Movie News

Fantastic Fest 2010: Capone gets weepy just thinking about how much he loves Spain's AGNOSIA!!!

Published at: Sept. 28, 2010, 9:04 p.m. CST

Hey everyone. Capone in Austin here. It seems the mission statement for choosing films at Fantastic Fest is that when the chosen film is completed, the audience should simply go "Wow!" With 95 percent of the films I've seen here, the Wow comes from explosive or creative violence, action, visual gymnastics, or weirdness. But every so often, a film like Spain's AGNOSIA comes along that earns its reaction from simply being gorgeous and moving and featuring fully realized, stellar narrative. Set at the turn of the last century, the film opens with a meeting between Spanish telescopic lens designers and German weapons makers who are there to see the latest in rifle scope technology. And the sequence ends with a little girl collapsing and her Prince Charming helping her to her feet as her eyes begin to fail her. We jump ahead many years, and it turns out the girl, Joana (Bárbara Goenaga), is suffering from a rare neuropsychological disease called Agnosia which eliminates the filters from her eyes to her brain letting in every stimulus and making it nearly impossible for her to trust her vision. Her entire castle-like home that she shares with her father caters to her special needs, and Joana's hero from her childhood is Carles (the Spanish superstar Eduardo Noriega) is not her husband to be as well as her father's business partner. It turns out that the telescopic lens on display in the earliest scene was broken when Joana fell, and her father decided never to release the formula to recreate the lens. But a competing manufacturer run by Prevert (Martina Gedeck) designs an elaborate scheme to get the formula that will take advantage of Joana disability and her desire to be cured of it. A doctor on the take says the only way to cure Joana is to leave her in a room with no sensory stimuli--sound proofed, almost no light, and no contact with the outside world for three days. At this point, Vincen (Felix Gomez), a former servant in Joana's household is hired to take get a makeover that makes him look and sound just like Carles and sneak into her isolated room to seduce the formula out of her. Turns out Vincen has always been in love with Joana and makes himself into a version of Carles that the original one was, nearly forgetting what his mission is. When I first saw the room where Joana is sequestered, I gasped. It's both beautiful and eerie with dark gray curtains and attendants who swoop in and out of the room covered head to toe in the same material, so they are essentially invisible to Joana. But they look like members of a strange medical cult. Screenwriter Antonio Trashorras (THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE) and director Eugenio Mira (THE BIRTHDAY) skillfully manage to make a period film without an overpowering wall of melodrama holding it back. There's a great elegance to Mira's direction, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention the breathtaking work by cinematographer Unax Mendía, who adds just a hint of '60s and '70s Hammer Films creepiness to the proceedings. I fell in love with the look of AGNOSIA. I can't imagine there wasn't a slightly less complicated of getting Joana to give up the formula (assuming she even knows it), but then that wouldn't have been a very interesting movie. I was especially touched by Noriega's performance as a man who has been destined to be with Joana for the rest of his life, despite the fact that anyone asked him what he wanted. He clearly loves Joana, but his distanced demeanor around her makes it clear that he holds a low-level resentment for having his destiny taken out of his hands. For him, there's no bitterness or resentment, just a sadness behind his eyes that tells his story quite clearly. But when my mind travels back to AGNOSIA, I think of the rich visuals, hypnotic score (by the director), and a powerful, utterly unique love triangle with a final act that will strum all of your emotional chords. I've heard the film has a release schedule for pretty much everywhere in the world but the United States, but I can't imagine some classy distributor won't solve that problem any day now. Not that I pay attention to these sort of criteria, but this is the kind of film that gets Oscar nominations and actually deserves them. There are several films I've seen at Fantastic Fest that I dream of showing to readers in the Chicago area, but AGNOSIA is right at the top of my list. I love showing people films that make them cry for all the right reasons. This is a film with devastating power, some of the best performances I've seen all year, and a visual scheme that makes it impossible to even blink. Oh, you'll like this one like it were a member of your family that you love the most. I'm getting weepy just thinking about it...
-- Capone capone@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    we love you CAPONE!

    by theTOKENBLACKTBer

    Youre the greatest contributor here! thanks for having thick skin and actuall review movies! ps: your #1 fan here!

