Daily Archives: April 12, 1996

The Angel’s House

Scandalously neglected and all but forgotten in recent years, Leopoldo Torre-Nilsson (1924-1978), perhaps the first world-class Argentinean director, enjoyed a certain vogue in this country in the early 60s–despite the stiff competition from France, Italy, and Japan in offering personal and stylistically expressive cinema. Among his films distributed in that era, La casa del angel (1957)–also known back then as End of Innocence–is almost certainly the most impressive, a gothic tale of female adolescence with an arresting and original flashback structure and a baroque visual style worthy at times of Orson Welles (especially in his Magnificent Ambersons mode). Written, like many of Torre-Nilsson’s other major features, by his wife, novelist and playwright Beatriz Guido–adapting in this case one of her own novels–this is a haunting and captivating mood piece that almost never turns up, a rare viewing opportunity courtesy of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. (It will screen again at the same time and place next week.) Village, Monday, April 15, 6:15, 642-2403. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.… Read more »

Land and Freedom

Ken Loach, perhaps the most accomplished and intelligent Marxist practitioner of social realism left in England, stretches his impressive talents to depict the Spanish civil war from the point of view of a young unemployed communist from Liverpool (Ian Hart) who joins the republican anti-Franco forces. Scripted by Jim Allen (who also wrote Loach’s Raining Stones) Land and Freedom is historically convincing as well as gripping–Loach near his passionate best. Far from offering a standard defense of the communist position, this 1995 film presents a detailed revisionist critique of the party’s betrayal of other leftist factions in Spain. With Rosana Pastor, Iciar Bollain, Tom Gilroy, and Frederic Pierrot. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, April 12 through 18. –Jonathan Rosenbaum… Read more »