The first feature of Manuel Gutierrez Aragon, Habla, mudita (1973), focuses on the relationship between a book publisher (Lopez Vazquez) and a deaf-mute shep<-herd<-ess (Kiti Manver) in a mountainous countryside setting. Interpreted by some as an allegory about the isolation of Spanish intellectuals toward the end of Franco’s regime, the film was shot by cinematographer Luis Cuadrado.
This is almost as much fun as it sounds: a Cuban feature-length animated film (by Juan Padron) that makes fun of horror and gangster movies in a bawdy and caricatural style. Among the heavies out to steal Professor von Dracula’s formula, which allows vampires to survive in sunlight, are the European Group of vampires from Dusseldorf and the Vampire Mafia from Chicago. Although the animation style is less than brilliant, there are enough action and high spirits here to make this lively and amusing. With a good Afro-Cuban jazz score by Rembert Egues, featuring Arturo Sandoval’s trumpet (1985). (JR)