Monday, February 15, 2010

Almodovar, Broken Embraces

I just watched Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces on Saturday night. It was of course good. Not as great as Bad Education or Talk To Her, but certainly better than Volver.

Like most his recent movies, this one is almost a remake of Hitchcock. We get the shlocky costumes, un-well-wrought jump in time and absent woman of Vertigo, the problematization of looking/gazing and the position of prosthetics of Rear Window.

Most notable was the extreme proliferation of disabled bodies and how they seemed to literalize McLuhan's old paradigm of technology as a prosthetic: a blind writer typing on a special type writer, using a special phone, a special internet, a woman in a wheel chair and with crutches; and strikingly, how these seem to overlap with the use of cameras (some of which have their own crutches). The movie begins with the blind writer seducing a woman by having her read the paper to him.

But perhaps most importantly: the shot of the wig, done as well as the original (Vertigo). Almodovar, like Lynch and Wong Kar Wai, loves Hitchcock's obsession with women's hair. I love it too. I want to make a movie of just those kinds of shots; maybe just the shot from behind the hair, close up.


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