Nobody knows Anybody (1999)

“Nadie conoce a nadie” (1999)

IMDb

Sevilla is worth more

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.

It 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)

This comment on IMDb

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