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    You're alright Capone

    by vadakinX

    Unfortunately there's a good chance this and all talkbacks will be hijacked for completely necessary reasons. But before that happens I want to say you're alright. Long Live The Revolution!!

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:25 p.m. CST

    I come to mourn a great Talkbacker: D.Vader

    by ColonelFatheart

    D.Vader was one of the most valuable Talkbackers on this site. He had been here a long time, and he always had something SMART and THOUGHTFUL to contribute to a conversation. Even when he disagreed with you, he did so respectfully, therefore commanding the same respect from you. <p> This place is overrun with trolls and spammers, but D.Vader gets the boot for merely questioning Beaks' arbitrary banning policy? Pardon my French, but what a load of shit. Vader deserved better than that. <p> Goodbye for now, Vader. You are a wise Talkbacker, a helluva Pedalbacker, and a loyal friend. I hope you will be back soon. <p> Beaks, if you have any appreciation for fairness, you will reinstate D.Vader. I call on all of you who laughed or argue with Vades over the years to join me in imploring Beaks to undo his grave error. It is time to fix this, sir.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:26 p.m. CST

    WHERE IS THE D.VADER OBIT?

    by FlickaPoo

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:27 p.m. CST

    And, yes, Capone. You're A-OK.

    by ColonelFatheart

    But can you ask Beaks where the D.Vader obit is?

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:28 p.m. CST

    D.Vader loved Agnosia too, BUT HE CANT TELL YOU THAT

    by vic twenty

    Until he is reinstated.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Truly a sad day.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    D. Vader was a truly a professional, if I could even humbly bestow such a description on anyone. If there was any talkbacker that should have received some sort of special talkback color (you know, not black, but maybe... grey? red? green? anyway), it was D. Vader. May he take pity on us and return to the fold somehow, some day. He really was a guy you could have a respectful talkback with, and that's rare these days.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Where IS the D.Vader obit?

    by ColonelFatheart

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    HI CAPONE, GREAT REVIEW

    by BringingSexyBack

    Hey if you got a minute can you un-ban D.Vader? Thanks, guy.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    BOYCOTT BEAKS!

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    D.Vader was banned by Beaks for no good reason.<BR><BR> &thinsp;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;&zwj;<br>PLEASE BOYCOTT ALL MR. BEAKS ARTICLES! <BR><BR>SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR D.VADER!<BR><BR>DON'T POST ON BEAKS TBs!

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Too bad about D.Vader

    by JackSlater4

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Capone...

    by HansBubi

    ...I know you don't actively read and contribute to the talkbacks as often as some of the other writers at the site, yet I do respect you for not asserting an unreasonable sense of authority in the talkbacks. You "could" ban anyone who says something you don't like, but you don't, from what I can tell. Thanks. Nice review.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Long Live The Revolution!!

    by vadakinX

    Yeah I'm saying it like I want it to become an AICN meme but it's 3:30am where I am and my brain is fried. <p> Unban D.Vader, add an edit button, make it so I don't have to type code to write a new paragraph and most of all assemble a team of moderators for the talkbacks and take banning powers away from contributors. That's all we ask...oh and I'd like a Crystal Pepsi and don't tell me they don't make it anymore.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    And thanks Capone, for still being legit.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    Word.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Le Vicious no

    by vadakinX

    That's not the plan. Yes we have a plan...well I do...and uh some people must be drunk because they seem to approve of my insanity. <p> The plan is to draw attention to it. Everywhere we go on this site, in every new talkback. We talk about it. Be civil and converse on the subject of D.Vader and by extension the problems AICN has had for years. The main conversation of every talkback should be about this.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    I think "D.Vader" should be the new "First"

    by JackSlater4

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Keep asking for the D.Vader obit.

    by ColonelFatheart

    Keep telling the story of how he got banned and the rank hypocrisy of it. <p>Mourn D.Vader publicly and often, and call out Beaks in direct, blunt terms but without insulting him.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    remember the time everyone posted "cool"

    by JackSlater4

    for like the first 17 posts?<P> That was cool.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:02 p.m. CST

    But what about all the "dead space?"

