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Cria Cuervos [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1975]

Release Date:08/14/2007
Carlos Saura's powerful and poetic 1976 drama of a young Spanish girl growing up in a damaged household amidst the slow collapse of Franco's regime has been given a superior presentation in this DVD edition from the Criterion Collection. Cria Cuervos has been given an excellent new high-definition transfer for this release, presented in its original European widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic play on 16x9 monitors); the rich color scheme of Teodoro Escamilla's cinematography has been reproduced with impressive accuracy (especially the dark tones on the interiors), and this looks as good (perhaps even better) than the picture did on its initial release. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, retaining the original single-channel audio mix, and this DVD sounds as good as it looks. The dialogue is in the original Spanish, with optional English titles but no multiple language options. A bonus disc is included which features A Portrait of Carlos Saura, an hour-long documentary on the filmmaker originally produced for Spanish television, the film's original trailer, and new interviews with actresses Geraldine Chaplin and Anna Torrent. Finally, the packaging includes a booklet dominated by an essay from Paul Julian Smith, which discusses the film and the unique moment in Spanish history that it reflects. Cria Cuervos is a bold but graceful landmark in the Spanish cinema, and Criterion are to be congratulated for making it available on DVD in North America at long last, especially in such a thoughtful and well-crafted release.

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    Special Features

    • Disc One - The Film:
    • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • New and improved English subtitle translation
    • Disc Two - The Supplements:
    • Portrait of Carlos Saura, a documentary on the life and career of the Spanish auteur
    • New interviews with actresses Geraldine Chaplin and Ana Torrent
    • Plus: a booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Paul Julian Smith


    Cria Cuervos
    Carlos Saura wrote and directed this powerful psychological drama in which family crises which reflect the embattled soul of a nation are seen through the eyes of an unusually perceptive child. Ana (Ana Torrent) is an eight-year-old girl growing up in a troubled household -- her father Anselmo (Hector Alterio) is a general in the Spanish military during the waning days of Franco's repressive regime, and her mother (Geraldine Chaplin) is dead, Ana having witnessed her agonizing final moments. Anna, her older sister Irene (Conchita Perez) and younger sister Juana (Maite Sanchez) are looked after by their emotionally chilly Aunt Paulina (Monica Randall), while housekeeper Rosa (Florinda Chico) provides what little warmth there is to be found in the household. While Ana's mother is gone, the girl frequently sees and hears her mother's spirit, and is convinced Anselmo's emotional neglect and infidelity is responsible for her death, leading the youngster to take her own form of revenge against her father. The title Cria Cuervos is taken from a Spanish proverb -- "Raise ravens and they'll pluck out your eyes." The film was originally released in the United States under title Cria!, and has been screened in English-speaking territories as Raise Ravens and The Secret of Ana. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Image coming soon
      Josefina Diaz
    • Héctor Alterio
      Héctor Alterio - Anselmo
    • Geraldine Chaplin
      Geraldine Chaplin - Ana as an Adult/Her Mother Maria
    • Florinda Chico
      Florinda Chico - Rosa
    • German Cobos
      German Cobos - Nicolas Garontes

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.