Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Cecilia Roth in "Arrebato" [1980 Spain]

I don't know much about Iván Zulueta, but his film, "Arrebato" [Eng. Title: Rapture] is one of the best films ever made about cinema - more so about the creative process itself wherein the filmmaker is consumed by his own work. The style is reminiscent of French films from the 'Nouvelle Vague' era. If I have to sum it in one word though - it'll have to be "intense".

Pedro, an eccentric amateur filmmaker meets established director José through a mutual acquaintance and shows him some of his homemade films. He is restless and loathes what he's been making so far, until he stumbled upon a time-lapse technique which he's only eager to share with others. José, who's going through a personal and creative crisis of his own, is intrigued - and Pedro's obsession becomes his, and together they literally get 'sucked-into' a bizarre trip by the 8mm film camera that Pedro uses for filming. Is this happening for real, or is it just another hallucination from their acid trips..?

This is an obscure little gem worth seeking for true lovers of cinema. I first saw this film several years ago, but was lucky to get hold of a DVD more recently. The quality isn't particularly pristine - the letter-boxed transfer is dark and grainy, but in a way it adds to the overall claustrophobic atmosphere. I couldn't enhance any of the scenes in this compilation, and therefore left the resolution from the DVD more or less intact.


Compilation: Cecilia Roth and Helena Fernán-Gómez

Cecilia Roth and Helena Fernán-Gómez in Arrebato

Scene Guide:
  • José returns from work to find his stoned girlfriend and actress Ana in his bed - he had already broken off with her and is visibly annoyed seeing her again. Ana is played by a very young Cecilia Roth - a major actress from Argentina, who was also an Almodovar regular.
  • One can see José's relationship with Ana is strained, even if he may yet have some feelings left for her.
  • In one of the films sent by Pedro, he's seen fondling Gloria, a friend, at a party, played by Helena Fernán-Gómez. Later we see him getting angry with her for stopping the camera while filming himself sleeping. The incessant guttural voice-over in many of the scenes is Pedro's narration of events and thoughts, through the audio cassette sent along with the film.
  • José makes it clear to Ana that it is now all over between them.
  • Brief nipple-slip as things finally dawn on Ana - José had just bid her farewell - he's off to Pedro's apartment to find out what happened to him.


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