Angel, an exterminator recently released from a mental hospital, comes to rid a small Spanish town of tiny grubs in the soil. The local wine-making industry has found these pests ...
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Manuel Gómez Pereira
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Angel, an exterminator recently released from a mental hospital, comes to rid a small Spanish town of tiny grubs in the soil. The local wine-making industry has found these pests responsible for giving their product an "earthy" taste that has divided local opinion. While in town, Angel becomes involved with two beautiful and very different women, and impacts their lives on a grand scale. Can either of these women accept the fact that Angel travels with a "ghost" of himself, or that he routinely speaks with the deseased townspeople?Written by
"Tierra" is an interesting metaphysical Spanish fantasy with an unusual central character called Angel who by his own admission is half man, half angel, and he also admits to a turn in hospital to cure his hyperactive imagination. What's more , he's a first class fumigator who with the help of casual gypsy labour rids the soil of woodlice. The story opens in vineyard country, red dry undulating fields of gnarled vines, swirling red dust before an approaching storm, a lightning strike that splits a tree in half and kills a shepherd and some of his lambs. A great dramatic introduction that sets the scene for what is to follow. The film does not explain how the presence of woodlice gives the wine an earthy flavour which is said to be most desirable. The camera work is great, especially in the fumigation scene where the recruited workers dressed in white protective clothing move methodically through the red vineyards with their probing tubes, the white fumes swirling around them. They look like extra-terrestrial beings. There are numerous references to the dimensions of the universe, to the spaciousness of creation. The film starts with a panoramic vision of the stars and ends with a flight of birds wheeling in the sky. Yes, producer Medem works on a broad canvasa with incredible artistry. The love interest in the film is provided by Angela, a farmer's wife in love with the newly-arrived Angel, and Mari a sexy little thing in tight Spanish leather who frequents the bars and is quite a deft hand at billiards too. Her snake-like movements are very seductive and Angel begins to admire them, too,but being half angel has its own special problems. I like particularly the hospital scene where Angel's uncle says there is a charming girl waiting to see him. Is it Angela or Mari? We are teased for quite some time before her identity is revealed. I liked too the stark white hospital room- such a contrast to the red sweep of the Spanish countryside. Most of all I liked Gomez as Angel. What a charmer!
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