Umbracle. Time Out. June 1972

During the festival there was also a series of one-off screenings outside any official presentation, and one of the films shown, Pere Portabella's Umbracle.

Umbracle (the title means literally "shady place" and is the name of an area of Barcelona), is a film about frustration, repression and paranoia, that operates within the environment of the horror film. The main character, Christopher Lee on stage sings and then reads from "The Raven" - a sequence that becomes the heart of this complex, mysterious and disturbing film. Throughout the sensation of nightmarish distortion is intensified through Portabella's brilliant use of repeated sound, for instance, two people sit in a room talking inaudibly while outside the sound of someone knocking at the door grows louder and louder, they appear not to notice, and the camera slowly withdraws from the room.

Umbracle is a genuine masterpiece, a political statement in the widest sense, of disturbing force. Badger the National Film Theater into screening it and Portabella's other films. Ironically, although his films are available for showing outside Spain, Portabella himself has no passport.

Autor:Verina Glaesner