Friday, May 14, 2021

Remembering my brother Juan and a lifetime of cinema [archived newspaper article]

 El Taxista del Cine

By Juan Fernandez Munoz


A year ago you left us after a very fast and cruel disease that with your integrity and silence you knew how to carry it so that Mari Loli, children, and family members would not suffer. You knew that nothing could be done about the importance of the evil that flooded your entire body.

You know that wherever you are with our parents, that Mari Loli, your four children, eight grandchildren myself, your only brother, on behalf of the whole family we will never forget you.

Juan, what you liked so much and what you got at the cost of many years of work, your beloved plot in La Juaida, that you know that in memory of you, your children Tate and Pepe (because Juan and Carlos are away for their work of yours), Diego and Elias, they have made an orchard like you taught them since they were little.

Mari Loli with the care of her plants and all your memories there inside and the company of her little grandchildren: Alvaro, Marcos, Victor, Pepe Pilar, she makes life a little more bearable.


As is life, Juan, you had been retired for 13 years after a lifetime as a taxi driver like our father. You remember that we were pioneers of cinema in this land in the early 1960s. Nobody like you, Juan, had the honor of transporting the best actors and actresses who set foot on Almeria soil in you car.

In the glorious era of cinema in Almeria the great stars of the universe passed through this humble land and I remember you driving the great directors like your great friend Sergio Leone, Corbucci, Antoni Oni, Giuseppe Colizzi, Vic Morrow, Burt Kennedy, Noel Howard, Sam Fuller, Romero Marchent, Mario Camus, Ozores etc. etc.

In the movies you walked around town and took the toughest guys in the West from the set to the hotel like Richard Harris in the movie Riata. Your favorite actor, Clint Eastwood, who shot three movies with Leone, Burt Lancaster with Valdez is Coming, or that one Treasure Island movie with Orson Welles. And others like Lex Barker (The Wild Kurdistan), Charles Bronson (Red Sun), Terence Hill (Ace High) and Charlton Heston (Marco Antonio and Cleopatra).

Of all of them we keep a thousand anecdotes that we share with friends and ... what to say about actresses such as Claudia Cardinale (Once Upon a Time in the West), Sofia Loen (Del rosa al Amarillo), Maria Schnieder (The Passenger), Brigitte Bardot (Boulevard du Rhum), Ursula Andress (Red Sun) Catering Denaue (March or Die) or Geraldine Chaplin (Stres is Three).

We have worked together and we have shared our lives. You are always the boss of the two being younger, because of your character: but always brothers, Juan, always.

A year has passed since your departure and you ran to Heaven as you did at the first call from your taxi: always at the publics service, always so professional. Today Almeria welcomes the great stars of the Cinema of which our family is part, I miss the co-star, Here we are all still filming missing our director: Juan

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