Lifeline is Victor Erice’s contribution to Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet. He doesn’t make films often. He’s like the Terrence Malick of Spain or perhaps Malick is the Erice of America. Both men’s work fuse visual poetry, philosophy and a tinge of wistfulness. Lifeline is a stunningly beautiful, extremely rhythmic account of a terrifying moment that descends upon a sleepy, provincial Spanish villia. The film is well constructed that one could fault it for being manipulative and perhaps I am speaking as a new father when I say this, but Erice’s use of a bleeding baby as the catalyst for fear is both realistic and a cheap tactic. Even George Lucas can tell you, “Emotionally involving the audience is easy. Anybody can do it blindfolded, get a little kitten and have some guy wring its neck.”.
Thankfully, Erice is a far savvier and more superior a filmmaker than Lucas could ever be.