LA CRIPTA DE LAS CONDENADAS
“Bless you, tremulous, throbbing flesh” a female narrator intones over a sensual interlude between several women in a room flushed with orange light. Yes, we are in the realm of Jess Franco and this is just one interlude in a two part 150 minute epic poem of joyous, mysterious, interactive, nonstop sensuality and erotic sensation. One doesn’t want to call it Sex, at least not of the traditional sort. It’s more a display of erotic signs and motifs in the cinema.
A nude actress points a video camera at the camera shooting the scene, breaking through the “fourth wall” of cinema. The group of Sapphic lovers often look at the camera. the viewer, who becomes part of the “action” or matrix of figures pleasuring each other in a no-budget labyrinth of mirrors, wicker chairs and television monitors on which the encounters are caught from other angles. There is no comfortable plane of focus. The women seem to be moving in slow motion, or staggered motion. The image sometimes momentarily freezes. Sometimes we see the photographer of the film/film within the film and what she is shooting in the same set up
The interior is obviously someone’s apartment in Malaga, but it represents a crypt of our Lesbos lovers obsessively and with obvious joy loving each other in lieu of the Exterminating Angel (Bunuel’s?) who will arrive for the judgement which makes up LA CRIPTA DE LAS CONDENADAS II. It’s all illustrated by the music of Bach, Hindemith, Ravel and Stan Kenton. Additional music by, of course, Daniel J. White. Originally scored and edited as films made in 2007 and screened at the 2008 Cinematheque Francais Jess Franco retrospective under the title A BAD DAY AT THE CEMETERY aka LA CRIPTA De las mujeres malditas, an earlier two part version with somewhat different music and editing. It should be noted that this experimental epic, which uses the Erotic Cinema format as an end to it means, is as obsessively personal and unapologetically expansive as the cinema of Jack Smith (Flaming Creatures), more New York Underground than Los Angeles porn. A totally immersive experience which imposes alternate spatial-temporal coordinates on the viewer. There is no There there…
Now available on 2 DVDs with English, French, Italian and German subtitle options. Bonus features include a Jess Franco interview, 3 short films including Lina Romay tras la camara and more. PAL, will play ALL REGIONS. Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1/Audio DD 2.0 Spanish. From VIAL OF DELICATESSENS. http://www.vialofdelicatessens.blogspot.com.es
(C) Robert Monell 2015