17 February 2017 | ma-cortes
A strange and riveting story set in northern Spain , but slowly developed
The film starts in 1942 when an open-air dance celebration takes place and there appears a little girl , Amparo . Eventually , ¨El Andarin¨ goes down to the dancing called ¨Romeria¨ . Several years later , 1952 , that girl , now grown-up , has become a wonderful woman , Amparo , (Angela Molina) and she falls in love with the elderly "El Andarín" (Luis Politti) . Then , her brother Juan (Norman Briski) returns after several years of exile , he is a member of the communist party and has a risked assignment : to convince ¨El Andarin¨ to leave the fighting and his hidden mountain and to get safely away from there . ¨El Andarin¨ is a mythical Guerrillero of the forties and fifties . But "El Andarín" is already someone condemned to be an aging figure of old times . This is an exciting journey to the heart of the Cantabrian forest .
The flick is based on facts and real characters about the ¨Guerrilla¨ and members of the resistance called ¨El Maquis¨. It turns out to be other of the innumerable stories to deal with dramatic deeds regarding the Civil War background and Franco epoch . It belongs to sub-genre about ¨El Maquis¨ whose main representation during the Francoist period was : ¨Espiritu De La Colmena¨ by Victor Erice and ¨Pim Pam Pum Fuego¨ by Pedro Olea ; and in the ¨Transition¨ time was shot ¨Dias Del Pasado¨ by Mario Camus that bears remarkable resemblance to this ¨En El Corazón Del Bosque¨ . It results to be slow and confuse , but contains some fascinating and attractive images . It packs a narrative with complex structure and slowly paced . In the late seventies Manuel Gutiérrez directed three very personal films , -being produced by Luis Megino- , that were well considered by critics but indifferent reception by public , these are : the political ¨Camada Negra¨ , the uneven ¨Sonambulos¨ and this their first mutual collaboration ¨El Corazón Del Bosque¨ , the strangest of his filmography . Luis Megino also produced him the following ones : ¨Maravillas¨, ¨Demonios En Jardín¨, ¨Malaventura¨ , ¨La Noche Más Hermosa¨ and ¨Mitad Del Cielo¨ , some of them starred by his fetish actress , Angela Molina . Being freely based on ¨Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness¨ who was also adapted on the famous film ¨Apocalypse now¨ by Coppola . The main problem has to face this yarn , beyond not being able to avoid falling into an excessively provoking film , is precisely derived from the coldness of its staging , which eventually become monotonous over 100 minutes of footage . Because the story needs a vibration more real than the one offered in this tiring and sometimes boring film . But anyway , its is compensated with the decent performances from main and support cast . As the splendid cast is pretty well , such as : Norman Briski as the communist member who returns to communicate him to leave the war and ignores the relations that his sister has maintained with the stubborn Guerrillero , Angela Molina stands out with his beauty and her big eyes , Luis Politti as a ¨Maqui¨ , a loser who lives hidden in the deep forest and become like a harassed beast and Victor Valverde as an orchestra musician , as well as Amparo's boyfriend and about to marry her . "Heart of the Forest" displays a colorful , though dark and foggy , cinematography by the great cameraman Teo Escamilla , Carlos Saura's regular . Being shot on location in Valley of Saja , Cantabria and Concejo of LLanes , Asturias . ¨El Corazón Del Bosque¨ has not musical score , with exception some popular songs , but it is full of birds and animals sounds heard into the deep wood .
This is a Spanish average budget production and didn't obtain enough success in the box-office . The motion picture perfectly produced by magnificent producer , Luis Megino (also screenwriter) was compellingly written and heavily directed by Manuel Gutierrez Aragon , a good Spanish movies director . Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón was born on January 2 , 1942 in Torrelavega , Cantabria, where uses to set most of films , including Valley Pas . He is a writer and director, known for ¨Habla, Mudita¨ (1973) , ¨Camada Negra¨ (1977) , ¨Maravillas¨ (1981) , ¨Demonios en el Jardín¨ (1982) , ¨Feroz¨ (1984) , ¨Visionarios¨ (2001) , ¨Todos Estamos Invitados¨ (2008) . He began working in cinema in 1973 when he filmed ¨Habla Mudita¨ with José Luis López Vazquez , this debut feature by acclaimed Spanish director deals with a strange relationship between a mature men and a mute villager and also set in rural country from Valley Pas . Manuel Gutierrez is a well recognized filmmaker both nationally and internationally, and in proof of it he won many prizes among which there are the following ones : David di Donatello Awards , Moscow International Film Festival , and San Sebastian International Festival award to ¨Demonios en Jardin¨ , Goya Awards 1987 to ¨La Mitad del Cielo¨ , Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain and Berlin Internation Festival 1996 to ¨Rey del Rio¨ , Biarritz International Festival awards and Goyas 2003 to ¨Caballero Don Quijote¨ , among others .