The film begins with the image of a newborn asleep who is bleeding, and and we hear the inevitable cockcrowing. Erice already used this way to start his film "The South" for the same purpose: tell us dawn and we're in the field. (Erice is often very repetitive in their basic images).
The title could not be more realistic "Alumbramiento" which means to light but what is most lacking in the film. "Childbirth" is the result of the request made by the producer Wim Wenders several prominent directors by putting only two conditions: that lasted ten minutes and a clock to appear to be part of a movie called "Ten minutes older, the trumpet."
Erice, after his two feature films "The Spirit of the Beehive" (1973) and "The south" (1983) and the documentary of the painter Antonio Lopez "The Quince Tree Sun" (1992), has directed only short films that form part of collective films, as we discussed.
In the short duration movie slow or static images appear: the mother asleep without knowing your baby is bleeding, the sewing grandmother, a medieval woman flour knead, a Virgin, a child playing painted a clock on your skin enhanced with a magnifying glass, a girl with dead feet on a swing, old photos of Cuba, four children screaming in a car (which are the only ones who speak throughout the film to utter irrelevance), an black cat, newspaper with Nazis ... The magic we expect to see emerge from the images in this galery of photo fades into the sordid past. Should we think that this is the representation of the Spain postwar?
You could find hundreds of hidden meanings or anachronistic symbolism in ten minutes having the tape, starting with the huge clock that Erice, obedient to the producer, positioned so pervasive in their photographic display, or scarecrow soldier's helmet from a recent war, or is that just the medieval woman kneading the bread of the darkest chapters in Spain history, saving from death the baby (Spain or the whole of humanity?) by sewing his navel.
The art is to create new insights into the reality of the human condition, the raw exposure image says nothing or says what you want to find. Childbirth is an enigmatic short film that is closer to the techniques of medical ultrasound diagnosis of what we mean by cinema. Is it worth sordid add images to the world having so much darkness in life itself? Does not art serves rather to free us?
Should we interpret as a metaphorical message in a film metalanguage? When art is explained ceases to be art and all the more if the author is trying to leave the tracks on the "message" of his work. This is what makes Erice crudely in the short "Childbirth".
Erice belongs to the directors of twilight, obscurantist, almost monastic, of the spanish cinema, which cling to the past are immersed in the curiosity of hispanic "acalofilia" leaving no room for beauty or illusion of life. He is not the only producer in that path, recently have been followed by Paul Berger, Julio Medem, Felix Viscarret, Jaime Rosales ... which gives the impression to do black and white movies to be screened in cinemas seedy old neighborhood that many of us would like to forget. They form a group of directors that affect the clichés, disguising the lack of imagination with a false and contrived originality, but for historical reasons has enjoy great popularity.
Leopoldo de Trazegnies Granda
Director: Víctor Erice
Duración: 10 min
MORE CRITICS OF THE VÍCTOR ERICE MOVIES :
"Convergencias y divergencias entre la novela y la película" por Marcos Díaz Martín (Revista Fotocinema. Rev. científica de cine y fotografía). (pdf)
CRÍTICAS DE EL ESPIRITU DE LA COLMENA DE VÍCTOR ERICE:
"Neorrealismo tardío" por Leopoldo de Trazegnies Granda (Rev. digital Fila 4 pasillo). "El enigma del artista adolescente por F. J. Sánchez-Cuesta (Diario de Mallorca, Año 2003).
CRÍTICA DE ALUMBRAMIENTO DE VÍCTOR ERICE:
"La España crepuscular" por Leopoldo de Trazegnies Granda (Rev. digital Fila 4 pasillo).