Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Leonor Watling, Luis Tosar, Àlex Brendemühl, Mercedes Sampietro, Núria Prims
Director: Joaquín Oristrell
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Mystery & Suspense
This whimsical period comedy questions all taboos. Called a ?delightful bedroom farce in the spirit of early Pedro Almodovar?, this Freudian who-dunnit won Best Comedy at the HBO Comedy Festival and was nominated for the G... more »
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Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 07/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Spanish movie `Unconscious' has a vintage screwball appeal that hits you instantly from the beginning. At the start we are given a narrated newsreel that transports us to news of the turn of the century. We go through newly invented crossword puzzles, the drug ecstasy, and bras. Soon we're firmly planted in Barcelona, Spain in that same era and are taken to the new world of psychoanalysis.
We first come upon the household of Dr. Leon (Alex Brendemuhl), a psychiatrist, who has been missing for days. He is especially missed by his pregnant wife, Alma (Leonor Watling), and his sister, Olivia. Taking a book he has written on the clinical study he has done on four hysterical women, both of them work with Olivia's husband, Salvatore (Luis Tosar), to find clues to where he's vanished. Hijinks quickly develops as their investigation sends them to a brothel and a hotel for a transvestite ball. Aside from the main plot, Olivia's father, is a wealthy patron, one that Salvatore finds difficult to impress and makes Olivia's psychological idiosyncrasies surface with his mere presence.
All the characters have psychological quirks that manifest themselves in odd ways. Their behavior is so compulsive. Several times Olivia bursts into Salvatore's gymnasium in the old days when they emulated the Greeks and men exercised naked. In one scene, Olivia becomes tense and shouts she has hysterical paralysis, but Salvatore objects that hysterical paralysis has no physical symptoms. "I am hysterical and I am paralyzed!" she shrieks. The comedic pace is great in this fun little film. Supplementing the humor is Olivia's housekeeper, Lee Mingarow, who's a wisecracking alcoholic who won't surrender her key to the liquor cabinet.
`Unconscious' plays homage to the birth of psychoanalysis even as it pokes fun at it. In the extras, aptly titled "Analysis," American psychologist, Dr. Shafranske gives a warm but heartfelt diagnosis of the finer points in the movie we hardly knew to take seriously at all. Although rated R for all the "taboo" material, 'Unconscious' surely draws from the past by giving us a comedy with the look and feel of films some of us can remember, only they're on the tip of our tongue."
A Classy Little Art Nouveau Look at Turn of the Century Beha
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"UNCONSCIOUS (Inconscientes) is a stylish little Spanish film from the minds of writers Dominic Harari and Joaquín Oristrell, a tongue in cheek look at the influence of Sigmund Freud on social behavior at the fin de siecle in Spain. Not only is the story highly entertaining as a comedy, the production values and creative direction by Joaquín Oristrell make this a must-see for lovers of European art films.
The story is a bit convoluted, but then the title suggests that in the first place! If there is a line of continuity it is the effect of Freud as the one who peeped into the privacy of our lives and the strange findings he discovered. Very pregnant Alma (the always beguiling Leonor Watling) is missing her psychiatrist husband and engages the aid of her brother-in-law Salvador (Luis Tosar) to find him. Alma's sister Olivia (Núria Prims) suspects a tryst between Alma and Salvador, adding a bit more mystery to the story. The discoveries made about each of the highly assorted groups of players in the drama are made in the oddest of places - a men's steam room/gym, a transvestite ball (in which many of the characters' form the outside world are found to have very special needs!), and in places throughout the picturesque Barcelona. There is no particular resolution to this quasi-plot: the joy is in the telling of the story, and that is a total pleasure to watch.
The very large cast is uniformly exceptional and the creative aspects of the shifting of the various components of this storybook tale are as fine as have been seen in recent cinema. This is comedy bordering on but not becoming slapstick and it is served up delectably! In Spanish and German with English subtitles. Grady Harp, November 07
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 02/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Now being shown on Here TV is "Unconscious" an excellent comedy/mystery---a tongue in cheek look at how Sigmund Freud influenced class behavior at the end of the century in Spain. Even with is convoluted storyline, it is great fun to watch. We see Freud as a man who peeked in our private lives and find out what he discovered. Alma (Leonor Watling), the very pregnant female lead pines over her absent psychiatrist husband and gets her brother-in-law, Salvador (Luis Tosar) to help her find him. Olivia (Nuria Prims). Alma's sister, suspects that there is something romantic happening between Alma and Salvador, thereby adding a little more intrigue to the story and different and assorted happenings make this movie a lot of fun. Some of the happenings occur in some very strange places--a transvestite ball, the sauna at a men's gym and other sites in Barcelona. Not much is resolved but the happenings are a joy to watch. In the flavor of Sherlock Holmes, there is hypnosis, love, danger and every kind of taboo known to man.
The character of Alma is the best developed of the cast which is quite large. Her comedic moments are wonderful. It is a rarity to find a film, these days that is so highly balanced and still intelligent and entertaining. "Unconscious" is simply hilarious as a costume sexual comedy even if the humor sometimes borders on the gross.
Barcelona is 1913 was very "art deco" verging on modernism and director Joaquin Oristrell captures this beautifully by using palaces and ornate rooms as sets. The dialog is amazingly smart and the use of psychoanalysis as a motif and background provides for wonderful comedy. We are able to get a feel for a time period when new theories and thinkers were coming of age as well as a look at conservative Spain's sexual mores in a very clever and comedic way.