“Carlos enjoyed his life on the ranch with Mari and the children — but it was not enough; it never could be.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Instead, the bulk of the film consists of medium to long shots of Arruza fighting in various arenas (there are noticeably no dramatic close-ups — this was “real life”, after all), as well as footage on his ranch, with shots of his docile wife and cute kids in the background. While it “contains interesting, even poignant moments” (there was real potential here for a story about a man at the top of his game whose ego and love of the sport wouldn’t allow him to quit), non-bullfighting fans will find their patience sorely tested long before the movie is over — and as Peary notes, “if you don’t like bullfighting to begin with, you probably won’t share Boetticher’s respect for Arruza or his ‘art’.” Arruza is primarily of interest to film fanatics these days given what we know about the circumstances surrounding its making: “Boetticher nearly starved (he had an account at a tamale stand), was divorced, spent time in prison, suffered a mental breakdown, and nearly died from a lung ailment”; meanwhile, “most of his crew died”. See the excellent, must-see documentary Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) to learn more about this intriguing director.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: