Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

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Cremildo
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Re: Pedro Almodóvar

#2 Post by Cremildo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:08 pm


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domino harvey
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Re: Pedro Almodóvar

#3 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:11 pm

Looks incredible

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Brian C
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Re: Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#4 Post by Brian C » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:08 pm

This is an exceptionally beautiful movie. Of course, that's true of Almodovar in general, but even by his standards, the visuals here are just completely gorgeous. And this is despite the photography having the same kind of sterile digital sheen that I'm So Excited! had, but the art direction and costuming are so vibrant and the colors so expressive that I feel like I could have watched the movie without sound and with the focus out to the point of abstraction and still found it compelling.

Although I love Almodovar, I've seen enough from him that the actual story here feels overly familiar though not without some power. But he's just so damn good at this kind of thing, that instead of feeling like a retread of his earlier work, it feels more like rewatching a favorite film and seeing new things that I didn't catch before.
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And I really liked the last shot of the film, which throws in a big narrative twist that recontextualizes what's come before, not just in this movie, but over the course of his career. Not that I expect this to be his last film or anything, but if tragedy were to strike and it turned out to be, it would be a fitting end to his body of work.
My only real gripe is that Almodovar's films almost always get stylish posters that hint at the artistry of his films, but this one gets stuck with an ugly photocollage of stills against a plain white background (see here). Lame.

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Re: Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#5 Post by nitin » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:38 pm

The production design and cinematography in the cave scenes was tremendous.

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Re: Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#6 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:12 pm

I'll echo Brian's comments on this being a beautiful, complicated work, even for Almodóvar. Always one to seamlessly mix bittersweet emotional contexts together, the self-reflexivity at play here amplifies his greatest strengths turned inward, uncovering priceless memories, pains of isolative experiences, and loss; as well as outwards to the world in a spiritual kind of offering, a surrender to the opportunities that present themselves as possibilities for self-discovery, and if not closure then acceptance. These coincidences, that I won't spoil, hint at something greater than the self. Perhaps not God, but Almodóvar isn't searching for answers so much as combing through the dimensions of his life and life in general, using cinema as the tool to exhibit the unexplainable. If this will be called Almodóvar's 8 1/2, as I'm sure some will refer to it as, so be it. But this blows the Fellini out of the water with power, feeling, and meaning. It may be too early to call it, but I think this could be his masterpiece.

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senseabove
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Re: Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#7 Post by senseabove » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:24 am

I was a bit trepidatious about this one, as I haven't seen Almodóvar's reputation makers since around the time Bad Education came out, so I don't remember much about them, and his more recent movies that I have seen (The Skin I Live in and Julieta) I just didn't like. But this was wonderfully moving, for a variety of specific, personal reasons, but also because it's so placidly well-paced, the coincidences moving into view and receding under each other like waves and bringing different stages of Salva's past into view at different distances. My (younger, it feels pertinent to mention...) date was less moved, and a little disappointed it was so mellow. And indeed, the coincidences are controlled or proxied, the emotions indirect, the colors comparatively restrained and tasteful, even the bad decisions Salva makes are measured—if Almodovar is complaining that, no, it isn't autobiographical, folks, it would seem to be because it's not a story of his life, but perhaps a kind of wish-exorcising, therapeutic art—
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what if I went a little too far off the rails to wallow and recovered and my long-lost love briefly reappeared and my mother and I had been more honest with each other and...
—which makes me a little surprised I liked it quite as much as I did... The ending
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twist didn't strike me as particularly profound in and of itself, but it's a gentle, simple and elegant meta-prompt for us to re-evaluate our (very recent!) past in the same way Salva has had to when the past keeps coincidentally intruding on his present.

