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Sundance Interview: Argentina's Armando Bo Talks 'The Last Elvis'

Thompson on Hollywood By Liza Foreman | Thompson on Hollywood January 30, 2012 at 4:56PM

Argentine commercials director Armando Bo, who cowrote Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's "Biutiful," had his moment in the spotlight at Sundance with his feature debut, the World Dramatic Competition entry, “The Last Elvis,” which Buena Vista is circling for Latin America and the world.
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Armando Bo
Armando Bo

Argentine commercials director Armando Bo, who cowrote Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's "Biutiful," had his moment in the spotlight at Sundance with his feature debut, the World Dramatic Competition entry, “The Last Elvis,” which Buena Vista is circling for Latin America and the world.

As celebrities swarmed Sundance, the film's subject is timely: what happens when somebody becomes so obsessed with an icon that they lose their own identity?

Between his writing stints with Gonzales Inarritu on “Biutiful,” Bo, whose grandfather was a famous Argentine erotic B-movie director, spent six years working on "The Last Elvis," which focuses on an Elvis impersonator in Buenos Aires, whose wife (the well known Argentine actress Griselda Siciliani) leaves him after his obsession grows out of control.

“I think that we are all impersonators,” says Bo. “If Britney Spears does her hair blond all the girls do it. It is always about avoiding reality. Still, we tried to show the positive side of the character. Everyone is bizarre but we showed a winner...This is something that happens all over the world. We have these stars that are made to look gorgeous. But they are real people too. People don't know that they are real."

Adds Siciliani: "The fans, like teenagers and kids, should stop feeling that way and do their own thing."

Bo’s next movie is “Destroyed,” the story of a man who offers his kidney for a house. Bo insists that he is not at this time working with Gonzales Inarritu on his next project, New Regency's adaptation of the Michael Punke novel "The Revenant." Gonzales Inarritu is reportedly chasing "28 Grams" star Sean Penn and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Here's a review:

Film School Rejects:

The Last Elvis is sharply filmed by director Armando Bo and in hindsight; even the smallest moments were actually hints at where the narrative was headed – a poignant ending that leaves you wondering what it really means to idolize an artist. McInerny turns in an amazing performance and when he is singing on stage, he truly does sound and feel like the King himself.

And Indiewire's Meet the Filmmaker on Bo.

This article is related to: IN THE WORKS, Sundance 2012 Interviews, Sundance


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.