- Berlanga’s seventh film, and it is clearly auteur cinema and the same creative mind behind Placido. Berlanga’s 1961 effort was the story of a devastating one-day struggle for Placido— this is a struggle that takes years to crush Nino Manfredi’s Jose Luis Rodriguez
- Black and white photography like the rest of Berlanga’s work, political—this is his widest frame though like many filmmakers in the 1960’s. This is aspect ratio: 1.85 : 1. Berlanga’s uses deep focus here like Wyler. At the 16-17 minute mark the sister-in-law in deep focus.
- At the book fair it looks like two students as if they have anything by Bergman or Antonioni
- Poor Jose Luis Rodriguez wants to go to Germany and be and an engineer. But step by step he is passive, trapped by circumstances, other people, government restrictions, housing, pregnancy, marriage… like Placido– it is repetitious, but that’s the point. It is an elaborate mouse trap.
- Shot by Tonino Delli Colli – he was cinematographer for most of Pasolini (Salo) and Leone’s best work (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West)
- At 56-minutes Berlanga regular (in his biggest role for him to date) José Isbert is in the bedroom back-right
- Highly Recommend- top 10 of the year quality work
I’m sure you were at least a bit disappointed by this one given the lofty reputation, being at #265 on TSPDT after all. I believe it was Alexander Payne who selected this as one of his choices while he was in the Criterion Closet which I actually watched a couple days prior to when this page was posted (I couldn’t say anything then because of the comments issue).
@Zane- sure, but it’s just my first shot at the movie. I was really impressed with Placido (I rewatched it the next night directly after and I never do that). But yes- certainly I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was a little disappointed