Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Auteur Update

The Skin I Live In
(La piel que habito)
is said to be Pedro Almodovár's "horror" film. As is typical of his career though, that genre can barely define or contain his style and sense of humor. The style of the trailer is another topic altogether. The soundtrack pops and veers over absurd imagery involving tiger suits and basement hose downs. While it seems to give away some bigger plot points, its manic meld more or less conjures questions like, "What the hell was that all about?" As should be expected, the mood is dazzling, the colors pop, and Pedro's storyline seems to soar and startle in equal measure.

Antonio Banderas returns for his sixth collaboration with Almodovár, a place where he's found his most fruitful roles to date (apologies to the Puss in Boots fans). I didn't create and dutifully enforce "The Law of Desire for Antonio Banderas" without damn fine reason...

It should be interesting to see if he once again falls into the mold of playing completely lovable psychotics, such as the sensual stalkers of Law of Desire and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, or his gentle attempted rapist from Matador. Being a man is more than enough to make him seem dastardly in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. (And Labyrinth of Passion remains my one unseen Pedro picture, considering it's caught in the labyrinth of unreleased titles in the US.) Playing with guns, making skin suits and abducting pretty ladies is enough to verify Banderas' psychotic side, and he does look lovely as ever.

Paredes, Banderas, Almodovár and Anaya at Cannes

His lovely leading ladies are played by Elena Anaya (Talk to Her) and fellow Almodovár veteran Marisa Paredes (All About My Mother, The Flower of My Secret, High Heels), while cinematographer José Luis Alcaine has captured some of Pedro's most seductive and sensational images with Volver, Bad Education, and Antonio Banderas naked in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! It promises to be a horror film with heart... clad in a skintight tiger suit.

David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method looks to pair the the heated psychosexual dueling (and dualing) of Dead Ringers with a historical period piece. However, if this trailer were a Rorschach blot all anyone would see is Oscar-bait. That generic music swell completely stifles the madness and masochism we know is more to Cronenberg's style. It's a safe method I suppose to avoid the more sordid subplots with eyes on the acting prize, but this trailer couldn't be more confining if it were a corset.

You don't need a monocle to see that Michael Fassbender makes for a dashing lead as Carl Jung, tightly tailored and touting an oddly entrancing moustache. Together with Cronenberg favorite, a dapper Viggo Mortensen (as Sigmund Freud), well... One can only hope they experience a Freudian slip.

Oh, and Keira something or other is all messed up in the head... It seems to have all the period opulence with even more opulent actors, and enough headplay to burst your head Scanners-style. But that's just my professional opinion.

Psychology Quiz:

Jung or Freud?

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