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Jumping on the D.Vader Bandwagon

    by Jazzmaverickjim

    Yeeehaaaaaaaa

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Long live D.Vader! Long live the Revolution!!

    by ColonelFatheart

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST

    BRING BACK DVADER!

    by DA_CHOPPAH

    Do so or you will be CHOPPED.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Who Wants to buy a "Free D.Vader" T-Shirt

    by ChocolateJesusMan

    im selling them for $20 a piece..Capone gets his for Free..Buy 2 or more shirts & get Beaks shitty sense of entitlement for free

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    by Too Tall Smally

    D.Vader is one of the more levelheaded folks on this site. Banning him is a pure dick move. Yeah he did bust some of the writers balls from time to time, but generally a decent guy, in no way a troll. And he actually got to submit a review for "Perfect Getaway" last year. Do the right thing somebody with black box rights and BRING BACK D.VADER.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:30 p.m. CST

    ...seriously

    by Gully_Foyle

    I come to this site for the talkbacks, not the content of the articles, which I can get anywhere. Arbitrary banning of thoughtful and interesting contributors will kill this site.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    Bring back D. Vader! Please.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Holy Shit! Beaks Banned Vader in a Death Post!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Not Cool, Ain't it Cool, Not Cool at all.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Down with Beaks.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Someone should get Travolta to say "Ain't it NOT cool."

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    To avenge the death of D.Vader by the coward Mr. Beaks.

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Reservoir D.Vader

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Pulp D.Vader

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Jackie D.Vader

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Kill D.Vader Vol. 1

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Kill D.Vader Vol. 2

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:58 p.m. CST

    D.Vader Proof

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 28, 2010, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Inglorious D.Vader

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 12:20 a.m. CST

    At least D.Vader will have the time to write that novel.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Beaks should take a hike...

    by Cheeses_of_Nazareth

    in 113 degree heat...<p>Without water...<p>Loser...<p>UnBan D. Vader!!!!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 12:34 a.m. CST

    D. Vader

    by detectivesoap

    I can't concentrate on news when Vader is gone

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Whoa wait a minute...

    by GroolDemon

    I leave for a couple of weeks thanks to taking a new job, I finally get around to catching up on talkbacks, and D.Vader is fucking banned now??? What is happening to this site? Especially over something as silly as questioning a ban law set up, one time only, with no real notice or explanation, within a particular talkback. Damn, Beaks... Kinda overkill don't you think?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 12:56 a.m. CST

    FREE VADER!!!!

    by Cheeses_of_Nazareth

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Hopefully...

    by GroolDemon

    Beaks will search his inner Spock and come to the realization of just hows fucking ILLOGICAL this is.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST

    D. Vader

    by garybuseys_incisors

    Bring him back, please.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Why the fuck is Beaks banning people in the first place?

    by elgato73

    He's a fucking contributor. He doesn't run this site. Unless Knowles made some back alley deal with him and Beaks had to take it up the ass from Knowles to get his banning power.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 2:01 a.m. CST

    looks like DVader and Beaks

    by macheesmo3

    are done "professionally"

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 3:34 a.m. CST

    I love The Birthday

    by CuervoJones

    And Barbara Goeanaga is HOT.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:20 a.m. CST

    D. Vader for President in 2012!

    by Rocco Curioso

    He stands for change. God knows AICN's banning policy can use it.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 5:34 a.m. CST

    what the hell

    by QuietMan297

    Since when did AICN decide it was The Man? Drunk with power, are you, Beaks? (let him read this please) Please consider whatever question it was asked by D.Vader that got him banned to be asked by me. Isn't that what TALKBACK means?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 5:53 a.m. CST

    I'm in: Bring Back D. Vader!!!

    by Das_Butt

    You should never underestimate the power of geeks in large numbers!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Bring back Anakin!!

    by enya_mouf

    um ... I mean D.Vader!! In 3D!!! Beaks is a dick! I'm in! Sign me up for the revolution (will it be televised?)

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:29 a.m. CST

    In Support of D.Vader

    by QuietMan297

    Since when did AICN decide it was The Man? Drunk with power, are you, Beaks? (let him read this please) Please consider whatever question it was asked by D.Vader that got him banned to be asked by me. Isn't that what TALKBACK means?