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Re: Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#8 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:51 pm

senseabove wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:24 am
if Almodovar is complaining that, no, it isn't autobiographical, folks, it would seem to be because it's not a story of his life, but perhaps a kind of wish-exorcising, therapeutic art—
SpoilerShow
what if I went a little too far off the rails to wallow and recovered and my long-lost love briefly reappeared and my mother and I had been more honest with each other and...
—which makes me a little surprised I liked it quite as much as I did... The ending
SpoilerShow
twist didn't strike me as particularly profound in and of itself, but it's a gentle, simple and elegant meta-prompt for us to re-evaluate our (very recent!) past in the same way Salva has had to when the past keeps coincidentally intruding on his present.
The more I think on that final shot, the more I feel it to be profound as a unique kind of meditation on memories.
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Almodóvar has been playing with narrative and the subjective nature of memory for much of his career, but instead of bringing attention to the state of reliability or validity in the memories, or flaws in the practice of capturing memory on film, he rests on the power that he can try. By utilizing film here to possess these memories on film stock, Almodóvar frees them from himself; controlling the inherent unreliability of memories by giving them their own subjective validity, a seal with a bittersweet kiss.
This process is just as much a surrender to grace as the content of the film, adding an extra layer of metaphysical or self-reflexive spirituality to an already mystical film.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#9 Post by Black Hat » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:51 am

This was truly a wonderful film. I don't think I will ever forget how moved I was by the end. I don't think it's something that should be written or read about too much. It's one of those films where the audience takes the personality of the director and in this case this means it's deeply personal. It's an extremely special film, I respect Almodovar so much and Banderas as well, he's splendid here.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#10 Post by Nasir007 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:51 pm

One of the films of the year.

There are 2 different films here. There is one which you watch. And then there is the one you think about after watching it. Because the latter is a different film. The difference being - the last shot recontextualizes the film you have just seen. So that you now respond to it in a different way and think about it in a different way.

I would say the narrative conceit in some ways is similar to The Skin I Love In. But here it achieves an entirely different effect.

The last shot is more brilliant than people think it is. It perfectly crystallized the film for me - gave it more meaning as an experience, and melted away some complaints that I had with it.

This is really a beautiful piece of work. I am trying to rack my brain but there isn't actually any conflict per se in the film. There is no drama giving it momentum so to say. But it is still moving and compelling as a meditation and as somewhat of a reckoning that the director figure arrives at. A most gentle film with a magnificently sweet and winning performance from Banderas.

I will be thinking about this film for some time for sure. I think it might be his best film since Volver.

--

I will also add the script is beautiful. When you kinda parse it through and see what it is trying to do, it hangs on a single co-incidence. Though you might not realize that while watching the film as it can seem like a series of vignettes.

And the film is built around one single epiphany - a beautiful one at that. It is the moment everyone experiences in their life, but I haven't seen it portrayed with this clarity on screen before. Other directors have tried, but it achieves a beautiful resonance here. I daresay that single scene or image is what led Almodovar to make this film.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#11 Post by Toland's Mitchell » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:59 pm

I should have foreseen the ending, but Almodóvar was, as always, so engrossing that I was still taken by surprise.
Nasir007 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:51 pm
There are 2 different films here. There is one which you watch. And then there is the one you think about after watching it. Because the latter is a different film. The difference being - the last shot recontextualizes the film you have just seen. So that you now respond to it in a different way and think about it in a different way.

The last shot is more brilliant than people think it is. It perfectly crystallized the film for me - gave it more meaning as an experience, and melted away some complaints that I had with it.
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I agree. The two films here are the one you watch, and the one we discover Salvador was directing the entire time. The ending suggested they were both one and the same. Salvador could have been the star of his own film, and nothing we saw was 'real.' Or maybe only the flashback scenes were 'staged', and present-day scenes were 'real' meaning he was actually battling drug addiction, the death of his mother, etc. A second viewing could shed some light. Either way, Pain and Glory was a rich film, and one of the year's best.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#12 Post by Nasir007 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:30 am

Toland's Mitchell wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:59 pm
I should have foreseen the ending, but Almodóvar was, as always, so engrossing that I was still taken by surprise.
Nasir007 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:51 pm
There are 2 different films here. There is one which you watch. And then there is the one you think about after watching it. Because the latter is a different film. The difference being - the last shot recontextualizes the film you have just seen. So that you now respond to it in a different way and think about it in a different way.

The last shot is more brilliant than people think it is. It perfectly crystallized the film for me - gave it more meaning as an experience, and melted away some complaints that I had with it.
SpoilerShow
I agree. The two films here are the one you watch, and the one we discover Salvador was directing the entire time. The ending suggested they were both one and the same. Salvador could have been the star of his own film, and nothing we saw was 'real.' Or maybe only the flashback scenes were 'staged', and present-day scenes were 'real' meaning he was actually battling drug addiction, the death of his mother, etc. A second viewing could shed some light. Either way, Pain and Glory was a rich film, and one of the year's best.
Exactly.

The first film is the film that is advertised and the one you think that you are watching. It is a film about a director reminiscing about his life. And this reading makes you think that the film is centered around his feelings for his mother and family life. That is where the emphasis resides. Only there is a problem here -
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Firstly that the memories violate the Pruostian principle of narrative memory. There seems to be no trigger for these memories. Why is he having these memories? What is triggering them? We see the first memory literally 1 minute in when after the first shot of him in the swimming pool, we cut to a memory. The memories seem unmotivated.

Secondly, the memories have a very narrow conception and they are not from all over his life, just from a very specific period when he was a small child.
This really bothered me as this is not how memory works. Little did I know that Almodovar had something up his sleeve. The film you think about them is this -
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What you think were memories are not memories at all. They are clips from a film he's directing! So now you lay out the chronology much differently. So the film that you think about goes something like this -
A recovering director is taking treatment and depressed and not working due to his ailments. A restoration of one of his old films brings him in touch with an old actor friend. The old actor friend takes a confessional text from him and mounts a play. One of his first ex-lovers sees the play and connects with the director again. That meeting is life affirming and the director wants to cure himself now. And then comes the one point of extreme co-incidence - the resurfacing of a painting which then properly triggers the narrative Proustian memory - the priceless epiphany at the heart of the film - the awakening of the first desire. THAT is what finally inspires the artist and he writes the script and makes the movie about the moment. And that movie is what we are seeing clips from - that movie he wrote to capture that sublime moment when you first feel the pining of sex or you become aware of your biological body as a source of pleasure and more.

This is a important alteration as this negates the premise that he was reminiscing about this life. In a way he was, but more importantly he had the epiphany on seeing the painting and he was looking to recreate that. So he was above all else thinking about that fleeting moment which was so transformative for him, perhaps the moment he might have first thought he was gay even, the first moment of self-awareness and self-identification.
For me the second reading is much more poignant and much more coherent as it more ably sets up the Proustian memory principle that I think is good story-telling. It also shows something that we don't often see in cinema -
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the moment when you first becomes aware of sex.
There was a similar moment included in Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac when -
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the 7 year old Joe 'discovers' her vagina as a source of pleasure when she and her friend spill soap water on the bathroom floor and then slide over it on their stomachs. The crucial difference being that von Trier uses that moment to launch his tale. While Almodovar uses this moment to crystallize his tale, the final epiphany that the movie leads us towards.

It even leads you think about - do you recollect the moment or can you reconstruct the moment when you first felt desires or realized you could be a sexual being?

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#13 Post by Finch » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:22 pm

Saw it earlier today, and for me, this is one of Pedro Almodovar's best films, ahead of Talk To Her but behind All About My Mother and Bad Education. Wistful and mellow mood, gorgeous colours. I think the few critics who were lukewarm on it should revisit as I suspect some were still smarting from I'm So Excited and Julieta. I have so many other films still to catch up with but I reckon this is going to stay in my top five for this year.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#14 Post by Finch » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:48 am


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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#15 Post by TheDudeAbides » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:09 pm

Saw this last night and my I feel very similarly to how Finch felt; although for me I think it is slightly below Talk to Her - at least how I feel right away. Absolutely one of Almodovar's top tier works and a return to form. Can't see this one not finishing in my top 5 either

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#16 Post by R0lf » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:05 pm

Nasir007 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:30 am
Exactly.

