Saturday, February 10, 2007

I hate Almodovar.

There, I've said it. I should duck for cover now, I suppose. Volver is absolutely dreadful as a film. A waste of nearly 2 hours of my life. Clearly his Catholic homosexual oedipal complex has a great appeal for a great many people - not least the thousands of people who go to see his films each year, then buy them on DVD. He is number 8 in the 50 men who really understand women - as Penélope Cruz states: 'Pedro loves women, he is very curious about the way we think, the way we feel. He finds us complicated and he likes that complication.'

No, he doesn't - his women may be complex, but the complexity is an almost cartoon style, in which the most feminine traits are amplified to hyperreal proportions - his characters are as paperthin and as far removed from real women as the heroines of comic books, or silent films, or Dostoevskii novels. He paints them with poster colours, even the promotional material for the films echoes this. All About My Mother, Talk To Her and Bad Education all suggested to me that he was maturing as a filmmaker - despite the occasional lapses (absent transexual fathers, for example), all of these displayed psychological subtlety, but his latest effort has far more in common with his earlier films.

It is a tragic indictment of the Spanish film industry that he is the foremost director - many of the directors are still using the Civil War as a backdrop (even Pan's Labyrinth), and therefore deal with this topic, no matter how tangentially. Where is the heir to Bunuel? Latin American cinema, despite a comparative lack of investment, produces far more interesting and engaging films. Most other European cinemas have overcome/are overcoming the effects of far more strict censorship and repression than Franco's regime imposed and in a shorter period.

2 Comments:

Anonymous BiB said...

Люкчик, excellent. I'm an awful Mitläufer and never remember to have an opinion of my own about anything, so I'll remember to not be in thrall the next time I see one of his films, although I don't think I've seen one of his since, "All About my Mother," which, if I'm not mistaken, I saw in the cinema with you. I do remember not understanding what all the fuss was about with, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," although one of the actresses looks beautifully odd. Anyway, I love your lack of respect for the established order. You EVEN hate Wallace and Gromit. My one media-hero that I just can't understand and have never had a second of interest in is Marilyn effing Monroe. Much less interesting than Hatti Jacques.

6:44 pm  
Blogger lukeski said...

Well, Hattie was a goer - she left John Le Mesurier for a younger man in 1965, died at only 56 - not quite the Kennedy's, but not quite what you would expect...

7:49 pm  

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