Filmmaker Luis Fernandez de la Reguera passed away on August 14th, 2006 due to head trauma from a motorcycle accident. He was 39.

 

Director's Statement

He used to come into a bar I worked at and spend my 12 hour shift with me, at the end of the bar wisecracking, and drinking for free. He was always quick with the comebacks and after 25 or 30 pint sized vodka and sodas thats not a small task. But sometimes the booze would take its toll, usually after last call. One night his mask came off and he revealed to me some of why he was killing himself slowly and his tears flowed like rain and I decided that his story needed to be told.Many people told me he was a liar, amongst other things.... but who has not lied and stolen in their lives.(AND PAID THE PRICE FOR IT)

I spoke with Steve Buscemi about making the film and he agreed it was a good idea, but warned me that it was probably gonna be the hardest thing I would ever try to do. well he was right, that was an understatement, Steve. Rockets was the most consumptive person I have ever met by far. He was attempting to fill a huge hole in his heart. He needed so much, and took, but not completely without apology. The last time I saw him aching and near death in his hospital bed he asked me as he had hundreds of times before, "Luis could you....?" I just wanted to get away clean, without a favor just once..."get me a orange soda?" I said "come on man let me go just once I will be back" He said, "come on you would do it for Brando". That was pure Rockets, he could disarm you with humor quicker than Bruce Lee with a kick. I laughed, "No, I wouldn't do it for Brando but I will do it for you". In retrospect I think he knew he wouldn't make it and wanted to hang just a little while longer, I remember leaving and feeling like this was it? he was gonna leave? but I was incapable of accepting it. I called Steve later that day and he reminded me of the countless times Rockets had cheated death, and I think we both needed to believe he would do it again. He went into intensive care. I was told by the heartless, fly-covered, piece of human shit, dressed as a doctor, that he was gonna be OK and he was just there for observation, I asked them to please call me if anything got serious. Later I got a feeling and called the hospital and they said, "Oh? he passed away this morning, no one called you?" "No, no one called me" "Oh, Sorry". That was it. ------------

Rockets used to joke that his death would be the ending that would complete his film, he would say "Luis, thats drama". I stayed in bed for months after he left, one morning I awoke to the thundering sound of the collapse of the first of the twin towers to fall, went to the store bought a beer later when I talked to Rockets girlfriend she said, "well at least the world knows how I feel today".. I miss him still. I still have his old T-shirt that was from that movie "Once We Were Warriors" that has a green fist on the front and "Anger is a Gift" written on the back. It seems a perfect keepsake. I regret forever filming him more than I hugged him.

-Luis Fernandez de la Reguera

 

 

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