Thursday, December 23, 2010
ELISA K sees its final Spanish Cinema Now appear-ance this evening at 5:30, TrustMovies would advise a visit. This is the kind of highly unusual film that may never find its way into US thea-ters again, or even onto DVD on this side of the Atlantic. Yet it's a stunner -- proving once again how very collaborative is the art of movies & how a satisfying whole can be created from a few well-chosen and executed scenes.
Jordi Cadena (shown above, right, who adapted the film from a novel by Lolita Bosch) and Judith Collel (above, left, who gave us 53 Days on Winter a few years back) concentrate on the day of the event, its aftermath at home and in school, and then nearly fifteen years later, when Elisa, as an adult, suddenly recalls the event. Only 72 minutes long, the movie packs in a wealth of vital detail offered artfully and quietly -- until that adult scene, which is breathtakingly real and awful, finally providing an outlet for all the confusion, shame, guilt, fear, sadness and especially anger that has built up in the interim.
Sergi Gallardo, who also shot 53 Days of Winter.) The filmmakers choose, wisely, I think, not to show us the event itself, nor to even describe it. This makes it worse in some ways, for we, like Eliza, try to figure how how it could possibly have happened. Her father was there, asleep on the couch, with her brother playing out on the terrace. And yet it did. And everything from that point on, has changed.
Clàudia Pons, on the poster, top, and the two black-and-white photos, above) and older Alisa (Aina Clotet, one of the stars of 53 Days of Winter, shown in the two photos, immediately above) bear a fine physical resemblance to each other and each is riveting in her own way. The rest of the small cast does wonders with their limited roles. In some ways clinical -- showing us how the child thinks, feels and reacts in the time following the trauma -- the film is more often artful, as it places us in a situation that should chill the heart of any parent. It is movies like this one that make Spanish Cinema Now such a special -- and often surprising -- treat each year.
Elisa K plays again only this afternoon/evening at 5:30 at the Walter Reade Theater. Click here for more information.