11 October 2004 | khatcher-2
Hard work maintaining concentration - or interest
Mario Camus, one of the best known Spanish cinematographers, has over the years, especially in the last twenty-five years, been able to offer the spectator some truly wonderful works. 'Los Santos Inocentes' (1984) (qv) remains to this day as one of the two or three greatest masterpieces ever made for the screen in this country, inspired by Miguel Delibe's novel of the same name. For television Camus has given us 'Fortunata y Jacinta' (1980) (mini), one of the greatest TV series ever made (and I do not add 'in this country'). Ten years later he directed 'La Forja de un Rebelde' (1990) (mini), based on Arturo Barea's novel, also a truly remarkable series. 'Beltenebros' is of course also among his best films. Worthy of mention is Camus' version of Lorca's stage-play 'La Casa de Bernarda Alba' (1987). 'El Color de las Nubes' (1997) is also worth mentioning.
Such that one begins to expect much from this Spanish director. However, with 'La Playa de los Galgos' one feels that the film does not reach expectations; the story itself and Camus' inimicable style just did not come off as a satisfying fusion, but more as an irritating confusion. I largely suspect that too much was made of technique, rather than telling the story per se. One bravely fights off sleepiness so as to reach the end credits, but by then one has decided that the film is somewhat a let-down, following on as it does from the above-mentioned great cinematographic works. As in 'El Color de las Nubes', Peracaula's photography is very good.
Carmelo Gómez heads a cast which carry out their roles pretty well, though I could not help feeling I might have replaced the Italian actress Claudia Gerini (who had to be dubbed into Spanish, anyway!).
Disappointing, and unnecessarily long. Barely above 6 out of 10