Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Writing on the Cell Wall

The Skin I Live In
2011. 117 minutes. Spain. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar  Watchdate: 12/5/2011
It's hard to know where to begin. Pedro Almodóvar has created a movie utterly unlike anything else I've seen of his yet completely grounded in the ideas and themes that obsess him. He's found a fresh, exhilarating and elegantly unbound approach to exploring his obsessions. I've watched a lot of Almodóvar movie this past year, and it's so wonderful to see him working his kind of magic in a completely new way. Aside from the excellent performances of Elena Anaya, Antonio Banderas and Marisa Paredes, aside from the beautiful look of the movie - its intricate production design, its fabulous costuming, aside from the brilliant soundtrack - what I admire is how Almodóvar deftly discovers his tragicomedies (or comic tragedies)…it's this high wire act balancing farce and melodrama, pure suspense and sheer laughter, pathos and satire. I'll highlight a few of my favorite parts of the movie that won't spoil anything: the tiger costume and the chase sequence in which it is used, the strange creepy dreamy orgies in the garden, and the handwritten story wall. It's probably the best movie I've seen that came out in 2011 aside from Melancholia.

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