Villaronga’s legendary film debut from 1987 is controversial and has lost nothing of its power. To those unafraid, it provides an insight into human decline. A Nazi death camp doctor who has fled to Spain continues his terrible activities, until he ends up in an iron lung.
Klaus did many unspeakable things to children during his days as a doctor in a Nazi death camp – all ending in murder, normally en masse. When the 1000 Year Reich is killed before reaching adolescence, Klaus flees for Spain where the caudillo’s cohorts hide him and his kin. Here, in the quiet of a mansion by the sea, he continues to live his ‘passions’, until… he ends up in an iron lung. Then Angélo appears on the doorstep offering his services to take care of Klaus. But who is Angélo?
The first feature and first masterpiece of Villaronga; one of the – crypto-canonical – key films of the 1980s. Back then, In a Glass Cage was fêted and feared as a taboo-breaker, a ‘shock movie’. Today it stands out as one of the very few films that ever dared to look deep into the eyes of fascism – not just the intellectual dynamics, but its very emotional essence and soul. —International Film Festival Rotterdam
He has been active as a director, screenwriter and actor since 1976. His oeuvre consists of four short films, five fiction films, two television films, two documentaries and two episodes for Spanish television series. Villaronga’s impressive full-length film debut Tras el cristal (1987) is still seen as a controversial work. He has also made strong films with a surreal edge, such as El nino de la luna (with a soundtrack by Dead Can Dance and a lead role for the band’s singer Lisa Gerrard, 1989), El mar (2000) and Aro Tolbukhin. En la mente del asesino (2002), all of which are bringing increasing international recognition for Villaronga’s work. His new film Pa negre (2010) had its premiere in competition at the San Sebastian film festival, and won a Silver Shell for actress Nora Navas. –Rotterdam
Horrifying story that manages to straddle that fine line between art house and exploitation. Considering the subject matter this could have been an exercise in bad taste but the director keeps the whole thing well elevated above the gutter. The tone and mood is both disturbing yet beautiful and nightmarish yet dreamlike. Truly a one of a kind experience!
A unflinching portrayal of pure human evil that has far more artistic merit than its cheap 'porno-holocaust' reputation suggests. It taps into a truly nightmarish world with lyrical scenes of brutal child murder - its seductive aesthetic beauty and depraved eroticism make it all the more horrifying. Crosses the line for most but worth it. One of the hardest films I've ever had to sit through
I 've seen all types of extreme cinema but after reading the subject matter and seeing the opening scene I was already asking myself if I wanted to see the rest. Nevertheless, it was well worth it. The film is indeed deeply disturbing because it holds a mirror to the darkest side of humanity and really conveys the psychological effects of violence like few other films. Outstanding camerawork, perfomances and music