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Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You Are Going
Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You Are Going
Actors: Mariana Arias, Candela Balbuena, Camila Cabral, Manuel Cruz, Ricardo Fasan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
PG     2004     2hr 0min

CINEMA PARADISO meets WINGS OF DESIRE in this fantastical and hopelessly romantic film. Dario Grandinetti (TALK TO HER) stars in this startling, mind-bending romantic drama from Argentina's master of magical realism, direc...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mariana Arias, Candela Balbuena, Camila Cabral, Manuel Cruz, Ricardo Fasan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Fantasy
Studio: Cinemateca
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/07/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

"But, she's the woman of your dreams"
Sebastian Fernandez | Tampa, Florida United States | 02/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is uplifting to see so many Argentinean movies from the 90s come out on DVD in the US, since this provides a good alternative to those people interested in watching something different from the usual Hollywood productions. "Don't die without telling me where you are going" is one of the most renowned Latin American movies of its decade and one in which Dario Grandinetti shows what he is capable of in terms of his acting skills.

The film starts with images from a long time ago, in which a man named William is trying to invent a machine to allow people to see each other's dreams. William's boss was Thomas Edison and the dream machine became what we currently know as the camera. Shortly after that we are transported to the Argentina of the present where we meet Leopoldo (Dario Grandinetti), who works in a run-down movie theatre where he is in charge of the projection booth. The owners are planning to sell the theater before they have to face bankruptcy, and as a result Leopoldo will likely lose his job. But he is not too worried, since his real interest is in a project in which he works on his free time: a collector of dreams. The idea is to capture the individual's brain waves and transform them into images, which can then be recorded and watched the next morning.

Leopoldo is married, has the habit of walking everywhere with Anita, his plant, and dreams of his success in his special project. And one day he does it! He records his dreams and realizes that he is in love with a woman that he has never seen before. Shortly after that, Rachel (Mariana Arias) appears in the theater as a spirit, calling him William. She explains that they used to be married and live in New Jersey in their previous life, but while he reincarnated as Leopoldo, she decided not to reincarnate after her death.

The original idea used in the film is enough to make it special, but once you add the expert depiction of the human emotions and the message of hope it delivers, the result is a movie that is clearly among the best of its era. Even Mariana Arias grants a good performance in her first appearance on the big screen. She was one of the most famous Argentinean models of the past decade, and as most of you probably know, when a model starts to act, the results are usually not very encouraging. But in this case, the outcome is not bad at all. The movie also provided me with the chance of seeing for a few minutes the actor that in my opinion is the leader of its generation, Leonardo Sbaraglia, and even in that brief amount of time he shows what he is made of.

I encourage all those people that have not been exposed to Latin American movies, to give this film a chance. I am sure that you will come back for more! - 4.5 stars
No te mueras sin decirme a donde vas
D. Robles | 01/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is one of the best films of Eliseo Subiela. He knows how to direct a movie, a beautifull, romantic, extraodinary film. A beautifull pieace of art. Eliseo shows you how love has no time and no place, even what we know as death it is not powerfull enoughto stop a love of centuries... if you like surrealism movies these is a must."
Crossing dimensions...of love...
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 10/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Eliseo Subiela, the director of this film, is the great South American cinematic fabulist, having also made Man Facing Southeast (still waiting for that to appear on DVD) and The Dark Side of the Heart. Here, he creates characters who "span time" (to use the great expression from Buffalo '66), similar to the theme of the Christopher Reeve film Somewhere in Time.

But in Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You Are Going, Subiela transcends the American film considerably and that's because the main character here, Leopoldo, is directly involved in CREATING the woman of his dreams rather than, as is the case with the Christopher Reeve character in Somewhere in Time, being the passive recipient of fate that brings him when chance permits to his eternal love.

In addition, Subiela wisely and directly connects this active bridging of dimensions with cinema itself. Leopoldo is a film projectionist in a second-rate movie theater in, one presumes, Buenos Aires, that shows old and new films both. His dreams pervade the film--another difference between this and the American film--commencing with a vision of a young man working long ago with Thomas Edison who creates a device to project images--the kinetiscope, which was really the first movie projector.

When the love of his life appears in one of his dreams--Leopoldo has analogously created a device to record and view his dreams--she reveals herself as the wife of the young man, who is (or was) Leopoldo himself, now the reincarnated version of the young man.

This beautiful magic realist film penetrates right to the core of romanticism and brings to the viewer the essence of love cinematically. Love, says Subiela, is the dream we cannot live without, the dream we create in our real day to day lives to transcend what we know every day and live beyond that everyday life. Love, he says in this film, is both the real and the fantastic--both are represented here, as Leopoldo's wife of 20 years and his eternal love who speaks to him as a spirit of his long past.

His wife is a dyed in the wool realist who, because she loves her husband, tolerates his eccentric ways (he carries a plant with him wherever he goes--an entity that, we come to realize, he needs to prove to himself that his feelings generate vibrations which the plant responds to; his wacky dream machine he connects to a fedora). The whimsy of the dream machine in the fedora is a great touch and subtly recalls life from decades past when things were simpler and quieter and, we feel from Leopoldo's character, more heartfelt.

Leopoldo's friend, Oscar, is another inventor and this is another excellent story device; the two men can bounce ideas off each other, again giving this film much more substance in the realm of bridging the real and the fantastic than Somewhere in Time. Oscar has invented a robot and is initially skeptical of the results of Leopoldo's invention. But once he sees Raquel, Leopoldo's eternal love, he begins to change his mind...

This is a great film, full of beauty and mysticism, echoing the depths of the heart. Highly recommended.
"Those Images Will Be There Forever" ~ Finding Your Soul Mat
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 03/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What do you get when you blend the talents of visionary director Eliseo Sbiela, the evocative music of Pedro Aznar and a multi-layered, profound storyline combining a heart wrenching love story and one man's quest for meaning all explained with a New Age understanding of the spiritual nature of all things? Why you get `Don't Die Without Telling Me Where You Are Going', one of the most unique, enjoyable and thought provoking viewing experiences I've had in a long time.

This '95 film from Argentina took me completely by surprise. It's an amazing work of art; haunting, evocative, imaginative, romantic, melancholy, intelligent and ultimately hopeful and positive. While essentially a love story, the movie also has elements of reincarnation, plant consciousness, auras and karmic concerns spread throughout the storyline. Some viewers may be dissuaded from watching for fear of indoctrination into such beliefs, but let me say that their presence is essential and so expertly done that these concepts flow naturally with the script and will not strike the audience as be aberrant or preachy in any way.

I experienced the strangest, almost spooky sensation several times while watching this film. It was as though it wasn't a film at all but a dream within a dream. I was asleep dreaming that I was watching a dream on television. That's about as close as I could get to describing the feeling. This sensation primarily overshadowed me during the black and white segments showing events from the past lives of the main characters. The sequence showing departed souls moving towards the light as they prepare to reincarnate was magnificently done. It's an image I don't think I'll ever forget.

Needless to say I was spellbound from beginning to end. Leopoldo (Dario Grandinetti) and Rachel (Mariana Arias) deliver superb performances as the two eternal soul mates constantly in search of each other from one lifetime to the next. I had never heard of Mariana Arias before but she is definitely on my list of favorites now. She's absolutely beautiful."