In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb deadpool poster

Once Upon a Deadpool

Not just a heavily redacted version of the film that will be playing around the clock on basic cable in a couple of years.

Thumb spiderverse poser

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman have breathed thrilling new life into the comic book movie. The way they play with tone, form…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb tvovw7qjj63zbqw5tz8cjpthaud

Schindler's List

This was published on June 24th, 2001, and we are republishing it in honor of the film's 25th anniversary rerelease."Schindler's List" is described as a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Reviews

The Hunt

  |  

Hunting is not a very efficient means of obtaining food or controlling the wildlife population, but it is a handy way to destroy animals for fun.

In several of his stories about hunting, Ernest Hemingway demonstrated that those who took pleasure in murdering animals were probably capable of murdering human beings if a lucky opportunity came along.

That is the argument of "The Hunt," a relentless film from Spain by Carlos Saura. The thin line between ceremonial violence (as in bullfights) and deliberate personal violence has been a favorite subject of Spain's most distinguished director, Luis Buñuel. Saura, his young disciple, also finds it fascinating to study characters at the moment when they become capable of murder.

Advertisement

Directed at a slow pace, which exactly expresses the ritual and tedium of a hunting party, the film introduces three middle-aged men who fought for the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War. Now they have gotten together again to hunt rabbits in the same rocky countryside where they once trapped Loyalists.

Saura pays great attention to the ritual of the hunt, and there are stark close-ups of bolts being tested, cartridges being loaded and the hunters getting the heft of their rifles. Then there is a burst of activity, remarkably well photographed, as the men and their dog flush out rabbits and kill them.

One scene remains in memory: A rabbit is scampering up a hillside, pursued by the shots of the hunters. It halts suddenly and sits perfectly still, its ears pointed and its nose quivering. The telephoto lens shows the rabbit in perfect detail. There is a second of quiet. Then a shot barely misses. The next shot is on target, and the rabbit explodes in fur and dust.

As the day wears on, the hunters get under each other's skins. Emotions that are ordinarily avoided -- the fear of growing older, the realization of failure -- come to the surface. There are bitter words and a fight, and in the last shocking scene they cold-bloodedly murder one another. Director Saura's fine sense of pace is greatly responsible for the growth of tension in a film which, for most of its length, pretends to be just an ordinary record of an unremarkable day.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The Baffling Failure of Fallout 76

A review of Fallout 76.

Video games can never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to ...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus