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Archive for May 24th, 2013

The Nest a

by Allan Fish

(Spain 1980 103m) not on DVD

Aka. El Nido

More than a holy fool

d/w  Jaime de Armiñán  ph  Teo Escamilla  ed  José Luiz Matesanz  m  Alejandro Masso  art  Jean-Claude Hoerner

Héctor Alterio (Don Alejandro), Ana Torrent (Goyita), Luis Politti (Don Eladio), Agustin González (sergeant), Patricia Adriani (Marisa), Maria Luisa Ponte (Amparo), Mercedes Alonso (Mercedes), Luisa Rodrigo (Gumer), Ovidi Montllor (Manuel),

It’s over thirty years ago now.  I’d only have been nine or ten years old, and was asking a teacher at my primary school – a Catholic one – about Jesus.  I remember her looking at me and asking what did I want to know.  “Well, you know how Jesus went to the temple when he was about twelve years old…” I muttered.  She nodded.  “And then we next see him appearing to be baptised by John the Baptist when he was thirty.”  Again she nodded.  “Where did he go all that time in between?”  She just looked puzzled and smiled before saying “you don’t need to worry about that.”  You know, the standard religious response to a question they have no answer to, that if we don’t know it can’t be important.  I could hardly blame her.

The thought comes back to me twofold as I write about Jaime de Armiñán’s The Nest.  No national cinema – or at least no language in cinema – has been as associated with religion and its foibles as Spanish.  But the main jogger of that particular memory was of its young star Ana Torrent.  We all remember her, that fresh-faced, soulful six year old in The Spirit of the Beehive, and many will recall her two years later in Saura’s Cria Cuervos.  Yet then what?  According to English language sources she effectively dropped from sight until reappearing at 25 in Medem’s Vacas(more…)

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