Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On Almodóvar

So there's this discussion going on about Almodovar at Nick's Flick Picks which is, oddly enough, the exact discussion I was having with the boyfriend last night. Namely, I feel exactly like Nick does (his quote):

"When it comes to Almodóvar, I just have weird reactions and a spotty history. I looove Talk to Her, I really like What Have I Done to Deserve This? and High Heels a lot, I liked Live Flesh a lot even though I don't remember a ton of it, and I'm relatively cool on the rest of what I've seen (Law of Desire, Women on the Verge..., All About My Mother), despite things I admire in all of them. In fact, I'd call them all good films, I just don't really take pleasure in them."

Okay, so Nick's seen more than I have, but the ones I have seen I feel the same way as he. In fact, it's kind of eerie how similar our opinions are on the ones I've seen.

Which was only furthered last night. Because Almodóvar is getting lotsa talk over at Film Experience and NFP and, well, everywhere, with the Viva Pedro show hitting the city and Volver coming out soon, I finally pushed Talk to Her up to the top of my Netflix queue. I watched it last evening (hence the conversation with the boyfriend), and whaddya know, I totally loved it.

Beforehand I was wondering if I'd ever love an Almodóvar film; the ones I had seen are Women On the Verge..., Live Flesh, Bad Education, and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (No, I still haven't seen All About My Mother; that's next).

Of those the only one I'd liked a lot (again, same as Nick) was Live Flesh, and in retrospect I think that may've had more to do with the eye-candy that is Liberto Rabal and Javier Bardem than it did the actual film, which I too remember very little of now (told you - eerie). WotV was funny, and I liked what Almodóvar was going for with BE, but did I love the films? Nah.

So I am happy to report, after having seen Talk to Her, I do indeed love an Almodóvar film. So I'm not as bad a cineaste as I thought I was! Good on me. But seriously, TtH was a gorgeous film, moving in a way none of Almodóvar's films had ever been for me before; I was spellbound by it. Everything Almodóvar's known for - the silliness, the color, the melodrama - seemed to come together in the perfect proportions and I didn't feel, like I have with some of his other films, some sort of queer whiplash.

So anyway, that's where I stand on good ol' Pedro. If you want actual, real stuff to read about him - as opposed to my blather - head to Film Experience, Nathaniel's doing a bang-up job rounding up the current crop of Almodó-news.


NicksFlickPicks said...

So nice and reassuring to be seconded in these opinions! Liking but not loving Almodóvar does start to feel like a queer badge-revoker sometimes, doesn't it? But "queer whiplash" is the perfect phrase for how I feel during Women on the Verge... and Law of Desire. If I ever use it—and I will—I will quote you.

DL said...

I have to say that I'm as big an Almodovar fan as any (though strangely, I haven't seen All About My Mother yet), but I do agree that Talk to Her is his best work. Definitely in my top ten of all time.

Glenn Dunks said...

I love the few Almodovar films I've seen. My favourite is All About My Mother. Just sublime.


"queer whiplash" it is a grand phrase.

but now I've got two blogbuddies to whip into almodovar-loving shape