Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Last night, we met the guy from the Goethe Institute and his husband the South African publicist, as well as A. the assistant director and her fiancée, C., the photographer at a crowded table at Il Tempo, a restaurant the husband has been trying to get me to go to for years. We toasted to the promotion at work of the guy from the Goethe Institute, then off we ran to go see Hable con ella.

It always takes some emotional preparation to see an Almodóvar film, although I am inevitably impressed once I actually see it. Last night was no exception. It was melodramatic, strange, desperate, moving, a bit overwrought and had the usual perversely hopeful ending. Interestingly, he’s dropped the camp completely, which, depending on your perspective, allows for more subtlety of emotion. And he seems to have stopped giving the city of Madrid such a flamboyant role in his films as well – the hot oranges and pinks and reds are considerably toned down. Instead you have the Argentinian actor Darío Grandinetti, who is superb, his eyes and mouth constantly betraying a terrible and profound sadness, but ultimately not an inconsolable sadness.

It was Almodóvar who made me want to live in Spain. And although I hated and loved it all at once, I definitely was not disappointed when I finally did live there.

The Swedish phrase for the day is rörd till tårar. It means moved to tears.

- by Francis S.

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