Friday, October 16, 2009


While I still haven't figured out a way to attend the New York Film Festival proper, I was able to watch an in-person interview with Spanish director Pedro Almodovar last week as part of the festivities, regarding the man as he espoused on the connection between motherhood and divas, how he detests fast, slapdash edits and prefers the long takes.
"Cinema helps us to explain ourselves, our troubles, our situation better than our own words," he explained, gushing about American b-movies, Spanish melodramas of the 1950s, and most surprisingly, expressing his lifelong devotion (as "a humble student of") to the film works of Ingmar Bergman and John Cassavetes. Recently re-watching scenes featuring men with great tits snorting heroin amid campy wallpaper, those are not the first two names that spring to mind. (He also mentions Douglas Sirk though, which does make sense).
He then proceeded to show how he paid homage to John Cassavetes' Opening Night (detailing that the film was ravaged by NY critics and only ran in one theater for a week before closing) by lifting a scene from the film for All About My Mother. He then did the same for Bergman, comparing a scene from Autumn Sonata with his own film, High Heels. I kept hoping he would do the same with Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity and Jean Renoir's La bête humaine, since both posters appear in the cinema for a crucial scene from Bad Education, but we would have been there all day.