Friday, 24 December 2010

FINISTERRAE (SPAIN/2010/SERGIO CABALLERO)

Opening on a sinister static shot of police tape, Finisterrae tells the bittersweet journey of two ghosts who lose their way. Our two protagonists have recently died, and are acclimatising to their new status as ghoulish members of the undead. With one horse between the two, they embark upon a journey along the well-carved pilgrimage route The Way of Saint James. Stops are afforded for ‘practicalities’ such as fishing and keeping warm by a campfire (although it is never explained why the ghosts need either of these). Their journey brings them many surreal moments such as a trip through a forest of speaking trees and an intimate ghostly striptease to an organ piece that wouldn’t be out of place in an early Disney short.

Created by Sergio Caballero for Sonar, the festival he co-directs, Finisterrae was originally shown in episodes but was later released in cinemas in its entirety. Though one is meant to expect a certain stoicism from the themes, the film is not without its own sense of humour, although most of this is derived from breaking the sombre tension that dominates. There’s an eclectic soundtrack at work here, including Nico and Suicide (this was made for a music festival, after all), but often it adds nothing to the story or the characters. Stunningly shot by photographer Eduard Grau on a range of stunning locations, the film is hard to resist visually, and could almost be the colourful cousin to Albert Serra’s Birdsong. A peculiar but amusing journey.





1 comment:

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