Sunday, June 21, 2009

Viva Almodóvar

Dedicated to Alan and Isabela

After Volver, Oakland, California, November 2007.

Pedro Almodóvar is on a roll. Since 1999 he's been making one gem after another, starting with All About My Mother and continuing all the way to Volver (2006), which featured Penelope Cruz at her sauciest and his entire pantheon of great character actresses. Bookended by these two movies about women were two movies about men, Talk to Her (2002) and Bad Education (2004), rarities for Almodóvar and equally great. Almodóvar's movies before 1999 were all irresistible in their own ways: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown was so popular it may soon become a TV series for Fox, and at the core of Live Flesh was a great performance from Javier Bardem. But none of them could have prepared us for the complex depths of feeling and tragedy found in All About My Mother and the later films. He has a new movie coming out soon, Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces), and a new movie by Almodóvar is always a good thing.

There's one more reason to look forward to a new Almodóvar movie: a new musical score from Alberto Iglesias, the brilliant composer who scored Almodóvar's last seven films. (Listen to -- and be swept away by -- the title track from Talk to Her in the first video below.) Almodóvar reputedly likes to haunt karaoke bars and sing his heart out. It shows in his movies; the tragic ones are like operas and the day-glo comedies are Broadway musicals waiting to happen. His soundtracks mine the best of old and new music from Spain and some of the best heartbreakers ever recorded (listen to Caetano Veloso's Cucurrucucu Paloma or Maysa Matarazzo's version of Ne Me Quitte Pas). His new movie, Los Abrazos Rotos, which is about a filmmaker who has become blind, features the beautiful song "A Ciegas" (Blindly), scored by Iglesias and performed by Miguel Poveda (see video below).

All About My Mother

Talk to Her

Bad Education


Almodóvar Images (music by Alberto Iglesias, Talk to Her)

From Los Abrazos Rotos, Miguel Poveda sings "A Ciegas"

Penelope Cruz sings title song of Volver

Anatomy of a Movie Poster, Volver

Main Titles, Talk to Her

1 comment:

  1. A Ciegas is an unbelievably beautiful song. What a performance!!