warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

The Films of the LA Film Fest: 'Of Love and Other Demons'

Piya Sinha-Roy, Holly Butcher |
June 21, 2010 | 3:30 p.m. PDT

Arts Editors

The stunning Eliza Triana plays Sierva Maria in 'Of Love and Other Demons'
(Photo: LAFF/Image.net)

'Of Love and Other Demons' 
(Colombia, Costa Rica, 2009, 97 mins)

A tale of star-crossed lovers holds the same power over an audience now as it did centuries ago, and "Of Love and Other Demons" recites a timeless story. Based on the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, lovers of the book will be drawn into the captivating beauty of this film, which depicts the poetic prose of Marquez's literature.

Written and directed by Hilda Hidalgo, the Costa Rican and Columbian film is eloquent and stunning against a backdrop of a colonial South American seaport. The two leads of the film, Eliza Triana and Pablo Derqui, have an almost tangible chemistry onscreen, enhanced by the beauty of Triana as she plays a 13-year-old noble girl bitten by a rabid dog and believed to be possessed. Derqui's character of the priest in charge of saving the young girl's soul is played to a perfect balance of nuanced intelligence and vulnerability.

The slow-moving plot of the film allows the director to achieve striking cinematography in capturing some key scenes using cyan filters. The struggle of the Catholic Church in its mission to abolish pagan religions is portrayed with poignancy, but the forbidden love between the priest and the girl is what will enthrall the audience.

Verdict: Go see it, especially if you're a hopeless romantic.

- Piya Sinha-Roy

Her long, wavy red hair against the backdrop of a clear pond in a forest with monarchs will enrapture any viewer.

The Costa Rican / Colombian film "Of Love And Other Demons," written and directed by Hilda Hidalgo and based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, is a beautiful forbidden love story in both its acting and photography. It stars Eliza Triana as Sierva Maria, a teenage noblewoman who gets bitten by a rabid dog in colonial South America. She creates a religious stir, as the nuns and priests in the town grow convinced the devil manifested himself as rabies inside her.

To solve the "demon" problem and stay in good faith with the church, the family reluctantly relinquishes her to a convent where she is locked inside a prison cell under the care of the young priest Cayetano Delaura (Pablo Derqui).

The film builds slowly as we see the contact between Sierva and Cayetano. It is very sensual and, honestly, disturbing as the girl (a 13-year-old) gets caressed by her 36-year-old lover. Both say love with their deep brown eyes as the camera zooms in and out of their faces. Cayetano gingerly grazes Sierva's ankles and wrists- bound by chains to keep her from spreading the devil's disease - and you can see him falling in love. The way they interact, though, it does not seem a crime to them. But this love is not allowed. Even though we see their passion as mutual, the priest is committing a crime against God, which gives the film some steamy conflict.

"Of Love And Other Demons" moves very gradually but the cinematography is stunning. Sierva's hair is shockingly crimson, which contrasts against the drab gray cell she's confined to. Then, when the setting moves outside the convent, the greens and reds of the South American landscape amaze.

For Marquez fans, this is a must see. But for the casual moviegoer, the pace might be too relaxed. However, it is a strong visual piece with very dramatic actors and jumbled morality.

Verdict: Rent it

- Holly Butcher



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.