In a small Castilian village in 1940, in the wake of the country’s devastating civil war, six-year-old Ana attends a traveling movie show of Frankenstein and becomes possessed by the memory of it. A bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life.
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Few directors are truly able to capture the innocence of childhood; the suggestability, the naivete; the openess to environment and perceived believe in stories and fantasies. Erice certainly captures all of that and more in this classic film. Ana Torrent is perfect as the young girl as is the script which captures its post civil war backdrop, characters and undertones so masterfully. Enchantingly beautifully shot.
Fantastic. Guillermo del Toro probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for this film (horror and monster movies notwithstanding). Excellent portrayal of the real-world horror behind horror stories, the power of the imagination, and the joys (and woes) of being a child. Superb acting on the part of the children. Great Bresson-style pacing, and excellent color photography. Not to be missed.
I would have loved to rate 5* this movie as most of my MUBI friends did. But if I want to be honest with myself, I can't. I liked a lot Ana Torrent (who wouldn't ?) but that's about all, Already forgotten..
The movie brims with a sense of innocence and wonder for those moments and feelings we all eventually have to come across but not always wish to do so, the evocations of childhood memories achieved here are as striking as no other movie I've experienced before. Beautiful film.
The visuals are incredible. I feel like it creates a wonderful mood in the desertic region. It seems like after the war everyone wants to escape, and they do. The mother by sending letters and the father with his bees. They leave the girls to their imagination, and they make the most of it. I felt the story was good, but the last act is not that good. It doesn't feel conclusive. Apart from that, it's a great film.