Sunday, July 15, 2007

Teresa, el Cuerpo de Cristo (Teresa, the Body of Christ)

Not my regular choice of movie because of the story, but since someone insisted that I should watch it, I did.

I was not familiar with her story and said was because now I am… well, not thanks to the movie, but because after watching it I decided to learn a little bit more about Saint Teresa. These are some key historical facts: First woman saint to be declared Doctor of the Church, founder of the reformed Discalced Carmelites, her literary works reach highest expressions of mysticism and are considered the pinnacle of Spanish lyrical poetry of the Golden Age.

The story in the movie is more about Teresa de Ahumada, than about Saint Teresa of Jesus, which makes it controversial and more interesting. Played by gorgeous Paz Vega that makes the character magnetic and very erotic, especially in the scenes with the director interpretation of her visions with (not of, but with!) Christ.

What makes this movie really outstanding and worth watching is the magnificent cinematography and the outstanding beautiful costumes. Some scenes are true portraits of paintings and even the camera stops for you to contemplate the scene, like the Pietá scene where the robes of the Virgin Mother and Magdalena are contrasted against a black background, incredibly beautiful. Then some outdoors scenes have overexposed light creating surrealistic visions of landscapes and outdoor sites.

Worth mentioning too is Geraldine Chaplin performance as Mother Superior making the character cold, calculating and mean. Fantastic.

If you are interested in the drama of a woman that lived in times of the Holy Inquisition -was subjected to several inquisition trials- and was strong enough to challenge the “men dominated” society, then the story and the movie may be appealing to you.

But, if you are looking forward to see a biographical or religious portrait of the Saint, this movie IS NOT for you and you should not see this movie.

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