Living is Easy with Eyes Closed resembles an old Polaroid of the Andalusian seaside, yellowed by the summer sun and age alike. Despite its title – cribbed from “Strawberry Fields Forever” –it cuts through any nostalgic haze to present a clear-eyed portrait of 1966 Spain, its beauty and its injustice.
The story told is an uneventful, unambitious road trip centring on a teacher (Javier Cámara) obsessed with John Lennon (whose filming of How I Won the War in Almería operates as a MacGuffin of sorts) and two hitchhikers – mop-topped teen runaway Juanjo (Francesc Colomer) and pregnant Belén (Natalia de Molina). The specifics of the narrative are perhaps overly neat – with both Juanjo and Belén evincing hidden talents – but it suits the overarching optimism.
Living is Easy with Eyes Closed is an optimistic picture of a country extricating itself from an oppressive dictatorship and it’s most effective in that mode (with plenty of Beatles references for those so inclined). Its characters feel too archetypal – troubled teen, caring teacher, young pregnant woman – playing pieces used to evoke a mood of the time rather than people in of themselves. It’s not an unforgivable flaw, but it keeps it from more being more than pleasant.
5 thoughts on “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (2013)”
I couldn’t get into this one myself when I saw it at the cinemas.
It’s nothing special, though I gather it has a lot more resonance for Spanish audiences (for obvious reasons).
yeah that makes sense.
you planning to catch the spanish film fest? I already really wanna see Marshland and Wild Tales, among many others
I caught Wild Tales at the media opening night and loved it. Not sure if I’ll catch anything else or not at this stage, but I can definitely recommend Wild Tales
Yeah I read about Wild Tales in Sight and Sound. You lucky bastard you got to see it!! Jealous!! I can’t wait for the fest to start, I love love LOVE foreign film. Wild Tales tho I might wait until its released properly here (which it is going to be according to the palace website). This is cos its only showing at the fest with wine before hand and all the BS that I couldn’t give a shit about. I just wanna see the movie!