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  • NOBODY KNOWS ANYBODY (Nadie Conoce a Nadie)

    Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

    Sound format: Dolby Digital

    Unusual thriller from Mateo Gill, in which an unhappy crossword designer (Spanish heartthrob Eduardo Noriega, from THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE and BURNT MONEY) is inadvertently 'recruited' by a sinister organization during Holy Week in Seville, plunging him into a nightmare of serial murder and terrorism, and culminating in a heartstopping sequence at the height of the city's religious festivities, during which Noriega is forced to make the most catastrophic decision of his life.

    Gill and cinematographer Javier Salmones frame their widescreen images in a manner which suggests nothing less than cosmic forces at work, rendering the population of an entire city culpable in the moral destruction of an unwitting hero (illustrated by an extraordinary sequence in which Noriega is pursued by hooded figures through narrow back-streets lined with tourists who simply stand back and gape as hunters and quarry engage in a battle with toy ray guns!). The reason for all this mayhem stretches credibility, but the film - based on a novel by Juan Bonilla - is crafted with technical precision, and distinguished by an extravagant music score by Gill's longtime associate and fellow filmmaker Alejandro Almenábar (OPEN YOUR EYES, THE OTHERS), designed to convey the central character's growing isolation as he falls ever deeper into a city-wide conspiracy. A fine example of European commercial cinema, with scenes that rival Hitchcock or Argento at their most creative.

    (Spanish dialogue)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Holy crap! What a terrible, terrible Spanish thriller! I've had it for about four years and finally started it the other night. I watched an hour or so before heading to bed. I was pretty intrigued by the whole thing. I finished it last night and couldn't believe where I stopped it the night before. Literally, I stopped it the second before the movie went completely downhill.

    Like I said, I was pretty intrigued and curious as to where this mystery was going but stopped it right when Simon receives the package in the bar. I picked up when he opens up the package to reveal a laser gun and then plays a "menacing" game of laser tag. Whew! Then the big reveal is that the whole thing is a terrorist plot by role playing game nerds. WHEW! You can tell the Spanish industry was definitely behind director Mateo Gil (co-writer of Amenabar's two big previous hits). There is an excellent score and great photography. But this scenario reeks of silliness. How anyone sat through the last 40 minutes with a straight face is beyond me.
  • Amid the Sevilla International Exposition , ¨Expo 2000¨ , and the religious festivities of Saint Week , a corpse has appeared in the Maestranza . An aspiring novelist named Simon Cardenas (Eduardo Noriega) pays his invoices by composing crossword puzzles for the Sevilla Gazeta newspaper . Simon shares apartment with a strange young named Sapo (Jordi Molla) . Then , a cryptic recording left on his answering machine asks that he includes a certain word in a future puzzle . Meanwhile , at the Church of Salvacion is spilled gas Sarin , a nervous gas similarly to Tokio underground . Soon Simon is forced into participating in a real-life version of a computer game , a special Rol Game , on the narrow streets of Seville, the stakes being extremely high for the entire city . Later on , another corpse of a priest appears at the Church of the Cautivo . Then the prey Simon/Noriega becomes involved in an intense and increasingly deep chase by means of use of all kinds of methods of communication such as messages , internet and web cams . Simon knows a beautiful journalist (Natalia Verbeke) and both of whom investigate the rare events , as they go to Archive of Indians , get a clue and discover a fantastic enigma .

