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Cousin Angelica (1974)

La prima Angélica (original title)
When the single middle-aged Luis travels from Barcelona to bury the remains of his mother in the vault of his family in Segovia, he is lodged by his aunt Pilar in her old house where he ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (idea) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Luis (as Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez)
Lina Canalejas ...
Angélica
Fernando Delgado ...
Anselmo
María Clara Fernández de Loaysa ...
Angélica niña (as Mª Clara Fernandez de Loyasa)
Pedro Sempson ...
Padre de Luis
María de la Riva ...
Abuela (as Maria de la Riva)
Marisa Porcel
Antonio Canal ...
Soldado (as Tony Canal)
Pedrín Fernández ...
(as Pedrin Fernandez)
Trinidad Rugero
José Villasante ...
(as Jose Villasante)
Josefina Díaz ...
Tía Pilar
...
Tía Pilar
Encarna Paso ...
Madre de Luis
José Luis Heredia ...
Felipe Sagún (as Jose L. Heredia)
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Storyline

When the single middle-aged Luis travels from Barcelona to bury the remains of his mother in the vault of his family in Segovia, he is lodged by his aunt Pilar in her old house where he spent his summer of 1936 with her. He meets his cousin Angelica, who was his first love, living on the first floor with her husband and daughter, and he recalls his childhood in times of the Spanish Civil War entwined with the present. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cousin Angelica  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is dedicated to Oona and Charlie. The names refer to Oona O'Neill and Charles Chaplin, the parents of Geraldine Chaplin, Carlos Saura's partner by the time of release of the film. See more »

Soundtracks

Música de los romanos
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User Reviews

 
a beguilingly concocted labyrinth juxtaposing disjointed memories with a disillusioned reality
20 October 2015 | by (Cairo, Egypt) – See all my reviews

Carlos Saura's provocative COUSIN ANGELICA stirred a vehement protest from the Spanish Right upon its release during the twilight years of Francisco Franco's dictatorship. The film focuses on Luis (Vázquez), an unmarried, middle-aged business man in Barcelona, bringing his long-deceased mother's bones to bury in her family crypt in Sevogia. En route, past memories well up, he begin to re-enact the events happened almost forty-years ago during the Spanish Civil War, his days of sojourn with his mother's family, includes his first cousin Angelica (played by Canakejas as the adult and de Loaysa as the child), his first love.

The most unconventional tack is that Saura decides to let Vázquez play both the adult and child version of Luis, while Canalejas, Delgado and de Loaysa play two nuclear families in both time- lines: Angelica's family in the present, and the one during the wartime, a 9-year-old Angelica and her parents. This stipulation evidently creates some initial puzzlement and requires viewers more patience to get the narrative which frequently jumps back-and-forth. And one key giveaway is Vázquez's performance, who can convincingly switch between a grown-up's urbane refinement and a child's wide-eyed obedience, the latter is quite demanding for an actor is his fifties.

Recollections are intermingled with Luis' present mental state, gradually, audience will be notified there is a deep chasm between his father and his mother's family, they are on opposite sides in political slants during that tempestuous time, his parents are called the black sheep of the family, which corners Luis in an awkward situation staying with them, where family bond is virtually marred by politics.

However, the puppy love with Angelica symbolises the most innocent and beautiful souvenir in this experience, a stolen kiss, being each other's playmates, sharply contrasts with the marriage fetters she is entrapped in presently, rekindled romance glistens faintly, but eventually he is not the knight in shining armour, the sadness of adulthood.

Saura also registers strongly with symbolically religious projections which has poisoned and continues haunting Luis' psyche to date, the mortified nun, with a lock sealing her lips, and a bleeding hole in her palm, is his incubus, which is startling to watch. A priest's inculcation of a 11-year-old boy's tragic death from an explosion is bordering on sheer hectoring, and the ensuing bombarding in the school echoes the opening shots, which at first glance resemble an atmospheric modern-dancing rendition.

With hindsight, COUSIN ANGELICA seems to be less pungent in its anti-war and religion innuendos by nowadays' criterions, other than a beguilingly concocted labyrinth juxtaposing disjointed memories with a disillusioned reality, but sometimes it is overcautious to lay bare the elephant-in-the-room, whereas in other time, over-mystifying the machination of reminiscence.


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