Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pain and Glory 2019

A lovely few hours spent at the Bam yesterday viewing the latest film from Almodovar. A memory piece by him which is affecting and moving and with a stunning central performance by his long time collaborator Antonio Banderas. This is an artist's journey that moves back and forth between the present where Banderas who plays a film director in deep pains (both physical and mental) travels back in time with the help of drugs to his childhood. Banderas is visited and visits live ghosts of his past along with the old fashioned ones who we all have. Filmed on a set that duplicates the real apartment of Almodovar with his art and books, the film can be criticized for being too settled, and lacking the usual outrageous comedy that Almodovar is noted for. However there were parts I still chuckled at, and sat there amazed at how brave and open this marvelous filmmaker is. I once wrote him a fan letter and he sent me a lovely signed photo which I sold, in a way one artist helping another artist. He uses some of his regular troupe of actors including the special Penelope Cruz who just gets more beautiful with the passing of time. She plays his mother when young and another actress plays his mom when older. The film is bright and colorful with profound insights into what it is to be an artist, a gay man, and a human being which this director is so good at showing us.It is also sexy in parts. See this one. One of the ten best films of the year so far.


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