Procrastination Theatre: June 2, 2012
Pedro Almodóvar has to be, actually, one of my favorite writers/directors, and I realize that I have only seen a couple of his films. But what I am consistently amazed and entranced by in his films is the lushness of his character amidst the often near-surrealism of his movies. If anyone is walking that tightrope between the dream or nightmare world and the world of reality the way David Lynch sometimes seems to (and I realize that this is a clumsy summation of Lynch), then it’s Almodóvar. The Skin I Live In was breathtaking and terrifying without a single sudden loud noise or even gratuituous gore or violence. Instead, it inhabits the macabre from an ascetic, dry, clinical space. In fact, in trying to convince the Boyfriend to watch this again with me, I reassured him numerous times that nothing excessively gory happens at all with skin, etc. Black Swan had more physical horror/violence than this movie (it’s also, maybe not coincidentally, a billion times better).
The other thing I love about Almodóvar is his true gift, I think, for writing women. You’ll note that I’m not saying female characters here; that’s because I really see the women in his film as women, complicated, contradictory, singular women who are committed to survival with grace and power. Penelope Cruz in Volver is a force of nature that everyone should witness, but so is every other woman in her family. This observation about women becomes an ironic one to make in The Skin I Live In, but I think that’s further proof of how really brilliant Almodóvar is.
You really need to see this movie.