Abre los ojos (1997)

Spain, France, Italy,
117m, 3209 metres
35mm film, colour, 1.85:1
Dolby Digital, Spanish

A Spanish/French/Italian science fiction film directed by Alejandro Amenábar.

Plot Summary

Rich, handsome womanizer César is badly injured in a car crash engineered by Nuria, his former lover, after he has met another woman, Sofía. Horribly disfigured, César takes to wearing a mask and continues to pursue Sofía. His face is eventually rebuilt by a team of surgeons, and César's life takes a turn for the better again – but how much of what he is now experiencing is actually real?

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Las Producciones del Escorpión/Les Films Alain Sarde/Lucky Red/Sociedad General de Televisión S.A. (Sogetel)
Producers: Fernando Bovaira, José Luis Cuerda
Associate Producers: Ana Amigo, Andrea Occhipinti, Alain Sarde
Script: Alejandro Amenábar, Mateo Gil
Director of Photography: Hans Burman
Editor: María Elena Sáinz de Rozas
Music: Alejandro Amenábar, Mariano Marín
Sound Mixer: Patrick Ghislain
Costume Designer: Concha Solera
Make Up Designer: Paca Almenara
Hair: Silvie Imbert
Special Effects: Molinaro S.A., Reyes Abades, Colin Arthur
Visual Effects Coordinator: Alberto Esteban
Visual Effects: Belén Arsuaga, Félix Bergés, Pedro Blanco, Luis Guerra, Ricardo Gómez, Rafael Menéndez de Luarca, Óscar Miranda, Inés Montero, Abraham Portolés, Juan Antonio Ruiz, Aurelio Sánchez Herrera
Art Director: Wolfgang Burmann

Cast
Eduardo Noriega (César)
Penélope Cruz (Sofía)
Chete Lera (Antonio)
Fele Martínez (Pelayo)
Najwa Nimri (Nuria)
Gérard Barray (Duvernois)
Jorge de Juan (Encargado L.E.)
Miguel Palenzuela (commissar)
Pedro Miguel Martínez (chief doctor)
Ion Gabella (paranoic recluse)
Joserra Cadiñanos (guard)
Tristán Ulloa (waiter)
Pepe Navarro (TV presenter)
Jaro (doctor 1)
Walter Prieto (doctor 2)
Carola Angulo (doctor 3)
Fanny Solorzano (secretary)
Luis García (jury guard 1)
Javier Martín (jury guard 2)
José Ángel Egido (policeman)
Richard Cruz (driver)
Raúl Otegui (service boy)
Pepe (the cat)
Alejandro Amenábar [guy in disco bathroom laughing] *

Alternative Titles

Abra os Olhos – Brazil
Apri gli occhi – Italy
Avaa silmäsi – Finland
El contrato – working title
De Olhos Abertos – Portugal (video)
Open Your Eyes – UK/USA
Ouvre les yeux – France
Preso na Escuridão – Brazil
Virtual Nightmare – Open Your Eyes – Germany

Remake
Vanilla Sky (2001)

See also
Dark City (1998)
El espinazo del diablo (2001)
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (1920)
Lost Highway (1997)
The Matrix (1999)
Minority Report (2002)
The Others (2001)
Tesis (1996)
Total Recall (1990)
Vertigo (1958)
Videodrome (1983)
Les Yeux sans visage (1959)

Includes extracts from
Denver, the Last Dinosaur (1992)

References

Periodicals

  • Entertainment Weekly no.482 (23 April 1999) p.41 – review (by Lisa Schwarzbaum)
  • film dienst vol.54 no.17 (14 August 2001) p.34 – review (by Roland Mörchen)
  • Film Review March 2000 p.33 – review (by Nick Briggs)

Books

  • The Spanish Fantastic by Shelagh Rowan-Legg pp.60-66 – illustrated essay

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide August 2009 p.36 – illustrated listing