whether it is claymation or stereoscopic stop motion picture (or even both), i don’t care. haha! what’s important is i enjoyed this gothic and satirical treat from writer/director fernando cortizo. i saw o apostolo from last year’s pelicula (2013 spanish filmfest) and i was really entertained. i didn’t even read the synopsis as its out of the ordinary poster already drew me in.
o apostolo is about ramon (voiced by carlos blanco), a convict who escaped from prison in pursuit of treasures hidden by a fellow prisoner. this led him to xanaz, a remote village located on the pilgrimage path to santiago de compostela, galicia. galicia in spain is the country’s land of mists and legends and is very known for its gothic architecture. upon reaching xanaz, ramon was welcomed by a strange group of elders, apparently the only residents of this misty and blanketed town. he easily figured that the town residents are doing sinister night-time activities. but it was too late for him to steer clear of the town’s olden curse – the galician horror legend of santa compaña. he unknowingly became part of santa compaña, the procession of the dead, led by a living man who holds the cross, going around streets of xanaz. ramon or whoever is leading the procession will slowly die unless he is able to pass the cross to another.
the movie did zigzag a bit before finally opening up about santa compaña. not a problem for me ‘though because the movie provided an awesome spectacle of a setting. its stop motion illustrations were elaborate. xanaz and the replica of the cathedral were magnificent. even the characters were made to look like the actors voicing them. the highlight for me was the cutout animation telling the starting point of xanaz’s curse. the musical score completed the eerie and gothic feel, especially the score that accompanied the santa compaña. the satire’s height was reached when the worldly and haughty archbishop ended up taking over ramon as the holder of the cross of the procession of the dead. with a new pope who shuns materialism installed not too long ago, cortizo’s archbishop provided an apt contrast. the “major major” point of o apostolo is that sometimes even the so-called almighty’s emissary choose not to follow what’s good and let themselves wallow in worldly riches, constantly looking for riches ala ramon.