Tuesday, 26 May 2009
A Brief Almodovar Pause...
My first Pedro Almodovar film (like many people) was the Oscar winning "All About My Mother". Though gorgeous looking, the story never really caught my interest - probably due at least partially to the fact that I wasn't (and unfortunately still aren't) very conversant in the story of "Streetcar Named Desire". So I put him off for awhile...
Next was the pretty damn terrific "Talk To Her". Filled with deeply flawed, but interesting characters, it had my attention throughout. But I still put him off...I felt his earlier films would be even less interesting than "All About My Mother".
Well, he hasn't disappointed me since diving 3 films deeper into his work. First was "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown". With zip to spare, this film wove great subtle and slapstick comedic moments through numerous strong yet troubled female characters. I was totally surprised by it and resolved to catch up with as much of his work as possible.
I don't have the above three films on disc, otherwise I could paint an even brighter picture of Almodovar's use of colour, framing and focus on little details. But I figured I'd show all three of those characteristics with some screenshots from "The Flower Of My Secret" and then wind up with just pure visual splendor from the end credits of "Volver". Just because I want to post something purty...
Marisa Paredes character of Leo Macias has such a great face...It sparkles, rages, sulks, laughs and shows the wear of so many emotions always being writ large.
And yet, Almodovar constantly obscures her features behind curtains, parts of mirrors, partitions, etc. Along with the many straight mirror reflections and her many emotions, she seems to not quite be whole and possibly unravelling before us.
The little details are everywhere. A set designer's dream...I love all those collectibles items behind Leo - the little chairs and colourful pots and containers.
The details combine with colours - contrasting or just rich and vibrant - when the frame is filled with just objects.
And there's the fiery dancer in red...
"The Flower Of My Secret" probably ranks for me just a shade behind "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown", but it's still an excellent film and creates a wealth of good will and sympathy for its main character.
As a bonus, a little eye candy from the end of "Volver". It contains a powerhouse performance by Penelope Cruz (I could listen to her speak Spanish all day...) and ties its theme of "coming back" (or more accurately translated from the title - "to return") really well into several different plot lines.
And yet all I want to show for now are these snippets from the continously flowing and always changing colours and patterns of the final credits:
That's all I got...I just needed a good Screencap post.
I'm hoping to gather more as I dig into "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" and "Live Flesh" - the next two Almodovars in my sights.