Review: ‘Antarctica’

Maria Ariadna Gil Rafa Carlos Fuentes Inspector Valasco Francisco Lorenzo Grandmother Juana Ginzo Coque Inaki Aierra Marta Beatriz Guevara Himself John Cale

Maria Ariadna Gil Rafa Carlos Fuentes Inspector Valasco Francisco Lorenzo Grandmother Juana Ginzo Coque Inaki Aierra Marta Beatriz Guevara Himself John Cale

What begins as yet another exploration of the drug and hard rock scene in a big city gradually develops into a chase thriller/road movie. Second half is more successful than the first, but we’ve been here many times before. Pic could click with the young crowd in Spanish-lingo territories, where a long video shelf life is also indicated.

Set in Barcelona 10 years ago, pic sets up the character of Maria, a drug user and small-time dealer who’s trying to get her life back together. She teams up with the fresh-faced Rafa to organize one last big deal, but everything goes wrong, and crooked cops hunt down the duo, who flee to the countryside.

Ariadna Gil is appealing as the tenacious Maria, who just wants to break from her sordid and depressing past, while Carlos Fuentes ably fulfills the stock role of the guy who’ll help her do it. Pic unfolds against a soundtrack of songs belted out by John Cale, who appears on camera in a concert sequence in which drugs are freely bought and sold under the eyes of the authorities.

Pic is handsomely produced.

Antarctica

(SPANISH)

Production

A Sogetel-Iberamericana Films production, in association with Canal Plus (Spain). Produced by Andres Vicente Gomes. Executive producers, Fernando de Garcillan, Pepe Sol. Directed by Manuel Huerga, Screenplay, Francisco Casavella. Camera (color), Javier Aguirresarobe; editor, Ernest Blasi; music, John Cale; production design, Pierre Francois Limobach; art direction, Jorge Deniz; costumes, Ramon Olives; sound (Dolby SR), Vasco Pimentel; special effects, Y ves Pupulin; assistant director, Eusebio Graciani: casting, Jorge Deniz. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Fast Lane), Sept. 4, 1995. Running time: 100 MIN.
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