Archiv der Kategorie: Pedro Almodóvar

All Is Art. All Is Life.

Film review: Dolor y Gloria (Director: Pedro Almodóvar)

By Sascha Krieger

Water. The pale bluish twilight of a swimming pool reveals a scar, real and symbolic, a trace of decades of liefe, loss and suffering. Eyes closed, the scar’s wearer travels back, to a childhood memory, the stagnant pool transformed into a lively river drenched in sunlight, an almost unnatural lightness, a child smiling at his mother and her friends as they wash clothes among the dancing fishes. and sing. As he will, years later, becoming the solo choirboy at his Catholic school, before finding a different voice, that of a writer and film maker, a voice destroyed by pain and regret and self-pity before it re-emerges. Dolor y Gloria is Pedro Almodóvar’s most autobiographical film to date, an homage to the transformative and healing power of art and the necessity for it to correspond with life, in more than one direction. In it, Almodóvar goes back to an old companion, Antonio Banderas. Working together, they launched each other’s careers, now the director trusts his former star with his own alter ego. It’s a perfect choice for a film in which things often come full circle, the present takes up the threads of the past, art fills in the holes of life and coincidence acts as an agent of almost god-like benevolence.

Image: Studiocanal/ El Deseo / Manolo Pavón

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Film review: La piel que habito (Director: Pedro Almodóvar)

A woman in a skin-colored body suit, rags glued on busts like skin, a surgeon creating artificial skin, a naked woman on a large TV screen, later discovered to have cut her skin in an apparent suicide attempt: Pedro Almodóvar’s new film opens with a parade of skins – real and artificial, apparent and torn, patched together and stifling. The surface we see when we see another person – or ourselves. A surface we often confuse with identity and one in which we might be trapped. As are the characters in The Skin I Live In: Covered in a tight second skin, suffocating in their clothes or held in captivity – in a shed, an empty room, a hospital. Identity is Almodóvar’s persistent subject – and never has it been more dominating than in this film. When you change the surface, does the core it covers change, too? Undoubtedly a fascinating question but perhaps one too hard to answer in a mere 117 minutes.  Almodóvar, this magical explorer of human identity wants to uncover it all – but this time the master story-teller fails in what he does best: story-telling.

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