6.8/10
425
5 user 4 critic

Caresses (1998)

Carícies (original title)
Eleven episodes portray different encounters in Barcelona during the course of a single night towards the end of the millennium.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
David Selvas ...
Home jove
...
Dona jove
...
Dona gran
Montserrat Salvador ...
Dona vella
...
Home vell
...
Nen (as Naïm Thomàs)
...
Home
...
Noia
...
Home gran
...
Noi
...
Dona
Jordi Cercós
Sandra Pascual
Guillermo Pardevila
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Storyline

Eleven episodes portray different encounters in a large city during the course of a single night towards the end of the millennium. A young man wants to stop living together with a young woman because he believes that they no longer have anything to say to each other. The young woman goes to visit her mother, an elderly woman. She lives with an old lesbian who meets her homeless brother. She asks him to forgive her for having seduced his wife all those years ago, but the brother pretends not to know who she is. A young boy attacks the homeless man. At first he tells him about his wild nights, then he knocks him to the ground and steals the old man's ring. At home the young boy has a bath and asks his father to join him in the tub. The boy's father has a girlfriend, a young woman. He intends to end their relationship... Eleven interlocking scenes that involve two characters, one of whom carries forward into the next scene, until the chain comes full circle. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

13 February 1998 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Caresses  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Song at the end: I would surrender to whoever who would take me
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Soundtracks

Jo em donaria a qui em volgués
Lyrics by Josep Palau i Fabre
Music by Maria del Mar Bonet
Performed by Maria del Mar Bonet
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User Reviews

 
Bringing the Shadow into the light
16 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Well, Spanish cinema does tend to the weird (think Almodovar), and Ventura Pons' Caresses is no exception, though it's a bit more down-to-earth than El Mar. The closest well-known American movie to compare it to would be Magnolia. According to "A Course in Miracles," Everything is either love, or a desperate cry for it. Caresses is definitely in the "desperate cry" category.

It consists of 11 very distinct two-person conversations in which the dominant character from the previous scene becomes the non-dominant character in the next. The first three scenes are marked by shocking, unmitigated hatred, and each is a painting of tremendous emotional dissatisfaction. Most are downright disturbing.

Furthermore, although each conversation is presented as though it's happening straightforwardly, each is unsettling, surreal, and wildly improbable. The characters usually talk past each other as though they can't even hear the other. On only a few occasions does the listener even respond to the talker.

My interpretation is that none of the conversations is real, but we are hearing what the characters WANT to express to each other, but don't, such as what the teen-age junkie wants to say to the homeless man he robs, or what the man would want to communicate to him. Regardless of whether any of the dialog is imaginary, Caresses undoubtedly focuses on bringing the "Shadow" into the light... uncomfortable for most of us, and hence the negative reviews.

I can't give it a positive review either. The acting is erratic, the motivation of the characters incomprehensible. Most of the movie is downright painful to watch. Furthermore,the actors seem to be playing such different roles in their two scenes, it's almost impossible to see them as playing the same character in different circumstances.

Maybe it have worked if Pons had amplified the surrealism and used dream sequences to show us we're looking at the hidden parts of the characters. Or maybe not.

At any rate, like a few other Catalan films I've seen (Morir O No, and El Mar), I find it mostly interesting for studying that fascinating language. And unlike El Mar, these conversations takes place in colloquial Catalan in the Barcelona dialect... But God forbid you would say phrases like these when you visit there!


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