We know we're somewhere weird as, in the very first shot of Gabe Ibáñez's dazzling HIERRO, a giant lizard crosses the road and a car zooms over it. From the looks of things, a distraught mother is driving too fast with her son beside her and very soon we are treated to one of, maybe the best cinema car crash TrustMovies has yet witnessed. No, it's not complete with huge explosions and muchos effectos
especiales. Instead Señor Ibáñez (shown at right) simply shoots superbly, edits with such precision and uses sound for all its worth that we're there inside the car with the vulnerable pair experiencing every jolt and smash and roll that ends with -- oh, god -- a moment of such odd silence and beauty, and then...
OK: after the fact, I ques-
tioned that the smaller object would have landed prior to the larger, but maybe I don't know my math or physics. But I do know my cinema and this is superb stuff. So's the location. The director and his writers -- Javier Gullón (who wrote last years terrific El rey de la montaña) and Jesus de la Vega -- have set this tale on El Hierro Island, the southernmost point of Europe, where black beaches of volcanic ash and those giant lizards provide the kind of bizarre backdrop that all the money and CGI in the world could serve up no better.
sent, with a bird motif not far behind; both are used with great imagination & feeling in the film's real & in its dreamlike moments.