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MAMA TURNS ONE HUNDRED

Spain, 1979 (MIFF 1981)

Director: Carlos Saura

In 1972 Carlos Saura made the film Ana and the Wolves. This story of a young woman's visit to a decaying household populated by a range of establishment figures (army, church, law) was, in its day, a virulent attack upon the Franco regime. It caused months of wrangling between the censors and producers.

Now Saura has come back to these characters and situations to make a post-Franco comedy that, it seems, may have completed a long cycle of films which mostly starred Geraldine Chaplin.

Once again, Chaplin plays Ana, returning anew, now accompanied by her husband, to the shabby Spanish mansion It is the day before grandmother turns 100 but the Francoist establishment figures are still plotting and her death is to be effected by withholding her medicine the next time she has an attack.

As Saura pulls out of the period of his life in which his intense symbolic dramas delighted world-wide audiences, it is interesting to see him at work on what he sees as a political comedy Those who loved the introspective and symbolic works may feel that here his situations are too innocuous and inconsequential They overlook that his mellowing is a reflection of Spain's own as the paranoia of the Franco era passes out of general consciousness Additionally, however, there is a melancholy for the passing of the years and a more sober view of modern Spain. This view is furthered in Saura's most recent film, only just released in Spain, which focuses on bored, alienated and disaffected youth, who, for want of anything better to do, commit robberies to provide them with mediocre material comfort.

See also...

LOS GOLFOS

Carlos Saura, young director of this Spanish film, depicts a Spain rarely seen on the screen. Shot entire!y on location, Los Golfos concerns a group of hooligans who live in a Madrid suburb. Hoping ... More »

BLOOD WEDDING

Carlos Saura is best known for his intense dramas. His decision to film a ballet was very much based on the desire to ensure that there remains a record of this astonishing and very Spanish work ... More »

TENDER HOURS

Juan comes home late one evening and must listen to his parents' accusations of always being late. Nobody believes his excuse that he had stayed late at school. In fact, his uncle immediately grabs ... More »

FLAMENCO

... ... A vibrant fusion of peoples, religions and cultures give the world the artform known in broad terms as Flamenco. It took Carlos Saura to create the definitive film on the subject. Flamenco ... More »

COUSIN ANGELICA

Once again, Carlos Saura returns to the Spanish Civil War and its effects upon his country's social and intellectual life. The protagonist, Luis, played by Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez, comes to Segovia ... More »

ELISA, MY LOVE

In this new film by Carlos Saura,Fernando Rey plays the part of an ageing father, a recluse living amonng his books in the Castilian countryside,and Geraldine Chaplin plays his daughter, Elisa. She ... More »

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