Filmmaker, writer and professor Ricardo Becher likes extreme decisions, both in his life and his work. Now, with 80 years old, and living in a retirement home, he starts writing a book about his experience in the nursing home called The Final Stage.
Lipgot records the filmmaker’s present days and also revises his life, from his first short films, his collaboration with Torre Nilsson, and the essential Coup de Grâce (1969) –a censored film that defied its time– to the new movement Becher founded together with his students: digital neo-expressionism. Becher’s present is marked by his new relationship with his partner –dancer José Campitelli– and his meetings with friends, colleagues, and students; and this documentary, which avoids any funerary vision and celebrates the vitality, validity and heritage of a rebellious and liberating figure.
Script and direction: Tomás Lipgot
Production: Tomás Lipgot
Edition: Juan Marino Morduchowicz / Tomás Lipgot
Music: Luciano Nieto
Camera: Tomás Lipgot / Tomás Larrinaga
Sound Direction: Hernán Severino
Direct Sound: Rufino Basabilvaso
Sound Mix: Gerardo Kalmar
Image Postproduction: Esteban Perroud
Still Photo: Marina Di Raimondo
Production Meritorious: Sheila Rosmarín
Legal Advice: Estudio Raffo, Dirolli & Asociados
Accounting Advisory: Javier Foffani
Distribution: Cepa Audiovisulal SRL
Technical Data: Argentina, 2010. HD Video. 70 min.
Produced by Duermevela with the support of the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA)
The Final Stage, Tom Lipgot’s documentary inspired by my novel with the same name, is more an honor than a prize, a tribute I’m not sure I deserve.
The Final Stage is the climax in my career as a film maker, where I fulfilled every role, from second assistant director –in charge of the clacker- to assistant, screenwriter, editor, documentary maker, short and long film director and finally teacher and theoretician. Lipgot, by including the most representative fragments of my work, which I had the opportunity to choose, in The Final Stage, and interviewing those who have been related to me in some way or another: actors, colleagues, producers, critics, collaborators and disciples, allowed me to express the essence of my concept of cinema and register it, almost as a testament.
I give my most sincere thanks to everyone who accompanied me and made my work and this documentary possible.
The Final Stage is my way to thank Ricardo Becher for the teachings -more vital than technical – he’s passed on to me.
I met him at the University of Cinema where he taught Directing II and III. We were instant friends, but it took some years for me to consider him a teacher. There are few people -like Becher- willing to make way for the expansion and nurturing of someone else’s mind. The contemporary human being seems doomed in the destruction of themselves and the people surrounding them.
When I visited him at the geriatric where he’s living -after a while of not seeing him- I found him active in the writing of his novel, The Final Stage, and so transcending the human decadence that surrounds him. When I told him about my idea of making this documentary, I let him know that one of the central themes would be death. »Death, Tommy, the most mysterious of journeys», he answered with the glowing eyes of someone who’s open to the unknown.
Fortunately, The Final Stage is not a movie about death.