Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pedro Almodóvar: Hable con ella / Talk to Her (2002)

Pedro Almodóvar's Hable con ella / Talk to Her (2002) gives us a vivid, offbeat tale revolving around four main characters -- a matadora, a travel writer, a ballet dancer and a male nurse. It's a strange one. Lydia González (played by Rosario Flores) is the bullfighter (reflecting reality: there have been several, for example Conchita Cintrón, 1922-2009, and Cristina Sánchez, b. 1972). Marco (Darío Grandinetti), the writer, develops a romantic relationship with her and a friendship with Benigno (Javier Cámara), the male nurse who also happens to be a sort of "weirdo" and is now caring for Alicia (Leonor Watling), who in turn had already been "that obscure object of (his) desire," as Luis Buñuel donned such fetish-making for the title of his final film in 1977.   
What I particularly like about Talk to Her is its incisive demonstration of Spanish manners and social relationships; that and a memorable visit to Córdoba, during which Almodóvar pays meticulous attention to Lydia as she suits up for her final bullfight. All in all, it's a wild journey through time and place, roaming right into a plazas de toros of not always quite predictable results. 

Today's Rune: Gateway. 

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Never really thought about female bullfighters. Makes sense but I had not previously considered it.