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST

    D.Vader obit please

    by savagedave

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:33 a.m. CST

    OBEY!!

    by enya_mouf

    All of this shit between Beaks and D.Vader makes the flash animation in the corner even creepier! "OBEY!" said Mr Beaks.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 6:44 a.m. CST

    GETTING AROUND AICN IP BAN..WORKS FOR ME (5 TIMES)

    by AICN_Bans_Are_A_Joke_Heres_How_You_Get_Around_Them

    Its not hard..this site runs web 1.0 from 19fucking98...want to get around AICN IP ban..heres how...In your browser type in 192.168.1.1(if not reset your router) and you will get a username and password prompt. For the username (for most linksys routers) is admin and the password is admin (if not reset your router and if that doesnt work consult your manual). Ok now your in. Please click on MAC Address Clone in the setup tab. Alright now click enable if its not already enabled. Now you can change all the numbers for your mac address! Change all the numbers in the mac address (it may give you errors like out of range, to fix this only use numbers 1-9 and letters a-f) to different things! But before you click save settings i most warn you. You will still have access to your router but your internet will be disabled until you successfully complete the next step! now click Save Settings and wait, It may take awhile. After it says its completed or if the page refreshed click the Status tab. Your IP and mac and everything will be 0.0.0.0 and your internet will be disabled. Next go to your router and unplug it and unplug the modem too! When they are both off wait 1 minute and plug them back in. Wait for them to both get initialized and ready and go back to your computer. Your computer should now be internet connection enabled again with an entirely new ip address...You will need a new email address but if Vader wants to come back...this is how..Ive had 5 user names and been banned 5 times..and to prove it...if i get banned..my next user name will be along the lines of "I_Told_You_So_AICN"

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Whats With This Site

    by benlinus

    I dont post a lot, but Ive been reading this site and the TB's for gezz it seems like YEARS and YEARS...Between Harry's weekly incoherent and self absorbed rantings about nonsense that no one cares about and NOW banning people who are well respected in the TB community? It just seems more and more clear to me that this is a site that is NOT for the fans but that this site simply exists to stroke the egos of the people who started it, who run it and who contribute to it....oh yeah, BRING BACK VADER PLEASE!!!!!!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 9:09 a.m. CST

    hit em where it hurts

    by Too Tall Smally

    I propose no one orders anything they shill on this site - Harry's DVD column etc - until we get a specific response to the gutless banning of D.Vader. Stop buying DVD's through this site until Harry addresses this issue and un bans D.Vader.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Ninety (90) days, it is, gentlemen!!!

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    I'm gonna repost this in a few other talkbacks. Please be kind enough to help me out.<p>In honor of D.Vader and in response to Harry Knowles's email in which Harry threatened to permanently ban D. Vader if **WE** became annoying in our protests ("Chris will have a 90 day ban, unless he and his friends get annoying, in which case his ban will become perm.") Ain't it cool, guys? Threatening to ban someone for a protest initiated by OTHERS? And remember - this is from the fat liberal protest-worshiping toad himself! Guess "peace" and "love" and "power to the people" ain't exactly all that when it's directed at the capricious whims of you, your contributors and your site.<p>For purposes of solidarity and protest, I'm taking Ain't It Cool out of my drop down menu, set my Outlook Reminder, and am avoiding this site for ninety (90) days - I'll return 12/28/10. If Vader's back, cool. If not, well, like others have said, there are plenty of OTHER sites to get this shit from. The one redeeming grace of this site has been the talkbacks and the people (smart, stupid, crazy, fun, insane, wild, angry people) in the talkbacks. But it looks like Harry et al. have decided to behave in a dictatorial and willfully impulsive manner, alienating many talkbackers. I'm done. See you in ninety!

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST

    This looks fucking breathtaking, one question:

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    So Carles is her caretaker (and her childhood hero), but obvs would never be turned against her father, so the rivals hire this other guy to impersonate him and wring the formula out of her? Sry Capone, unclear on that point. This looks fucking gorgeous, Focus Features should pick it up RITE NAO!!111