Two traumatic separations, the one that causes Tilda Swinton to look with dread at her absent lover’s suitcases, and the one that causes Annette Bening and Bill Nighy to rethink their lives and the different relationship they both have with their son. Plus, an epic action battle with firemen and giant robots in pastel shades.
Pedro Almodóvar: “Using the pandemic to attack the Government is the worst possible use of democracy”
We talk about the short film that Pedro Almodóvar has just released, whom we interviewed this week, and the new film by William Nicholson, best known as a screenwriter of Gladiator by Ridley Scott or The Miserables by Tom Hooper. Also from the new film by the prestigious Studio Trigger, responsible for some of the most surprising series anime of the last few years.
Human voice: wonderful self tribute
Pedro Almodóvar (2020)
A woman who lives in a false flat inside an industrial warehouse, decorated with a filming of a movie that we will never see. A woman who had a lover. A woman who revalues, through a phone call, what it has meant to love the person who has abandoned her, to face the question whose answer eludes her: how to start over?
The premise of The human voice already puts us in direct connection with Almodóvar’s previous work: it reminds us of the telephone monologue that Carmen Maura performed in The law of Desire, while his daughter in fiction pretended to sing You took me away. A text, of course, that Jean Cocteau had written, whom the filmmaker is now reinterpreting. Although very soon more elements appear, bridges laid between films: the ax, which served Maura well in the same film, the fire with which the same actress burned a bed in Women at the edge of a nervous attack, the apartment, its furniture and books that are reminiscent of Antonio Banderas’ home in the wonderful Pain and glory…
It is evident that The human voice it is interpreted and enjoyed more if it is read using the codes that allow detecting the dialogue that this short film establishes with other films from La Mancha. In fact, it would seem that it is one of the few reproaches that one can dedicate to the film: it is not that it is shot in English, it is that it is shot in ‘Almodovarés’ and those who do not usually speak this particular dialect are in danger of being left out of the conversation.
But what difference does it make if the rest are thirty minutes of a fantastic Tilda Swinton walking through that set that shows the cardboard-stone of fiction, while reflecting on the self-deception that is exercised in the affective relationships that one insists on maintaining, but you have to learn to let go. What does it matter if everything it offers Human voice It is so emancipating and emancipating that one leaves the cinema revitalized. We are before a vibrant Almodóvar, which announces with Human voice a promising rebirth that many of us are eager to enjoy.
Return to Hope Gap: therapy cinema
William Nicholson (2019)
Grace and Edward have had 29 years of what seemed like a solid marriage. But between them there is nothing left but routine and silence. When Edward decides that he wants to separate from Grace, the two of them will reconsider who they were and what the years they were together meant. And they will allow themselves to be accompanied and advised by a son to whom they owe much more than they think.
During his time as a playwright, William Nicholson already discussed his parents’ divorce in the acclaimed The Retreat from Moscow. Now he returns to his own work to reevaluate what time has made him see and add layers of reading in the audiovisual field, once he has moved away from the stage. A kind of therapeutic artistic exercise reminiscent of the Baumbach of Story of a marriage Y A history of Brooklyn, but here à la british.
The truth is Return to Hope Gap It could well have settled for being a translation of the theatrical exercise, but Nicholson’s expertise elevates the proposal thanks to an emotion contained in the montage and a fabulous setting on the beaches and cliffs of Seven Sisters. There is no doubt that Annette Bening and Bill Nighy more than fulfill the role of the director’s parents.
Promare: explosion of color and action
Hiroyuki Imaishi (2019)
In an uncertain future, an epidemic of spontaneous combustion has wiped out a large part of the planet’s population. The one known as the Republic of Promepolis resists thanks to a special fire brigade, in which Galo works. After an operation in which the young man captures a ‘burnish’, a person who causes combustion, Galo discovers a plot to lock up and torture those who suffer from the condition.
In pandemic times, any movie that faces an apocalypse due to illness resonates in an unexpected and special way with the viewer. Promare It is no exception, less if we take into account the particularity of the condition that plagues the world of this animated proposal: people burn when they are not able to control their emotions.
Otherwise, Promare It is still a fairly obvious action film, full of broad brush in its character development and its rich narrative in sub-genre platitudes wick Y kaiju. However, its wonderful formal section stands out: an authentic explosion of colors and shapes whose appeal remedies any narrative detail.