All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
In Madrid, the orphan sisters Irene, Ana and Maite are raised by their austere aunt Paulina together with their mute and crippled grandmother after the death of their mother and their military father Anselmo. Ana is a melancholic girl, fascinated by death, after seeing her mother having a painful death and her father dead in bed.
A brutally depressing companion to The Spirit of the Beehive, Cria cuervos also follows a young girl confronted with death and how she responds to it. Here, director Carlos Saura opts for a modern, urban setting - less fantastical than Erice's masterwork, but much more confrontational in its issues. Saura gets dangerously close to feeling exploitative in the situations he puts little Ana in; literally, as the girl finds herself in the middle of remembered and imagined versions of her parents squabbling together, dying, and comforting her in ways they'll never be again in the world of the living. Imagine a film where Bambi keeps hearing that fated gunshot every five minutes, and what that would do to its outlook…
Carlos Saura’s Cria Cuervos is an enigmatic and sombre drama about a child and country in transition. Made whilst General Franco lay on his deathbed it is a film haunted by Spain’s recent past and the legacy of fascism as the real world politics echo throughout the story. It is essentially a coming-of-age story about Ana, a melancholic eight-year old mourning the death of her parents. Her aunt and ill grandmother move into the family home but Ana seems incapable of letting go of the past.
Saura explores his country’s recent history through the eyes of a child. Cria Cuervos - translated as Raise Ravens and based on the Spanish proverb, raise ravens and they’ll pluck out your eyes -…
Carlos Saura has crafted the perfect cure for insomnia.
Have you noticed that Geraldine Chaplin has her father's smile? That's not necessarily a compliment, by the way. It's the kind of smile where it looks like her teeth are trying to escape from her face.
I've always been struck by Ms. Chapin—in the qualitatively neutral sense of being stricken. She's a good actress, for sure—and she can act in English, French, and Spanish—which is quite a feat when you consider that many popular actors today can't even act in one language. But there's something about her... isn't there? Her gaunt face seems to bring a certain severity to her performances. Even her turn as the indomitable BBC reporter in Altman's Nashville suggests the madness (just) beneath the surface.
Cria Cuervos is the kind of film I instinctively respond to. It's an evocative exploration of the dark side of childhood through the eyes of a young girl who has seen too much death, Ana.
The camera pans over from Ana as a young girl to her older self (Geraldine Chaplin in one of her two roles). She explains the uncertainty of childhood and how perhaps it's not such an objectively great portion of life. This is one of the many moments where the somberness of the film is so fluidly transitioned into. Director Carlos Saura introduces deceased characters into a scene with an elegant lack of emphasis. And what this does for the viewer is to face the vast…
Released in the wake of Franco's death, Cría Cuervos takes its title from the Spanish maxim “Raise ravens, and they’ll pluck out your eyes” and cemented Carlos Saura’s reputation as the pre-eminent Spanish director of his time. Wondering how long fascism might be expected to linger in the deepest pools and darkest corners of Spanish middle class life, Saura’s screenplay focuses on a young girl, played by Ana Torrent, who murders her father, a wealthy patriarch and senior military officer who flourished under Franco’s patronage, because she believes that his philanderings precipitated her mother’s fatal illness and death a few years before. Once both her parents have died, she remains in their family home with her sisters, maid, aunt and…
yung saint ana torrent
Another masterpiece, Cría Cuervos is undoubtedly one of those films every cinema buff should see at least once.
Ana Torrent really delivers, specially considering she was 9 years old when this movie came out, I truly consider her one of the best child-actors to grace the screen. She plays a child character that can feel really dark emotions, to the point of wanting to kill her aunt, as a childish reaction to death. Her aunt is not a substitute to her dead parents, but it seems she does all that is within her power to act as a parental figure.
I consider this to be somewhat of a spiritual successor to The Spirit of the Beehive, another Spanish film that shares the same actress, Ana, and deals with similar themes. Though, I find Cria Cuervos to be ultimately better executed.
On an unrelated note I really like the theme song "¿Por Qué te Vas?".
Saura works carefully here, telling a simple story with such elusiveness that you end up convinced that there must be more to it than meets the eye. Without much overt incident, he constructs an almost mythical world, filled with meanings and motivations that are beyond the young protagonist, and, like a master, he keeps his own interpretations just outside of our reach too. The net effect is a sensual reimmersion in childhood that simultaneously makes us aware of the shortcomings inherent in any interpretation. Haunting.
Saura's film, which blurs reality and fantasy, is hindered by a flashback plot device. It works 100% for 90% of the film, when it is commited to the present life of child Ana, haunted by her past and resentful of her present. Saura has a fantastic understanding of child actors.
An absolutely eerie yet mesmerizing drama from Carlos Saura about a young girl coping with the death of her mother as she deals with the new changes in her family as it features a haunting performance from Ana Torrent as the young girl and Geraldine Chaplin in a dual performance as the girl's mother and the older version of the protagonist.
Gently heartbreaking and tenderly unsparing, if that makes any sense. Saura’s conception of childhood as “an interminably long, sad time, filled with fear” is radical enough, but that Ana, as the older, wiser narrator, recognizes that every memory can’t be a sad one, that in fact the happy and sad memories are inextricably twined, makes the film artistic. The childhood games are emblematic: frivolous on the surface, with a deep melancholy pooled just beneath. Playing dress-up leads to a reenactment of parental quarrels imprinted on the girls’ minds; playing hide-and-seek leads to Ana’s striking dead her sisters, only to raise them Lazarus-like, acting as her own God. She’s “still too young to realize how serious certain things are,” which is…
I've heard many describe Carlos Saura's Cria Cuervos as a heavy tearjerker but to be perfectly honest, I didn't find myself crying first time I got the chance to watch the film. Upon a revisit, I still didn't find that much of an improvement. Even with that said, there's a lot that I can still admire about the movie. The child, Ana Torrent, for one, is absolutely amazing inside of her role. I'll admit, I was incredibly touched by her performance in here, as I was already impressed with her prior in Victor Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive. The subject is an incredibly touching one, and it makes a perfect allegory, too. What I didn't like is how I…
The film does a remarkable job telling a mature, melancholic story from a child’s vantage point while never stooping to childlike simplification. This is Ana’s story and she tells it as a young girl and from the perspective of distance as an adult reflecting on those difficult memories. Carlos Saura has a delicate directing touch with the child actors, particularly with young Ana Torrent who shows the grace and maturity of someone three times her age. The pain and sorrow in her expressive eyes feels just as real as her innocence; it’s perhaps the finest child acting performance ever put on film.
Oh, ana torrent. What big eyes you have...
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…