Friday, March 8, 2013

Pedro Almodóvar — Los Amantes Pasajeros

     A couple of months ago I mentioned I had watched a Pedro Almodóvar movie. It was not the first one I had watched, but was the first I had watched without subtitles. It was a personal accomplishment, and a good movie. A few weeks ago I saw another one of his movies, that I didn't enjoy as much, but which was still worth my time. Others I had previously seen include Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown) and Volver. I recommend both of them. If you're American and you've seen only one of his movies, it's probably Volver (you know, with Penélope Cruz).
     Almodóvar, Spanish writer and director, is like the Woody Allen of Spain, but more famous here than Allen is in the States. He's sometimes funny, often strange, and always distinguishable. Half of Spain loves him, half couldn't care less. Or at least that's what my Spanish friends say. Anyways, I like him, so when I saw he was coming out with a new movie, I decided to go see it.
     Jack, my British friend who works at the same school as I do, is very into film and also likes Almodóvar, so we went to see it together last night. The new film is called Los amantes pasajeros (in English it's titled I'm So Excited, which is not a translation, just a different title, taken from a song in the movie.) Almodóvar has said that this is his last film, and that he is retiring. It is a comedy about passengers and crew on a flight from Madrid to Mexico (though the plane has problems so they just fly around in circles over Toledo, Spain while they wait for somewhere to land). The movie is in many ways an allegory about the economic crisis here in Spain.
     We arrived at the theatre a bit early to buy tickets. Most tickets were sold out, because it was the pre-release screening. As in, it was the first time any public audience had seen the film. We were just about to buy tickets for the 9:30 showing when two people asked us if we wanted two tickets for free, because they had extra. Um, yes, of course. So we went in, took our seats and waited. Jack noticed there were people crowded outside the doors of the theatre and wondered why. Then the doors opened and out came Almodóvar, along with most of cast of the film. It was a big surprise, and he proceeded to introduce the film and pass the microphone to the cast members, who hoped we would enjoy the film.
It was a very unexpected experience, and very unlike Hollywood screenings, where the list of guests is reserved for the rich and famous. And we weren't the only ones who were surprised. The whole thing was a secret, as the news reported later.

     It was really a treat, and the film was very entertaining as well. And needless to say, I will be watching more Almodóvar films in the near future.                                                        
(Almodóvar. Picture courtesy of Jack and his phone.)  

1 comment: