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120 Ratings


Directed by Pere Portabella
Spain, 1972
Horror, Avant-Garde


Umbracle is made up of fragments (some are archive footage) that resound rather than progress by unusual links, with dejá vu scenes that promise us more but remain intensely unfinished.

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Umbracle Directed by Pere Portabella

What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Umbracle

    Incredible assemblage, starts as an avant-garde silent, then a documentary, archival footage, a tribute to silent cinema, and finally biting satire. Christopher Lee is marvelous. This truly underground, Franco-era film was originally shown only clandestinely at private screenings! Must-see!

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film Umbracle

    I want to hold out my hand to Pere Portabella and thank him. He's made a great film in Umbracle (1972), an uncommon and fortunate occurrence for people like myself.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Umbracle

    Portabella offers a treatise on Spanish cinema under Franco with this experimental, challenging work that dares to make a statement within the censor's views and guidelines. Lee offers some interest for the viewer as does an archival bit that offers scenes from a '56 Spanish catholic film that offers fairly veiled propaganda. Overall a strange miss that is perhaps a little too 'out there' for consumption.

  • Michael Goetz's rating of the film Umbracle

    A radical film essay on the damage that Fascism does to the individual human consciousness. It's redolent of Marker's La Jetee, early Resnais, Maya Deren and, in two erotically charged scenes, Bunuel. A cri de coeur championing interiority, spontaneity, privacy, improvisation and freethinking, the film makes innovative use of sound and image to show both the suppression of these values and their means of survival.

  • El Abuelo Kraken's rating of the film Umbracle

    El mayor valor de esta cinta se halla en su contexto, revolucionaria y contestataria, que denuncia los excesos del régimen franquista y la censura del Opus Dei. Así como en cintas anteriores, Portabella se sumerge en la exploración y la experimentación, recurriendo en veces a la improvisación, otorgándonos escenas sublimes como el canto y recital de Christopher Lee. Sin embargo, se queda por debajo de su Nocturno 29.

  • Marco Bevilacqua's rating of the film Umbracle

    The film has wonderful black and white images, with a strong use of contrast, grain and composition. What is peculiar is the director's taste for mixing different recordings with a non-linear theme (some of the scenes are among the best I ever seen). Clearly an avant-garde movie like some of the early film directors.

  • MoeHartman's rating of the film Umbracle

    Portabella concocts some great scenes. The mute sequences with Christopher Lee and Jeannine Mestre are cryptic but haunting, thanks in large part to the washed-out black-and-white photography and eerie sound effects, and the interviews with Spanish directors provide some insight into an often unexplored culture of cinema, but these and the many other parts of Umbracle fail to coalesce into anything intelligible.

  • Mark's rating of the film Umbracle

    I don't know if Christopher Lee knew what he was getting himself into. but his presence certainly adds to the "film's" watchability. Some provocative photography and whimsical music choices help, but it all comes off as an extended joke at best.

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