1951-1960ArgentinaArthouseDramaLeopoldo Torre Nilsson

Leopoldo Torre Nilsson – La casa del ángel AKA The House of the Angel (1957)


Ana lives with the idealistic way of life of a religious family and avoid most subjects related to sex and other tabú themes. But love and rape came to her life and make her sink in a promicuos world that is very well shown by Nilsson.

The writer of this scenario, Beatriz Guido (1924-1988) was Torre Nilsson’s wife, and an estimable literary figure in her own right. Under the pretense of criticising a “decadent” [what does that mean? A sentimental Marxist shibboleth, no more] oligarchy, she, like many Argentine writers, indulges her fascination with the old aristocracy and its surprising, forever vanishing, ever-enduring, world.

The film follows suit: the camera loves the old houses, the elegant surroundings, the secluded parks and silent interiors where the Best and Highest hold forth. The presence of the lower orders is seen as a transgression, unless they are silently wielding a tray, or something like that. The speech of the actors-and in particular Guillermo Battaglia, and the marvelous Berta Ortegosa in an unforgettably detailed tour-de-force performance-is, in itself, a delicious tract for The Argentine Way. The preoccupation with duelling brings a smile to the lips.

Above all is the unique iconic appeareance of Lautaro Murúa-a Chilean, if you can believe it-as the rapist/senator, as beautiful as the sun, and equally merciless.

As entertaining as a genre painting, this film is “tête d’ école” of the Argentine film school. Beautifully emblematic, even in its silly melodramatic side.



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button