• 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.

A great portrait at the picnic in three different fields of depth—19-minutes—again Berlanga taking advantage of the wider frame

  • At the book fair it looks like two students as if they have anything by Bergman or Antonioni

these strong ensemble arrangements

  • 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

The film’s greatest frame is the blank room, like a sort of Kafkaesque nightmare—both Jose and the condemned man walking towards their demise

  • Highly Recommend- top 10 of the year quality work