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SECRETS & MYSTERIES: FILMS BY PEDRO OLEA limited 2-disc slipcover edition

$32.00

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Born in 1938, in Bilbao in Spain, Pedro Olea is one of Spanish cinema’s most respected director/producers. His films range from the folk-horror werewolf film THE ANCINES WOOD to the Oscar submitted THE FENCING MASTER while for TV he worked on the series Sabbath among many others.

DISC ONE

IT’S NOT GOOD FOR A MAN TO BE ALONE (1973)

Martin (played by José Luis López Vázquez, a legend of Spanish film and theatre) is a middle-aged engineer employed by a big shipbuilding firm in the northern city of Bilbao. Quiet, diligent in his work and reserved, Martin is a model of respectability. His secretary, Monica (played by Helga Line) often asks about his wife, whom no-one has ever met and who seems to be an invalid.

Every evening after work, Martin returns to his big, gloomy house that looks out over the bay and towards the north Atlantic Ocean.

What his colleagues, and the world, do not know is what happens then, behind the closed doors of his dark villa. For Martin’s “wife” is certainly not dead. In fact, he has a very unusual relationship with her, one that he is very concerned to keep a secret.
One day a woman in her late 30s, Lina, moves into a rented apartment near to Martin’s house. She has an eight-year-old daughter, Cati, who is allowed to roam free during the day, as her mother works late in a nightclub in town and often has “gentleman callers” who tumble noisily out of cars in the middle of the night, much to Martin’s displeasure.

Cati is a curious child, with no friends and too much time on her hands. Very quickly she discovers Martin’s secret. And equally quickly she discloses it to her mother who decides to use it to her advantage. They move into Martin’s house, soon followed by Lina’s pimp, Mauro. Martin will be forced to take desperate measures to protect his quiet life and his “wife”.

A dark and moody psycho-thriller, drenched in the mysterious, mist-soaked atmosphere of the old city of Bilbao, the film was a huge hit on initial, release and is now ripe for rediscovery as a lost gem of Spanish cinema.

The title of the film is taken from the Bible - Genesis 2:18

SPECIAL FEATURES
Region Free
New HD transfer from negative
Spanish audio with optional English subtitles
ANABEL – a short film by Olea (33 min)
Interview with director Pedro Olea
Interview with actor Maximo Valverde

DISC TWO

THE HOUSE WITHOUT FRONTIERS (1972)

Daniel, a young man in his twenties, moves from his hometown to the city of Bilbao in search of… a chance to discover himself. When he is not looking for work, he spends his time reading in the city library. One day Daniel encounters an elderly and seemingly kind old gentleman who commends his desire to educate himself. He says he might be able to find Daniel a job and sure enough, he starts work for an organization called The House Without Frontiers. After a short period of probation, Daniel is summoned to the organizations labyrinthine headquarters and is given his instructions. Although much is still not clear to him, it seems he is being asked to locate a young woman called Anabel Campos (played by Geraldine Chaplin). It turns out that Anabel, like Daniel, had accepted a job with the House Without Frontiers but fled the organization after a senior member of the tribunal was found murdered. Was she guilty? Is she in hiding or has she vanished without a trace?

During his search Daniel begins to question the exact nature of the House Without Frontiers. When he tries to ask his employers about the assignment, he is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts, culminating in an incident where he finds the main headquarters deserted and two construction workers walling up a doorway in the mansion.

He also discovers that he has fallen in love with this girl that he has never met.
Beginning with a hideous scene that echoes (and is repeated) throughout the film, The House Without Frontiers is a Kafkaesque nightmare in the vein of films such as The Short Night of Glass Dolls and uses the melancholy and morbid atmosphere of the old city of Bilbao in the same way that Glass Dolls used the city of Prague. Geraldine Chaplin is superb in her role as the doomed and tragic Anabel Campos while Tony Isbert (The Dracula Saga, Inquisition) plays the naive Daniel to perfection. The film also includes a short but memorable appearance by Patty Shepard.

This is the film’s first home video release and includes the rare English audio track.

SPECIAL FEATURES
Region Free
New HD transfer from negative
Spanish audio with optional Eng subs; English dub
THE PLAYGROUND – a short film by Olea, based on a story by Ray Bradbury (16 min)
Interview with director Pedro Olea
English trailer
English credit sequence

LIMITED EDITION FEATURES

Slipcover with original ad art on each side; reversible inner sleeve with new art by Justin Coffee on each side; 8 art cards reproducing lobby card and poster art for the film; 24 page full, color booklet by Ismael Fernandez on Pedro Olea and these two films in particular.