Carlos Saura’s exquisite Cría cuervos… heralded a turning point in Spain: shot while General Franco was on his deathbed, the film melds the personal and the political in a portrait of the legacy of fascism and its effects on a middle-class family (the title derives from the Spanish proverb: “Raise ravens and they’ll peck out your eyes”). Ana Torrent (the dark-eyed beauty from The Spirit of the Beehive) portrays the disturbed eight-year-old Ana, living in Madrid with her two sisters and mourning the death of her mother, whom she conjures as a ghost (an ethereal Geraldine Chaplin). Seamlessly shifting between fantasy and reality, the film subtly evokes both the complex feelings of childhood and the struggles of a nation emerging from the shadows.—The Criterion Collection
Ranked among Europe’s elite filmmakers, Carlos Saura had his greatest impact in the late ‘60s and early ’70s when his often politically charged films revitalized Spanish cinema. Like his mentor Luis Buñuel, Saura freely blends reality with the macabre and an often grotesque surrealism to create worlds in which reality is subjective. Saura was born the second of four children in Huesca, Spain. His father was a lawyer, his mother a pianist, and his brother, Antonio, grew up to become a noted abstract expressionist painter. In 1935, Saura’s family weathered the Spanish Civil War in Madrid. The war had a tremendous impact on Saura, and snippets of his vivid, often terrifying memories would later appear in his films. As a young man, Saura briefly studied engineering but at age 18 left school to become a professional freelance photographer. Specializing in photographing dancers and musicians, Saura made a name for himself and even staged two one-man exhibitions, the second of which featured… read more
Complex, challenging and most of all profound. Suara had a spotty career (at best) following Cria Cuervos, but the film deserves all the praise it receives for being a masterpiece of psychological-drama. It's like an expressionist painting in which strokes of reality, memory and fantasy collide with one another and place you in the mind of a child struggling to come to terms with loss.
First, a quick reminder that entries on several films playing here or there have been updated through today: Film Socialisme, Agrarian Utopia
Todos los países han sufrido algún momento traumático a lo largo de la historia, en México sufrimos 72 años de la dictadura perfecta, casi todos los países de Europa estuvieron involucrados en la segunda… read review