Angeles y querubines is the first feature directed by Rafael Corkidi, cinematographer of such visual masterpieces as El Topo and The Holy Mountain. This surreal Mexican fantasy shows influences of Alejandro Jodorowsky as you would expect, and also of the style of Kenneth Anger, and the darker side of Czech “fairy tale” cinema. Visuals are rich and original, the music less so but still a pleasure. Overall it’s rather mellower than the typical “head trip” film of the early ‘seventies which seemed to revel in causing shock and offence. I found it an absolute delight.
The prelude is set in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve played by the director’s infant children. It’s gender-reversed with Eve arriving first, which is probably significant. After ten minutes, just as you might be starting to seriously question what you have downloaded, we move on to the main story, introduced by a biblical quotation: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them”.
We find ourselves in a castle, or perhaps a convent judging by the number of nuns around. A gathering of the ruling family appears to be taking place. An eclectic mix of costumes suggests no particular time and place. We meet our young hero Cristian (Jorge Humberto Robles), a fine young fellow, clean, upstanding, dare I say it even virginal.
Actually it’s safest if I don’t try to set out the plot, except to say that we seem to have an allegory of a Pilgrim, or Grail Knight, who one day leaves the convent garden and meets, falls in love with, and pursues to the ends of the Earth the beautiful Angela (Helena Rojo). So are the young couple to live happily ever after? Or will our hero be condemned to an eternity of shirt-ripping Byronic frustration?
Unfortunately the picture quality is dire as you can see. I’m almost certain it’s not supposed to be that tint. And the border jumps around in a distracting way. Nevertheless this is still a must for lovers of fantasy cinema. Director: Rafael Corkidi.
Cast: Roberto Canedo, Jorge Humberto Robles, Helena Rojo, Ana Luisa Peluffo, Lea Corkidi, Pablo Corkidi , Cecilia Pezet, David Silva. Mexico, 1972.
Language: Spanish. In the archive 2 versions of the film, the differences are clearly visible on screenshots.
Download Ángeles y Querubines / Angels and Cherubs.