Julio Medem doesn't direct his films so much as weave them: images, characters, criss-crossing stories, and recurring motifs intertwine, blur, and transform through time. Tierra begins in the heavens and plummets to Earth... more », the camera rushing through space down to the red dust of a remote wine-growing region in Spain. Ángel (Carmelo Gómez) attempts to find grounding in his work (he's been hired to fumigate the area, which has been infested by wood lice) but finds his wandering soul torn in two directions. Initially attracted to the lovely, lonely, ethereal Ángela (Emma Suárez), he finds himself drawn against his better nature--in the form of a guardian angel, a phantom double that watches over him like an aggressive but well-meaning conscience--to the earthy, passionate, impulsive Mari (Silke). Medem sets his tale of love and lust amidst the stunning, austere landscape of fiery red hills, a world both primal and alien (dressed in white protective suits, the fumigators look like astronauts on Mars). Like his earlier film The Red Squirrel (which also starred Gómez and Suárez), Medem winds multiple stories together with natural history and philosophical musings until it all melts together in a lovely and unexpected conclusion. Medem crafts an equally dense story in his acclaimed follow-up film, The Lovers of the Arctic Circle, but where that film leapt into the emotional world of tragic melodrama, Tierra transforms "wrong" choices into revealing insights about the beautiful contradictions of human nature. --Sean Axmaker« less
"For those that like Medem's work, Tierra is an interesting movie. It is not his greatest movie, but it is an interesting psichological and visual endeavour. His particular visual style (particularily noticeable in Ardilla Roja) begins to show in this movie. Unfortunately, not because of the movie itself (which you might like or dislike depending on wheter you can get in touch with Medem's altered reality), but because of the DVD transfer, this is not a good DVD buy. The transfer is lousy, subtitles are burnt on the image. Being a letterbox transfer, it would make perfect sense to position subtitles on the black bars, and for those of us who can listen to movies in their original language, the option to turn it off. This type of lousy pack-n-go arthouse DVDs, be it from Spain, France or Italy is undeniably cheap and unacceptable."
Great example of an original director
Vijay Ramani | 05/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Juilo Medem is one of Spain's (and the world's) most original directors. From Vacas, his first film, through La Ardilla Roja (2nd), Tierra, and his most recent, Lovers of the Arctic Circle, he has exhibited some of the most interesting images and subjects to be viewed in film today. The only other director in recent years to compare him with is the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. Tierra is a tone poem touching love, life, death, and choices. A remarkable effort with convincing portrayals by Suarez, Gomez, and Silke. The DVD is strongly recommended."
There are Movies and then there is This
Vijay Ramani | Singapore | 04/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in the SIFF a few years ago. And I have been priveleged enough to have seen two other movies by the same Director. (The two mentioned in the review by Amazon).But this one really has the 'biggest' view of them all. I notice that mentioning movies for their cinematography has entered the 'general' dialogue. And nothing has beaten the views that this film offered me since. I will declare without hesitance that this is my favorite movie of all time.The actors (Emma Suarez and Gomez) are usual Medem fixtures and play their roles very convincingly. There is a tragedy and mis-understandings. Lost Loves, longings and above all the lead character called Angel (who really is an angel in part) who somehow must bring all the disparate ends together to achieve some sort of calm. The setting for the movie is a broad vista in the Spanish Countryside which is lovingly filmed (because of a much bigger budget available to Medem compared to his other projects).Overall Unforgettable."
More than fumigation going on
Enrique Torres | San Diegotitlan, Califas | 01/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fascinating tale that addresses metaphsical questions with human nature and all it's conflicts. The scenery is stark and at times otherworldly, quite possibly the intent of the director to illustrate the nature of conflicts between this world and the unknown. Beautiful story about a man who comes to eradicate a pesky little critter who is giving the vineyards wine a "earthy" taste. He hires some gipsy's to help him fumigate but in the process becomes involved with two women of distinct characteristics. The conflicts exist throughout the movie for the leadin male chacter, Angel, and he must choose his path and destiny while bearing in mind his original mission and purpose, to get rid of the insect that has infested the vineyards. Very good movie that is a bit out there at times but the questions raised by the director are legitimate and worth contemplating. The dialogue is fast at times and if you need to read the sub titles they disappear fast. Put on your thinking cap and try this good example of Spanish cinema."
Interesting Spanish Cinema
JayCoolbreeze2 | Lawton, OK | 08/17/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Angel (Carmelo Gomez) is hired to fumigate a small town vin yard from a plague of wood lice. Upon arriving he encounters a dying man, which represents an underlying metaphysical theme of Earth. Shortly thereafter Angel is introduced to the various townspeople. Most notably are Angela, the neglected housewife, and Mari, a cliche lolita who describes herself as "an oversexed girl". Angel, in conflict with a split personality, becomes torn between his desire for Angela and lust for Mari. Tierra, (Earth) directed by Spanish film maker Julio Medem, is arguably intrigueing. The first thirty minutes of Tierra are impressive and interesting. Even more interesting is the relationship between Angel and Angela and her father. Unfortunately the film drifts away from the unexpected and at times becomes tedious. The metaphysical theme fails to ever fully develop positively and neither do the characters, who too often seem detached from themselves or reality. Tierra is a good effort by Julio Medem and actor Carmelo Gomez but unfortunately falls short of being a great film. However it is both watchable and enjoyable and I would recomend viewing it at least once. In addtion to 'Tierra' I recomend seeing 'Abre Los Ojos'(Open Your Eyes) and 'Tesis'(Thesis)."