    The film contains thrills , violence , nudism with some strong sexuality , mystery in a dark atmosphere , complemented with moving tension and intrigue . These elements provide the setting for this piece of action/suspense movie , giving it its own special quality and ambient . The atmosphere and perverse intrigue enhance as well as the Holy week religious procession take place . The flick caused great polemic in Spain , for the reason the explosions and bombings to spectacular processions that are considered as sacred . Interesting screenplay by the same filmmaker , Mateo Gil , based on the novel by Juan Bonilla . The film is starred by a Spanish all-star-cast as Noriega , Jordi Molla , Natalia Verbeke and Paz Vega . All of them would make subsequently a fine career as European as Hollywood , playing some international movies . Acceptable Eduardo Noriega as a young who becomes drawn into a spiraling tangle of mystery , danger and confusion . Gorgeous Paz Vega who holds a strong Andalucian accent and Natalia Verbeke who has the strong scenes of nudism . Thrilling and suspenseful soundtrack by musician/director Alejandro Amenabar usual collaborator to Mateo Gil and even appears a cameo as a boy in the bar . Colorful cinematography by Javier Salmones who shows splendidly the streets and monuments of Sevilla such as churches , Giralda , bridge of Alamillos by Calatrava , plus , the Expo 92 . The motion picture was well directed by Mateo Gil . Mateo is a notorious screenwriter , he wrote various films for Amenabar as ¨Agora¨ , ¨Mar Adentro¨ , ¨Abre Los Ojos¨ and ¨Tesis¨ . He only has directed ¨Nobody knows anybody¨ or ¨Nadie Conoce Nadie¨ and recently a Western titled ¨Blackthorn¨ . Rating : Acceptable and passable movie for its intrigue , noisy action and twists and turns .
  • Absolutely nothing happens in this sloooow, annoying, thrill-less thriller directed by Amenabar's usual collaborator Mateo Gil. The film, which in some way deals with the effect of boredom and the quest for thrills, actually delivers none, and seems like an exercise in boredom. The only mildly suspenseful moment is the movie's climax, which takes about 30 seconds of the whole agonizing 100-plus minutes, and is resolved too simply. The plot lacks sophistication or credibility, and while the idea is original, the way the story unfolds is arbitrary and every plot device or twist is a result of outside interference (deus-ex-machina). The hero is always passive, everything happens to him without forcing him to show any initiative or resourcefulness. If you're fans of the genre, watch "Tesis" instead.
  • I got a deception with this one. Not because it was really a very bad film, but because something so much better could have been done here.

    I arrived at it because i've been interested in Spanish cinema, and this one could strike me as something worth watching though not the best Sapin has to offer.

    In comes in a line of Amenábar. Somehow closed thrillers, appealing to an inner search, resolving conflicts in abstract, living parallel worlds, parallel to a reality which is as "normal" as possible. It worked in "Abre los ojos" because of the dreamworld vs hell duality. Here the mixture is between various "strange" or "not normal" worlds:

    • the always fascinating period of religious ceremonies in Spanish Andalucía.

    • the "game" world, invented by Mollà's character, through which Simón (Noriega) will get at his inner struggle.

    • Noriega, again playing his "abre los ojos" character, safe choice by the production, no risk

    This is a failure, due to several aspects: one related to direction, which has to do with not being able to "hold" interest until the end, the film dies completely as the historical Seville center is exchanged by the Expo92 site. this leads me to second aspect, picking up Sevilla, in the moment of its more visceral, more mediterranean moment of the year, and building there an absolutely inner abstract Amenábar kind of story is a failure by principle. No story can hold against those strong traditions. You either make a picture "about" Sevilla, about religion, and insert content on that basis (it was following that path for the first half) or you detach the story from any perfectly identifiable context (example once more: Abre los ojos) and build whatever you want in that abstract/normal/universal etc. space. And in this second,you have to hold the viewer with strong thinking and fine construction. The first chance s more documented in a way, more "earth-to-earth", the second may (or not) work out more intelligent.

    Anyway, trying to mix both was the failure here. OK, Amenábar's soundtrack, following Herrmann is good, works in the mood, there are good shots of Sevilla, exploring some places, and the overall production is quite good (Spanish is now and was already here in a great production level). But you have much better things to watch from this country. Anyway i'm still trying to find something worthwhile and which understands Sevilla, a fantastic city to which cinema hasn't been paying the necessary tribute.

    My evaluation: 3/5 (holds only for the production, some beautiful faces, and the other good elements i mentioned)
  • Although the plot seemed a little far-fetched I was determined to watch this as Gil, Noriega and Amenabar (loosely). I did find it watchable and intriguing whilst it was on but cracks were showing, as a fan of Noriega's I'd say it's the weakest I've seen him, the character just didn't seem that convincing, surely a writer could do better things with his writer's block than crosswords. The two-faced villain seems to have no tangible motive, I think Molla salvages something from this character but I just don't get him nor understand his insanity.

    All in all I think at this time Gil was trying to make another Abre Los Ojos, probably wasn't the best way to go.
  • Alejandro Amenábar is a busy boy. Not only does he write, direct and score his own films, he also finds the time to collaborate on other people's projects. He delivered script and music for this Spanish production, directed by the young Mateo Gil. Those familiar with Amenábar's own Tesis and Abre los ojos, will expect a stylish, haunting nightmare with more brains than you'd normally expect in this kind of fare. Which is exactly what he delivers. Nothing is what it seems in this cyber/internet-thriller. Friendship is obsolete, love is betrayed, playing games on the net means getting more than one bargained for. Especially strong is the sense of loss when boredom breaks down the last vestiges of whatever scruples might be left in the young psychopaths. Visually exciting with some accurately staged action sequences, Nadie conoce a nadie can hold its own against big budget Hollywood fare. Mateo Gil manages to keep this mixture of horror, mystery and romance finely balanced through a sober direction that always finds the right tone. Another name to remember.
  • In Europa ,Spain seems to be the one country to have understood the American lessons for the thriller.France failed dismally because its directors tried too hard to sound American .Spain integrates Yankee savoir faire into a personal approach.Take "nadie conoce a nadie":it's Spanish to the core,with its Sevillian pageantry,its Holy week and its processions.This is a wonderful backdrop for a psychological eerie thriller.Eduardo Noriega -who starred in the two Amenabar peaks "abre los oyos" and "tesis" -is definitely the best Spanish actor of his generation.

