Carlos Saura Cesar Santos Fontenla - Essay

Cesar Santos Fontenla

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

If, in a way, Cría cuervos was the culmination of the line taken by Saura in Peppermint frappé, and Elisa, vida mía constituted a kind of questioning on the author's part of his own work and personality, Los ojos vendados indicates a new point of departure. Saura, still true to himself but having exorcised his ghosts, freed from the need to resort to a symbolism that to some seemed excessively obvious and to others unduly cryptic, confronts in a spirit of inquiry the problems of post-Franco Spain through characters who throw themselves desperately into the search for their own identity. Torture, "white terrorism," the struggle to find a reason for living—or dying—and to pass from the condition of spectator to that of participant are, among others, the themes Saura lays on the table, in a game at once relentless and tender, in which "theatre" in its strictest sense and the "theatre" in which the characters indulge when they lie to themselves and to others, is a decisive factor….

[Between the] beginning and end there is a story of love and re-encounter with an "ego" that is multiple and assumed in different degrees. There is also a great deal of autobiography, self-criticism and self-quotation, all done with clarity. A personal and a political film, Los ojos vendados is perhaps the first work in which Saura looks firmly not at the past, nor even the present, but at the future, a future which is of today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

Cesar Santos Fontenla, "'Los ojos vendados' ('Blindfold')," in International Film Guide 1979, edited by Peter Cowie (copyright © 1978 by Thomas Yoseloff Ltd.), The Tantivy Press, 1979, p. 294.