Deprisa, deprisa (1981)
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- 99 min.
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Deprisa, Deprisa, from Spanish director Carlos Saura (Cría Cuervos), to me is encapsulated in the image of two young lovers walking hand in hand through a field of garbage. We follow Angela, who has fallen in with her boyfriend's band of robbers, something they treat as a bit of a lark, the title (Faster, Faster) both something they shout at scared bank tellers, and a way of life. Live fast, die young, untouched by conventional morality. When life gives you lemons, rob a bank and give the police the finger. It's a simple story, but as can be expected from Saura, beautifully shot, with a real sense of place (the ugliest possible take on Madrid, and yet kind of picturesque in its way), and drawing some extremely natural performances from his cast of non-actors. There's a mystique around this film, as the robbers were apparently played by heroin addicts allegedly paid with drugs. Valdelomar who played Pablo in fact later died from an overdose after robbing a bank, though rumors of others actors' similar demise appears to be unfounded. So naturalistic is right, they're playing echoes of themselves - which truth be told only makes the story more poignant - but they're so unself-conscious, they look like proper actors. Not just proper, GOOD actors. Berta Socuellamos as Angela is a particularly strong screen presence. Extra points for a great Spanish soundtrack (I blamed Cría Cuervos for giving me an ear worm, but this is gonna put even more songs in my rotation).
With a strong rise of juvenile crime in late 70s Spain and an ongoing change of society towards consumerism, Saura cast real life delinquents, bank robbers and heroin addicts for this stylish film (I imagine Tarantino likes it), using the desolate, polluted outskirts of Madrid as a backdrop. Especially cool is the heavy use of music and the subsequent silence which is used effectively near the end. Along the lines of early Japanese New Wave movies (like Naked Youth) some 20 years earlier. Rather weird that a strong female lead character is supplemented with another girl who doesn't say anything during the movie.
Further reading: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f395/113e45f93723cb8f0a5dcfc83c11548df28c.pdf
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #33 in Berlin International Film Festival - Golden Bear
This movie ranks #96 in Nickel Odeón's Best Spanish Films