‘Holy Beasts’ Review: Cinematic Dreams Within Dreams

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The meta thriller “Holy Beasts” follows a group of artists who come together in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to complete their friend’s unfinished project. movie productor Jean-Louis Jorge, murdered in 2000. It’s a respectfully elegant, intellectual homage, a fictional assessment of what it means to continue the legacy of a real lost artist.

The story follows Vera (Geraldine Chaplin), a former star who takes on the role of director. Next to her are her potentially shadowy producer Victor (Jaime Pina) and mysterious choreographer Henry (Udo Kier). On the set, Vera acts as the guardian of Jorge’s memory, the interlocutor of the ghostly presence. But when members of her cast die, Vera’s mission gets complicated and its tropical setting pushes production towards disaster.

The characters watch clips of Jorge’s movies for inspiration. Through these quotes, directors Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán show how Jorge created a vivid cinematic style by mixing kitsch and melodrama. Elements of Jorge’s methods can be seen here – the natural setting, the gaudy costumes, the beauty of the young dancers – but the lens has a different point of view. Here, the camera retracts itself and follows the drama in long, static shots taken from afar.

The fact that the film encourages viewers to consider the same questions that plague Vera’s mind is a tribute both to the intelligence of the producers and to Chaplin’s outstanding performance: Does this image capture the spirit that animates Jorge’s work? A Theremin note weaves its way into the soundtrack, a spectral reminder that the human-like voice can only be an electric fax.

Holy Beasts
Not rated. Spanish and English, with subtitles. Working time: 1 hour 30 minutes. Watch it on Movie Motion Plus.

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