Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: David Reynoso, Fabiola Falcón, Lucha Villa, Pancho Córdova, Eric del Castillo
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
When Mama Santos declares, "Something bad is going to happen," it becomes a bad omen and a self-fulfilling prophecy, rather than a mere statement. Her provincial little town quickly transforms from a close-knit village to ... more »
Probably the most interesting Garcia Marquez story on film
Juan Meyer | 12/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The world of Gabriel Garcia Marquez has rarely translated succesfully on screen. What is seductive and mysterious on the page often falls flat (like Arturo Ripstein's adaptation of "El Coronel no tiene Quien le Escriba") or worse, becomes ridiculous, like the atrocious "Edipo Alcalde" from Jorge Ali Triana.
That's not the case with this movie, an original story Garcia Marquez cowrote with director Luis Alcoriza in the Seventies, which has been recently been made available in the US (but not in Mexico).
Although some find the film ponderous, the story moves seamlessly and ironically to its fatalistic, surreally comic, bleak ending.
Chaos, violence, rape and even murder are unleashed by a (stupidly? accurate?) ominous prediction by Mama Santos, the gargoyle like ancient midwife of the town (played by the great Anita Blanch. She predicts that "Something terrible is going to happen in the town", and it actually happens.
If the film were just an indictment of superstition and its consequences, it would be just one more in an endless list of similar films. However, as presented by Garcia Marquez and Alcoriza, the question remains vague, but open: is it just Mama Santos creating chaos or paranoia, or was the town actually doomed? The initial image of a white horse wandering lonely in the outskirsts of town is haunting, as are many of the scenes of the film.
It is the mix of the magical, the bizarre and the political which make "Presagio" one of the best (and most underrated) Mexican movies of the 70s. A small girl throwing rats in the river; the town outcast raping a drunken, asleep spinster; a desperate (and always hungry) priest who can not contain the barbaric forces at work; a man shooting his beloved mule in the head... and Mama Santos, empress like, being taken out of town, with her very lady like umbrella.
Definitely worth a view, with the added bonus of parading one of the best casts of any Mexican films in the 70s, including some of the country's greatest stars, very effectively used by Alcoriza: David Reynoso, Lucha Villa, Amparo Rivelles, Gloria Marin, Carmen Montejo, Aaron Hernan, Enrique Lucero, Raquel Olmedo, Jose Galvez, Anita Blanch, and Pancho Cordova, among many others.