothers me.
My shout comes too soon.
It's not spontaneous enough.
That's the trouble.
I was terrified.
I thought he stabbed her.
Set up a rehearsal for me tomorrow
so I can work on my timing.