The first film is the film that is advertised and the one you think that you are watching. It is a film about a director reminiscing about his life. And this reading makes you think that the film is centered around his feelings for his mother and family life. That is where the emphasis resides. Only there is a problem here -
SpoilerShow
Firstly that the memories violate the Pruostian principle of narrative memory. There seems to be no trigger for these memories. Why is he having these memories? What is triggering them? We see the first memory literally 1 minute in when after the first shot of him in the swimming pool, we cut to a memory. The memories seem unmotivated.[/spoiler
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I don't want to nitpick too much because it's not that type of movie but there are clearly triggers for these memories in the movie: there is a narrative dump regarding his medical symptoms at the start of the movie, during the scene where Salvador takes heroin for the first time he clearly states that his medical symptoms have been triggering flashbacks, and during the first scene in the swimming pool which you state has no trigger there is the same audio cue for tinnitus which is used during the narrative dump where they state "this is what tinnitus sounds like".
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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#17 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:14 pm

R0lf wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:05 pm
Nasir007 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:30 am
Exactly.

The first film is the film that is advertised and the one you think that you are watching. It is a film about a director reminiscing about his life. And this reading makes you think that the film is centered around his feelings for his mother and family life. That is where the emphasis resides. Only there is a problem here -
SpoilerShow
Firstly that the memories violate the Pruostian principle of narrative memory. There seems to be no trigger for these memories. Why is he having these memories? What is triggering them? We see the first memory literally 1 minute in when after the first shot of him in the swimming pool, we cut to a memory. The memories seem unmotivated.[/spoiler
SpoilerShow
I don't want to nitpick too much because it's not that type of movie but there are clearly triggers for these memories in the movie: there is a narrative dump regarding his medical symptoms at the start of the movie, during the scene where Salvador takes heroin for the first time he clearly states that his medical symptoms have been triggering flashbacks, and during the first scene in the swimming pool which you state has no trigger there is the same audio cue for tinnitus which is used during the narrative dump where they state "this is what tinnitus sounds like".
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I don't think the audience has that information at that point. At least I did not. And the information dump only happens after the first memory. Hence my response to the movie and my theory behind it.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#18 Post by bakofalltrades » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:38 pm

I can’t specifically recall which is the first flashback, but wasn’t water the link in the first instance? Being submerged in the pool tied to the river in the flashback. Is that not substantial enough, or am I misinterpreting the critique?

Regardless, once we grasp he’s a director/writer, do the flashbacks need a trigger if, like I did, one supposes he’s mining his own past for material. Actively recalling instead of reactive? Just some thoughts.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#19 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:56 pm

But he did not have that information at the time! Hence it violates the “Pruostian [sic] principle of narrative memory.” Because apparently this Pruost guy said that it’s a problem if the triggers aren’t specifically spelled out in advance for the benefit of less attentive viewers.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#20 Post by Nasir007 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:01 pm

bakofalltrades wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:38 pm
I can’t specifically recall which is the first flashback, but wasn’t water the link in the first instance? Being submerged in the pool tied to the river in the flashback. Is that not substantial enough, or am I misinterpreting the critique?

Regardless, once we grasp he’s a director/writer, do the flashbacks need a trigger if, like I did, one supposes he’s mining his own past for material. Actively recalling instead of reactive? Just some thoughts.
Bare in mind everything I noted in my theory of the film was a personal opinion and preference. It wasn't a factual assertion about the movie. I hope it did not come off that way.

With that, to address the question - there is 45 seconds of footage of a submerged man as the movie starts and we straightaway have a flashback. I personally did not find it adequately predicated. To me, it seemed extremely abrupt. I felt it had no context whatsoever - at that particular point in the film. As I go on to say in my posts above - the context came later on. Essentially with the final shot of the movie.

So for me, the answer would be yes. I personally needed a trigger for the first memory. The audience at that point does not know whether the man is a writer/director or anything really. From the first 45 seconds, all that can be construed is that the man has had some kind of surgery and is in some kind of a rehab pool for recovery and that's it. And then it cuts to a childhood memory which I, personally, found jolting and unmotivated. (But, again, as I go on to say - the movie was able to overcome my reservation later on.)