    Owing a lot to Fincher's "the game" ,"nadie conoce a nadie" shows some originality,particularly in its first part,when religion seems to be the center of the plot:Bunuelesque accents often emerge -but is there one Spanish director not influenced by the great creator?.The second part dissatisfies a bit ,because some plot twists are irrelevant (the girl's part is not convincing ),but the final is impressive .

    A splendid cinematography,enhancing Sevilla ,and a tight directing,keeping sex and violence to the minimum, give the movie substance.
  • A writer of crosswords of a newspaper of Sevilla is "recruited" to play in a lethal game in which he will have to do all his best if he wants to survive. It starts when he is suggested by someone to put the word "adversario" in his next crossword, he could not suspect what was going to happen in the city, in the middle of Holy Week, when he decides to start the game. With great actors, great screenplay and good directing; this is one of this films that keep you stuck into the sofa, in order to discover what is going to happen next. It is compulsory remark the spectacular scene of the battle with toy laser guns in the old part of Sevilla. A really good film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This little film from Spain has a story to tell, too bad it takes place mostly in the beginning. It deals with hidden witches covens which are scattered throughout Sevile Spain and it has as its main character, a pseudo-intellectual who writes boring crossword puzzles for the main paper, "El Hergizito". Soon he finds himself in a mysterious world of terror which he can not fathom. I was quite interested until the story became a cliche taken from American films and then it became just average on the whole. Most of the derailment took place in a scene where there are numerous men in hoods shooting laser guns in a 'game" that really looks stupid, from there, we learn that the coven of 'Satanas" wants to destroy Seville. His former roommate is the brain child of a group of degenerate loser and misfits, whom he later blows up in another absurd scene, (why kill them off?). The ending is typical and even expected, because he finds the evil guy and shoots him dead, and at the end, it was all just a novel, but we aren't sure are we?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    'Nobody knows anybody' is a conspiracy theory thriller about a Satanist/nut bomber targeting the religious festivities of Seville during Holy Week. He also happens to be the best friend of the film's hero. The plot is set up by the bomber as a computer game, with himself and the hero as players, and Seville as the virtual environment. The very real alleys and streets of the city begin to take on the labyrinthine qualities of those old Pacman-type games. Looked at this way, the scene where the hero and his female sidekick are chased by black-hooded penitents with rayguns may not seem as silly as it plays.

    From the start, we are aware that the narrative is being constructed as a game - the hero's job is to create crossword puzzles for a popular newspaper; at one point, the crossword grid on his screen becomes the chessboard on which he is later playing against his girlfriend's father. Clues are liberally scattered, as the camera mystifyingly closes in on images that are only later shown to have been significant (e.g. the advert in the bar). The detective/paper chase elements are made part of a game in progress, rather than an investigation after the fact. The film borrows heavily on 'Se7en''s pattern narrative, and anyone with a Catholic education will presumably get the significance of certain events happening on certain days in the run up to EAster.

    In this reading, the game is on the level of narrative, with the hero fighting against an enemy (in this case, the computer) to win and save the day. But there is a second game, the film itself, which subvert the first. There are another set of of clues which point not to the killer's intentions, but the filmmaker's and his hero's. In the first ten minutes there are references to chess, a writer called Navokov and a cult leader called Sarin. If we remember that the chess-loving Nabokov's 1930s pseudonym was Sirin, we see another game afoot, one where we suspect not the villain, but the hero himself.

    In a Nabokov novel like 'Pale Fire', an author-figure creates a text which is designed to hide his own motives, provoking a game between writer and reader to uncover the real text. Throughout the film are scenes which are visually distorted (e.g. the image contracting), or which are ambiguously defined dreams and hallucinations that make us suspect the hero's point of view. The opening references to games are all linked to him. In the early sequences, much is made of the character's sexual and creative impotence, so the film could be his attempt to master his life, to be a winner, in a way he can't for real. No sooner has he won the game than his writer's block vanishes; the words he types are the title of the film, suggesting he is the overall author. Further, that title in Spanish reflects on itself negatively, a very Nabokovian involution that suggests a hero, like Kinbote, trapped in his own solecism.

