Already assistant on Buñuel's El ángel exterminador (1962) at the age of 19, Arturo Ripstein is still able to surprise, and even astonish, almost sixty years later. Shooting in stunning black-and-white, he focuses on sexual, psychological and geriatric entanglements within the private quarters of an elderly married couple, played fabulously and without any inhibition by Alejandro Suárez ('El Viejo') and Sylvia Pasquel (Beatriz). Giménez Castro as Beatriz's tango partner and Cervantes as the servant are equally impressive. After decades of spitefulness, the retired pharmacist and his wife seem to know one another inside out – but this doesn't prevent further escalation and infidelity.

Where lesser directors may lose their way with this delicate subject matter, Ripstein boldly goes where others shy away, and is completely in control for the full running time. The interaction between active libido and aging, floundering flesh leads to an occasionally hilarious, uncomfortable but also poignant masterpiece.

International title
Devil Between the Legs
Filmmaker
Arturo Ripstein
Country
Mexico, Spain
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
145’
Language
Spanish
Producer
Miguel Gracia, Angel Masclans Tobena
Production Company
Carnaval Films, Oberon Cinematográfica
Sales
Latido Films
Writer
Paz Alicia Garcíadiego
Cinematography
Alejandro Cantú
Editor
Mariana Rodríguez
Production Design
Alejandro Garcia
Sound Design
Pablo Lach
Music
David Mansfield
Cast
Sylvia Pasquel, Alejandro Suárez, Greta Cervantes, Daniel Giménez Cacho