Dos monjes


Drama / Mystery / Romance

IMDb Rating 7 10 73


Downloaded times
December 12, 2020


720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
738.18 MB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
85 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.34 GB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
85 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by goblinhairedguy 8 / 10 / 10

Caligari à la mexicana!

Who would have known that extreme Germanic expressionism was alive and well in the Mexican cinema of the mid-30's? This remarkable macabre melodrama has only recently been rediscovered in the rest of North America (see "Video Watchdog" #85 and Fab Press's anthology "Fear Without Frontiers"); had it not appeared in such isolated circumstances and been several years out of date in its own time, it would likely be looked on today as a seminal work. The style (both visually and in mise-en-scène) is pure UFA, with strong elements of early Lang, Wiene and Dreyer, and similar in design to many highly stylized early-talkie Hollywood chillers like "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "Svengali". There are huge, high-ceilinged sets with rampant diagonal lines, thick venetian-blind style shadows, tilted angles, abrupt and shaky camera movements, strikingly artificial compositions. The performances are appropriately intense and highly mannered, as is the musical score when it intrudes. The hallucinatory climax, with the main character wildly playing a lush romantic melody on the pipe organ as a group of gargoyle-like monks looks on, is a marvel of shivery montage, reminiscent of Gance's "J'Accuse". Equally significant is the story structure, which relates the same tale of romantic trespass and murder, in turn, from two diverse points of view, anticipating "Rashomon" by many years. In that vein, an extremely clever touch is having the first narrator dressed in white in the flashback (considering himself the "good guy") and his rival in black, then switching the colours for the rival's version of the story. Although the print is not in the finest condition (and only available in Spanish), this is a must-see for connoisseurs.

Reviewed by F Gwynplaine MacIntyre 6 / 10 / 10

Masterpiece precedes 'Rashomon'.

One of the greatest films of all time is Kurosawa's 'Rashomon', which features an unusual narrative structure: the same events are shown in flashback four times, each time from the viewpoint of a different character. The subtle differences in each flashback compel the viewers to decide for themselves the truth of what actually happened. 'Rashomon' (1950) proved to be so innovative that several later films have used the same idea. I can think of at least three different sitcoms, each of which has done an episode ripping off the 'Rashomon' premise. The 1934 Mexican film 'Two Monks' uses precisely this same narrative gimmick, 16 years before it was used in 'Rashomon'. Unfortunately, because 'Two Monks' uses only two conflicting flashbacks (rather than four, as in 'Rashomon'), the audience are put in an "either/or" situation rather than a pick'n'mix. Still, it's intriguing to see that one of the most famous narrative innovations in the entire history of film was used in an obscure Mexican movie more than a decade before it was employed in the film that brought it to greatness and prominence. Juan and Javier are two young men, rivals for the charms of pretty Anita. She dies, in circumstances which are intentionally kept obscure, and the rivals go their separate ways. Javier becomes a monk, and puts his painful memories behind him ... until, one day in the priory, he encounters a monk who turns out to be Juan. Straight away, Javier is so angered that he attacks Juan, giving him a near-fatal blow. The kindly old prior confesses each of the two men separately. Each confession is shown in flashback, with first one man and then the other telling the story of the tragic triangle from his own self-serving viewpoint. Now we learn -- from two conflicting viewpoints -- what happened to Anita. The art direction throughout this film is astonishing, and there is the clever touch of having each of the rivals dressed in white in his own flashback, but garbed in black in the other man's flashback: a splendid way of helping the audience to remember that this narrative is subjective. 'Two Monks' deserves to be much, much better known, and I eagerly rate this film 10 out of 10.

Reviewed by richardchatten 6 / 10 / 10

Several Familiar Narrative Threads in an Unfamiliar Setting

A plot device that has been played both for comedy ('The Caucasian Chalk Circle') and melodrama ('Days of Heaven') is here combined with the narrative twist usually attributed to 'Rashomon', although it actually dates back well into the silent era; at least as early as John Stahl's 'The Woman Under Oath' (1919). Directed for all its worth by Juan Bustillo Oro with abrupt optical wipes and dollies rather creakily executed with the rather basic facilities available to him; it boasts an extraordinary hallucination sequence near the end for which all the cast wear masks.

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