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Amantes (Lovers)
     

Amantes (Lovers)

Director: Vicente Aranda,

Cast: Vicente Aranda, Victoria Abril, Jorge Sanz, Maribel Verdú

 
Vicente Aranda's Lovers is set in Spain, mostly in Madrid, during the 1950s. The story line is reminiscent of Theodore Dreiser's classic An American Tragedy (which was filmed as A Place in the Sun), wherein a passive, amoral, and shallow protagonist inadvertently destroys the lives of two women who love him. The handsome Paco (Jorge Sanz, who also

Overview

Vicente Aranda's Lovers is set in Spain, mostly in Madrid, during the 1950s. The story line is reminiscent of Theodore Dreiser's classic An American Tragedy (which was filmed as A Place in the Sun), wherein a passive, amoral, and shallow protagonist inadvertently destroys the lives of two women who love him. The handsome Paco (Jorge Sanz, who also starred in Belle Epoque and has been called "the Spanish Tom Cruise") is a young soldier involved with a virginal maid, Trini (Maribel Verdu of Y Tu Mama Tambien). Trini is saving her money and planning for their wedding, but Paco tells her not to worry, that he will find a job and save money for them. Paco leaves the army, but has trouble finding and keeping a steady job. He ends up renting a cheap room from Luisa (Spanish superstar Victoria Abril, best known for her work in Pedro Almodovar's films), a beautiful and mysterious widow. Before long, Luisa has seduced the sexually frustrated Paco, and involved him in her moneymaking scams. Trini quickly figures out what is going on, and makes a desperate effort to win back Paco's affection. Paco is obsessed with the sexually experienced and voracious older woman, but is unable to break off his long-term relationship with Trini. He attempts to string them both along, with disastrous results. The film was the first of veteran filmmaker Aranda to get a theatrical release in the United States, thanks largely to Abril's star power, and caused a minor sensation with its sexual explicitness, in particular the infamous "handkerchief scene."

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Lovers is a sumptuously made romantic melodrama from Spanish director Vicente Aranda. The rich, warm images of brilliant cinematographer Jose Luis Alcaine (who also shot Pedro Almodóvar's visually vibrant Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and John Malkovich's The Dancer Upstairs) and the darkly sweeping score by José Nieto give the film a classic feel. Lovers could almost be a product of the time it depicts (1950s), but for its frank eroticism. In its brilliantly conceived sex scenes, Aranda captures the beauty of his lead actors, Jorge Sanz and the great Victoria Abril, and compellingly documents their sexual obsession. Abril deserves special mention for her performance. From her first moment on the screen, she radiates throaty sensuousness and dark mystery. Luisa is introduced with a mouthful of candy, and draped with Christmas tinsel, almost as though she were a gift to the sexually frustrated Paco (Sanz). Aranda thus sets up his central conflict with precision and power. Paco's languorous approach to his relationships with Luisa and Trini (Maribel Verdú) is lamentable, but it's also very believable. After the virginal Trini offers herself up to Paco, her physical behavior with him (caressing his naked flank with her mouth, moving up to his ear) echoes Luisa's, but it's clear to the audience how Luisa maintains the sexual power over him. Without excusing these characters' faults, Aranda manages to subtly suggest the societal forces (fascist repression, religion, sexism, class differences) that limit their options, and skew their view of the world. Lovers is a masterful and rewarding work from a talented filmmaker whose ouvre is sadly underseen in the U.S.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/20/2011
UPC:
0681116102224
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
NR
Source:
Bayview Films
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
15,424

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Victoria Abril Luisa
Jorge Sanz Paco
Maribel Verdú Trini
Gabriel Latorre Gordo
Saturnino Garcia Man from village
Ricard Borras Man in the bar
Lucas Martin Javier
Fernando Hernandez Man in stamp's shop
Maria Martin Girl in the village
Alicia Agut Trini's mother

Technical Credits
Vicente Aranda Director,Screenwriter
Reyes Abades Special Effects
Jose Luis Alcaine Cinematographer
Alvaro del Amo Screenwriter
Nereida Bonmati Costumes/Costume Designer
Pedro Costa Producer
Margarita Fernandez Asst. Director
Teresa Font Editor
Carlos Perez Merinero Screenwriter
José Nieto Score Composer
Gregorio Ros Makeup
Josep Rosell Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Amantes
2. Room for Rent [5:44]
3. Would You Like a Sweet? [8:05]
4. No News Of Paco [6:29]
5. I'm Yours [4:07]
6. Christmas Eve Dinner [9:00]
7. A Casual Encounter [4:18]
8. I Can Too [12:34]
9. Honeymoon [10:18]
10. Why Don't You Kill Her? [9:14]
11. Toast To The Newlyweds [7:57]
12. Blood In The Snow [15:41]
13. I Did It [2:10]

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