Surreal look at a family’s attempts to shock, bully, frighten, coach, and cajole Antonio Cano into regaining his memory and his management powers after an auto accident. He’s middle-aged, wealthy, the leader of a family corporation. After the accident he can’t remember his Swiss bank account numbers, can’t sign documents, and can’t lead his board of directors. His father needs Antonio’s recovery to keep family control of the corporation, and Antonio’s wife, children, and mistress want access to Antonio’s money. They stage elaborate recreations of traumas in his childhood that mix with his own memories and hallucinations. Will they succeed? Will he come out of it?
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