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Let 'Astronauts' Launch You to Spain

By Jennifer DeFilippo

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Laura guides Dani to explore their sexual tension.

Once the lights go down and the film projects onto the screen the audience is immediately bombarded with the detoxification of a heroine attic in the Spanish film, Astronauts. Puking, hallucinations, and fear are thrown at you in such a way that you feel like you're going through detox yourself. When the worst of Dani's experiences are over the audience is comforted by the pop art style intro drawn and painted by Santi Amodeo, the director himself.  This incredible film takes you on a journey of a recovering heroine addict in his ten step detox program. Dani attempts to live a "normal" life in society with the desperate hopes to not be judged, questioned, or viewed as an ex junkie.

Laura helps redecorate Dani's apartment.

Dani (Nancho Novo) is a forty year old man who finds solace in his vintage records and has a style that is stuck in a decade old time era.  The character was so well developed that the when director, Santi Amodeo, was asked where the character came from he responded, "Dani is one of a lot of people that got stuck in Spain in those years and couldn't get out of there. That is the kind of characters that I wanted to portray."  Santi Amodeo did just that with the number of characters surrounding Dani in the film. They were all so engulfed in this drug world that for some, it had already taken their lives even though they were still living.

Dani finally finds Laura's brother...maybe.

Dani's quest for normalcy is interrupted one morning when he finds a fifteen year old runaway named Laura, played by a beautiful first time actress Teresa Hurtado that drives him to the ends of the earth. It is possible that she will either be the demise of his detoxification program or the angel he needs to help him float through the final steps.

Nancho Novo as Dani is absolutely hilarious in his quick smart remarks to those in his surroundings. He is such an endearing character that you not only want him to make it through the program but you want to see him and the young runaway become romantically involved despite their age difference. There is nothing awkward or strange about this you simply have to watch the film and these feelings will inevitably be created for you.

Dani struggles to get through the detox program.

The end of the film had many asking questions and wanting to know more. Santi Amodeo was not sure about the conclusion of the film until he was actually in the editing room. "It was abrupt, not premeditated. I realized while I was editing the film that that's where it should end."  t is the director's ideals of love that prompted the ending and left one audience member in particular dying to know more. "Love ends in two ways. You either get the girl or you don't if you are a romantic like me." So does Dani finish the detox program and get the girl? That's an ending that you must do yourself the favor of finding out.

If you would like to find out more about "Astronauts" you can visit the official website at: www.astronautas.net

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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