The movie tells the story of a family of commediants that work in the towns of Spain during the 40's and 50's. Life gets very taugh for them since they cannot compete any longer with the ... See full summary »
In a small spanish town, a group of old ladies decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with a "Sit a poor man at your table" dinner: each wealthy household of the town will have a homeless person... See full summary »
Luis García Berlanga
José Luis López Vázquez,
Paquita and her brother Venancio, both single and childish, live in a small town near Madrid. Their bossy eldest sister Ignacia, also an old maid, dominates them. One night, Paquita hears ... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez
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 »
Although I own practically half of his filmography, I have only watched three Carlos Saura (whom I saw in the flesh at the 2012 European Film Awards which were held over here in Malta!) movies so far WEEPING FOR A BANDIT (1964; featuring a cameo from Luis Buñuel), ANTONIETA (1982; co-written by Jean-Claude Carrière) and BUÑUEL AND KING SOLOMON'S TABLE (2001); however, being aware that it was going to be Saura's 82nd birthday presently, I decided it was high time I watched a handful more. The film under review a slow-burning but powerful anti-Fascist allegory that is all the more remarkable for being made under Spanish dictator Franco's regime! is the one which made his name, having won him (among others) the Best Director prize at that year's Berlin Film Festival.
The plot deals with three Spanish Civil War veterans who return after many years and with a younger relative to their old battleground (a skeleton of one Loyalist is proudly exhibited in a nearby shed) ostensibly to hunt rabbits but, during the course of the hot, tedious day spent in alcoholic consumption and hidden agendas, old wounds and prejudices are fatally rekindled. Acting as their trapper and cook are the crippled poacher (of the landowner in the group) and his adolescent niece: their 'disdainful' status is reflected in the disease that is already decimating the rabbit population and the landowner taking on a much younger mistress after his wife left him. From the small, uniformly fine cast, award-winning Jose' Maria Prado (a familiar face from several Art-house and Euro-Cult movies) playing the envious, trigger-happy, Sci-Fi nut of the group is a particular stand-out.
Being an animal lover, I was wary that the obligatory hunting and trapping sequences were going to be the whole show here: luckily, it was not the case but when these do come on (gleefully participated in by the landowner's black dog and ironically set to light-headed Spanish pop ditties blasting from a portable radio), they are certainly harrowing to watch: a ferret violently taunts a cowering rabbit in his hole out into the open where the hunters lie in wait for it; the same dutiful ferret is soon deliberately dispatched by the self-made businessman of the group; and, most memorably, a rabbit defiantly stops its flight for a few seconds amid a hail of bullets before being blasted off in a cloud of fur and dust.
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