    This jumble of post-modern literature (Borges, Eco, Pynchon et al are alluded to also), Fincher, 'X-Files', 'Run Lola Run', Chris Marker (the idea of the city and its history as a map and a text; and as a cultural history haunting the present), Bunuellian anti-clericism, and Alex de la Iglesia's 'shock' films result in a film that is just that, a jumble, each clever-clever allusive element cancelling out the last, dissipating interest. The lack of clarity about the game's rules renders it incomprehensible, and eventually wearing.

    Ironically, in a work of such overdetermined artifice, the film's main interest lies in its documentary quality, as a record of a narrative taking place in a real city with its own events taking place independently. Such an ambiguous blurring of fact and fiction can create a masterpiece like 'Sans Soleil' or 'London', but, ultimately, you need to have a light touch to match your cleverness.
  • From the opening of the movie, a corpse with wood cross, to the end of the movie, Mateo Gil, the scripwriter of Tesis and Abre los ojos, both from Alejandro Amenabar, show us his young, yet great ability. There are many interesting points in the movie. We can think that we know somebody. But... do we really know it? How can you know if your best friend is just a normal person... or he is a brutal psycho that has spent one year on planning how to kill you. Another thing that made me think about, is: why do we do things in life?. The main character is living a boring life, seeing his life from above, waiting for something undefined to happen. How many of us do that in life? Living a slow, motionless life, waiting for the train of the great opportunity to appear. Would we accept the chance to live in one day with more intensity than the rest of your would - be life. I also liked the critic that it makes to the old custom of Semana Santa. There is a confrontation between the JASP generation and the 1000´s year traditions, a fight, in which the traditions have nothing to do against the use of modern day technologies and weapons. There are one minor flaw, that it relies in the female audience, showing a nice guy with women falling around him. In the middle of the movie, you can find many flaws (Why this has to happen this way and not this other, why did he have to do that?) that quickly fall with one of the most interesting switches I have ever seen in a movie To sum up, a really interesting thriller that has many question to think over.
  • I hope that nobody believe this film is totally unreal. People of Seville is very different like you see in the film. The same with the Semana Santa of Seville. I think that is a very bad film.
  • Spanish-made suspense/action film with horror overtones.

    It's the last Holy Week of the millennium in Seville and crossword puzzle creator Simon Cardenas finds himself at the center of a religious mystery. Things just keep getting crazier and crazier for poor Simon.

    I'd say this is geek suspense at its finest. Interesting use of role-playing gamers and religious conspiracy, and crossword puzzle fans like myself may look for hidden messages in the NYT Sunday puzzle for a few days. Plus, I love "who do you trust" stories and I adore the fabulous gorgeous-ness of Eduardo Noriega, so this couldn't really fail for me. I thought it was a great little flick that kept me engaged and entertained all the way through.
  • yojimbo99921 April 2003
    A good movie with an intriguing twist halfway through. A well written screenplay and an unconventional ending. The lead actor is perhaps a little too boring. The guy has very little charisma, and pretty much anyone else would have been better in the role. The villain is the best character of the bunch. Although considering the plot and how clever the villain was, the ending is perhaps a bit of a cheat.
  • Definitivatly, the sicology indeer, the critizace of the Catholicism, the bored, and the great perform of Eduardo Noriega (as usual), make this film and exciting game when the pieces are the human beings, with rules and power, money, and the infancy´s desorders. See this picture, you will enjoy, and Noriega is better than almost every pretty face in Hollywood.
  • ciudadlejana27 December 2001
    I just saw this film. Wow! Yet another mind-twisting Spanish film. This movie has pushed my fear of cathedrals and the harmless/harmful icons found within. ENoriega's character seems somewhat convincing, yet somewhere along the way, he just doesn't pull through. In general, the characters seem weak (not well developed), but the plot is interesting. Using the sight of the '92 Expo brought back memories of when my uncle went to represent PR!
  • Although similar to "The Game" this movie is far more believable . The storyline is clear, the action goes on gradually. Another good thing about it is that the actors are quite unknown (at least out of Spain !) which help to build efficient and believable characters.

    There are some minor flaws but the entire movie is not spoilt by typical Hollywood clichés. I peculiarly loved the cynical end, that was a fine way to close that film.

    Nice crafty work : 8/10