EDIT: Edited to quote the post I was responding to.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#21 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:15 pm

Nasir007 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:01 pm
Bare in mind everything I noted in my theory of the film was a personal opinion and preference. It wasn't a factual assertion about the movie. I hope it did not come off that way.

With that, to address the question - there is 45 seconds of footage of a submerged man as the movie starts and we straightaway have a flashback. I personally did not find it adequately predicated. To me, it seemed extremely abrupt. I felt it had no context whatsoever - at that particular point in the film. As I go on to say in my posts above - the context came later on. Essentially with the final shot of the movie.

So for me, the answer would be yes. I personally needed a trigger for the first memory. The audience at that point does not know whether the man is a writer/director or anything really. From the first 45 seconds, all that can be construed is that the man has had some kind of surgery and is in some kind of a rehab pool for recovery and that's it. And then it cuts to a childhood memory which I, personally, found jolting and unmotivated. (But, again, as I go on to say - the movie was able to overcome by reservation later on.)

EDIT: Edited to quote the post I was responding to.
Is Almodovar really asking too much of his audience to wait more than 45 seconds to determine whether or not there is adequate context for what's on screen?

Acknowledging that this is all just, like, your opinion, man - do you really need your hand held in the way you're describing?

And finally, if the movie was able to overcome your reservation, then what's the point of making the objection in the first place? Did you need a trigger, or was the movie able to overcome that need? Seems like both can't be true.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#22 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:58 pm

Nasir007 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:30 am
The first film is the film that is advertised and the one you think that you are watching. It is a film about a director reminiscing about his life. And this reading makes you think that the film is centered around his feelings for his mother and family life. That is where the emphasis resides. Only there is a problem here -
SpoilerShow
Firstly that the memories violate the Pruostian principle of narrative memory. There seems to be no trigger for these memories. Why is he having these memories? What is triggering them? We see the first memory literally 1 minute in when after the first shot of him in the swimming pool, we cut to a memory. The memories seem unmotivated.

Secondly, the memories have a very narrow conception and they are not from all over his life, just from a very specific period when he was a small child.
This really bothered me as this is not how memory works.
Well, sure, memory is often nonlinear, hazy, intangible, etc. but how can you properly convey the experience of memory on film? It seems to me that much of what Almodóvar was attempting to achieve here is as close to a personal expression of his identity and emotions as the art form allows, and he seems very aware of the limitations of such form in his reveal, while continuing to meet it with love and gratitude for its abilities all the same.

Also, re: memory - are you actually suggesting that memories are always motivated by a clear and conscious trigger? Have you never experienced a memory being triggered and only revealing parts of it to yourself in chunks as you go about your day/week? Have you never focused closely on one specific time period/context of your life when trying to engage in finding meaning or processing nostalgia in a moment of existential pondering? This actually felt like a pretty fair exhibition as far as the medium can take the content, even if part of the point is that it can't perfectly summarize the process.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#23 Post by R0lf » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:10 am

Nasir is right on the money for the moment of revelation though. It’s the lightbulb moment that artists feel when they realise they have something. If you’re maybe not an artist or have never experienced the block on creativity you might struggle to adequately describe it here.

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Re: Dolor y gloria [Pain and Glory] (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)

#24 Post by domino harvey » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:15 am

I liked this, but that's no surprise: after having finished off his filmography (save the uncirculating Folle... Folle... ¡Fólleme Tim!) earlier this year, I can say definitively that while they're not all great, all of Almodovar's films are at least good (yes, even Los amantes pasajeros-- sure, it's broad and uneven, but the diversion with the phone is maybe the best set piece in his filmography). I wouldn't rank this among his best, but it's a strong film with some lovely touches, as per usual. For me Almodovar is just getting into that late Chabrol period of twinkling on the piano keys, and I'm okay with that. Would be only too happy for another decade's worth of movies as good as this or Julieta

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