Toledo in the 30s: The godfather of cinematic surrealism, Luis Buñuel, the poet Federico Garcia Loca and the painter Salvador Dalí are on a search for the mythical table of King Salomon, ... See full summary »
El Gran Wyoming,
A group of flamenco dancers are rehearsing a very spanish version of the Prosper Merimee's drama. Antonio (the coreographer) falls in love with Carmen (the main dancer). Their story then ... See full summary »
Laura del Sol,
Paco de Lucía
A French psychologist investigates about famous suicidal women. She finds the case of Antonieta Rivas Mercado, a Mexican writer who died inside Paris' Notre Dame in 1931. To follow the ... See full summary »
Ignacio López Tarso
Ana is an equestrian sharpshooter for a one ring circus in Madrid for a week. Marcos is a reporter doing a Sunday supplement piece. He interviews her and she invites him to dinner with the ... See full summary »
A young girl, after failing an exam, is forced by her father, a taxi-driver, to learn his profession. Soon she discovers that her father is not only a driver but also a member of a racist ... See full summary »
This reminds me of that bleak Australian forgotten gem Wake in Fright where dusty sunbaked desolation brings out the worst animal instincts in a group of men, in this case five guys, old friends or acquaintances who haven't seen each other in years, who go out in the Spanish sierra to hunt rabbit. Whereas Wake in Fright at least on some level acquiesces to the idea that we're not perfect beings and revels in anarchy and amorality, Carlos Saura's film feels reactionary. Dialogue and characterization feels calculated to bring out the worst in the characters, they're fully unpleasant from the get go and staying out in the scorching midday heat under a makeshift tent makes them more irritable and frustrated. Their own deadend lives and petty concerns reflect their hunt - from a safe distance, picking off defenceless animals. This is something to pass the time, or worse, an excuse for not passing the time.
I like how Saura films the arid landscape in unflattering shots. This is not the picturesque desert of Lawrence of Arabia. This is an inhospitable patch of dirt where nothing grows and Saura gives us flat shots of dusty hillsides. I also like the frantic hand-held shots, of rabbits running amok through the sparse undergrowth, of the hunters inspecting their rifles and jerking them to aim at the distance, and now someone is nervously wiping sweat off his forehead and musing unpleasant thoughts in voice-over, suspicion or aggression. But everything feels calculated here, and Saura's political commentary does not go amiss. The owner of the hacienda where they go to hunt has discovered the skeletal remains of someone from the "war" (it could be the Spanish civil war, although one of the companions snaps irritably "does it matter which war?") and keeps them hidden in a cave. This is a category, a finger raised in outraged accusation against the worst in us.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?