We praised Miguel Llansó’s Ethiopia-set post-apocalyptic, sci-fi romance, Crumbs, last year – a resplendent oddity that depicts a civilization in which junk of the late 20th century is considered of high value, as we follow the film’s diminutive superhero, Gagano (played by Daniel Tadesse Gagano), a junk collector, who embarks on a surreal epic journey, which includes a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis, to name a few, who exist within this even more peculiar Oz.
The film won me over with its touching love story, dark humor and playfulness, as writer/director Llansó paints a very imaginative portrait, with a distinctive style, contradicting its low budget. As others have noted, it’s solid proof that filmmakers don’t need to spend millions of dollars to achieve something so striking and unique. It takes an unrestrained imagination.
The film is now available to stream for USA audiences via independent distributor IndiePix’s website. You can also buy it on DVD or Digital download there as well.
With Crumbs now officially behind him, Llansó is now embarking on production of what will be his next feature, another mind-bending, madcap sci-fi adventure film also set in Ethiopia, titled Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway.
Set in the year 2035, in a new megalopolis called Tallinn, which is managed by an ubiquitous computer program called Psychobook, the story follows undercover agents Gagano and his boss Palmer Eldritch, who are tasked with protecting Psychobook from any and all threats. When a dangerous virus called “Soviet Union” is detected within Psychobook, the agents are assigned the mission to destroy it. During the mission, when accidentally inhaling a strange gas-emitting substance, Gagano becomes trapped in Betta Ethiopia, a parallel reality where he is considered the true heir to the throne. As he tackles the challenge of becoming the new Emperor, a battle breaks out in Betta Ethiopia between the Prime Minister, a firm supporter of the state apparatus and Psychobook, and Reverend Roy, a sect leader who promotes the free use of the substance for truth-seeking and liberation purposes. When Gagano befriends Roy Mascarone, a Jesus Christ-like figure, he will learn how to use the substance to travel within realities, knowledge that will finally lead Gagano to the ultimate truth.
Allegories to today’s socio-economic-political climate should be evident here, as the filmmaker aims to produce a work that speaks to the zeitgeist.
It’s worth noting that Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway will be the fourth collaboration between Llansó and his favorite actor Daniel Tadesse Gagano, who has starred in all of the filmmaker’s films – shorts and features – including of course the aforementioned Crumbs.
Promising a new sci-fi adventure that will “knock you off your seats with its cornucopia of weirdness, interdimensional travel, astonishing spy plots and kung-fu adventures,” the filmmakers have shot and released what they’re calling a super-trailer for the upcoming film, which they are using to help raise money to shoot part of the project, which will in-turn be shown to potential investors in the feature, as a glimpse at what they have in mind. A Kickstarter campaign has been set up to raise just over $17,000 in the next month. It’s off to a good start, as it’s already drawn $7,700 as of the time of this post, so they have around $10,000 left to raise in about 30 days.
Without further ado, watch the zany super-trailer for Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway and then head over to the project’s Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and the filmmakers, as well as contribute to the campaign.
You can also follow the project’s progress via Facebook.
Super-trailer below; underneath it, you’ll find a trailer for Llansó’s last film, Crumbs, which is now available on home video via Indiepix.