interests include: classic hollywood, silent film, historical avant-garde, latin american cinema, HK/chinese cinema
Setup is reminiscent of Universal horror, the trio of young friends/lovers stranded in the woods take refuge in the old haunted space, where their hidden desires come to the surface in bold ways; draws on the convent environment and themes of religiosity and the supernatural really well, and the cinematography is so polished throughout — the dark blacks of the night, the luminous wandering figures through the corridors.
Likely one of the outwardly-facing films from Franco's Spain, directed to international festivals etc., to show off a presumed 'liberal' national cultural sphere. Interesting how elements of Antonioni's art-film meditations on bourgeois melancholy (see: the Mediterranean locations, the sunglasses, the touristic wandering) are deformed here into something far more explicitly pointed, darkly satirical.
Rivette anticipates VHS and DVD culture as the characters Celine and Julie replay the same narrative (a strangely stilted, period melodrama of a love-triangle and a child in trouble) over and over, entering the world of melodrama by sucking on a candy (the equivalent of pressing play with your remote control). Celine and Julie (re-)watch the same scenes in different sequencings; with actors being swapped one for another; with the conceit that a child can "pause" the action by looking…
It is pretty cool how Gavaldón and crew manipulate the architecture of Antonio's (Arturo de Córdova) mansion to provide a kind of schematic framework for the film as a whole. The most prominent feature of the house is one long, expansive hall, stretching seemingly from one end of the house to the other. At each end there is a piece of art: a painting of Antonio's wife Elena above the fireplace, and a marble statue of his lover Raquel (María…