(aka "Oculto" )

 

directed by Antonio Hernández
Spain 2005

 

At a conference on the interpretation of dreams, fashion editor Natalia (Angela Cepida) relates a series of dreams (featuring the monolith from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) that seem to contain premonitions of the directions her life is taking. Upon overhearing this, the conference's organizer Beatriz (Laia Marull) passes out (it is revealed that she has a tattoo which combines elements from Natalia's latest dream - the outcome of which she is still awaiting - and Beatriz starts to think Natalia may somehow hold an answer to her own inner demons). Also at the conference is magazine editor Alex (Leonardo Sbraglia) who pursues a sexual relationship with Natalia but he has also caught the eye of Beatriz. Beatriz confides in the dreams that she has been having "as Natalia" which seem to suggest that the soul of Natalia's spurned lover (William Miller, ROTTWEILER) is not at rest; but is there a not-so-supernatural yet equally sinister explanation?

What first seems like an exploration of nightmare logic is actually about the need of some people divine from dreams the choices and directions of their lives (and exorcise their pasts). The dreams betray an insecurity and uncertainty about the seemingly together and confident Natalia and the dark side of the seemingly docile Beatriz. As the third in this triangular relationship, easy-going, shallow Alex tries to remain as the logical, realistic center but he himself wonders if there is something more behind the seemingly coincidental circumstances that have placed him in between these the bewitching Natalia and the tender Beatriz. Thankfully, the film does not take a sudden, contrived turn from psychological drama to psychological thriller with an "action-packed" ending. Cepeda and Sbaraglia are attractive eye-candy but the film is carried by Marull and Joaquin Clement as Alex's troubled subplot best friend. Supporting actresses Geraldine Chaplin (THE ORPHANAGE) and Emma Cohen (HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB) are not given much to do. Director Antonio Hernandez plays a supporting role as a co-worker of Natalia's (the special thanks credits mention three designers for his character's wardrobe as it does with the more prominent characters). Unax Mendia's (THE BACKWOODS) cinematography has a digital video-like clarity and sharpness that is able to better integrate the film's restrained CGI effects but it is not lacking in atmosphere while Banda Osiris' score does not draw attention to itself.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 4 November 2005 (Spain)

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DVD Review: Venevision International - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Venevision International

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:56:19 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.66 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Venevision International

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:00)
• Angie Cepeda Filmography
• Leonardo Sbaraglia Filmography
• Laia Marull Filmography

DVD Release Date: 20 November 2007
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

The Region 2 Spanish disc from Warner Home Video also has English subtitles so Venevision's (a label specializing in Spanish language releases) release is likely a PAL-NTSC port from that edition minus the making of featurette and interviews (probably not English friendly).

 

The back cover specifies a 1.85:1 aspect ratio but the film is in its OAR of 2.35:1. The Spanish disc reportedly has Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Venevision International

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 





 

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