Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Los amantes pasajeros / I'm So Excited!

Matkarakastajat / I'm So Excited! ES 2013 © 2012 El Deseo. D: Pedro Almodóvar. 90 min. Preview of a Future Film release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Janne Kauppila, Sofia Deniz / Heidi Nyblom Kuorikoski. 2K DCP viewed at Cinema Lapinsuu, Sodankylä (Midnight Sun Film Festival), 12 June 2013

The English title is from the song "I'm So Excited" by Pointer Sisters.

The Festival Catalogue: "Screening in Sodankylä before its official Finnish premiere, Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar's new absurd comedy takes place on board a plane flying from Madrid towards Mexico City. Up in the air it becomes apparent that the plane is headed for trouble. Fear of death takes over the cabin, along with liquor. Soon enough both passengers and crew members alike begin to open up with irrevocable honesty about their feelings as well as their secrets…"
   "I'm So Excited, filled with Almodóvar regulars such as Cecilia Roth and Lola Dueñas, has been called the Spanish director's return to the world of his anarchistic, hilariously funny and uninhibitedly profane 1980s comedies, where all flowers had equal right to bloom brightly. Naturally, well-established stars Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas also pop by for a cameo."
   "Almodóvar has always had the charming ability to combine moments of soulful melodrama and high octane emotion with cheeky, palate-cleansing adult humor straight from the heart of alternative culture. Every now and then the film flies near the beloved airplane movies of the Zucker/Zucker/Abrahams group, but on the other hand, Almodóvar's crashlanding-bound aircraft can also be taken as a metaphor for Spain's current struggle to stay economically afloat."
   "And naturally, while gasping for their last breaths, the passengers put together one last orgy in true Almodóvarian spirit: death is best faced with the happiest facets of life, preferably with your pants around your ankles!" (Lauri Timonen)

A sex comedy with a musical production number inspired by the ZAZ Airplane! movies with parodies of gay stereotypes like in La Cage aux folles, this is something new from Pedro Almodóvar. Not one of his movies of the most profound substance but a genre piece like The Skin I Live In. We were laughing out loud in this first screening of the Midnight Sun Film Festival.

I liked: - The limited animation credit sequences. - The hyperbright colour schemes. - The funny repartee. - Visual inserts such as the close-up of the rotating turbine. - The facial studies of the sleeping passengers. - The "I'm So Excited!" production number. - The emergency landing conveyed only via sound and shots of the empty airport halls. - The sequence of the emergency evacuation of the airplane in the giant foam bubbles along a rubber landing gear.

In a farcical and parodical way this movie is also about the situation of Europe with references to the recent revelations of epic financial fraud, the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex scandals and the Russian (and Mexican) way of disposing with enemies. - On board the plane to Mexico there is a bank director trying to elope after the criminal circumstances of his bankruptcy have been exposed. - There is also an infamous dominatrix Madame who has started right after the Franco era and has reportedly collected a video library of the top 600 of Spain (but says later it is but a rumour that she keeps spreading). - Further there is a hitman who says his next hit would be the last; the hit should be the Madame, but he "never kills a woman". After retirement he plans facial surgery ("I'll miss my nose").

Steven Soderbergh has made a Liberace movie, Behind the Candelabra. Even more I would have looked forward to Pedro Almodóvar's view of the pianist. "Martha, Martha, you worry so much, but only one thing counts". Love. Tenderness is the Almodóvar hallmark behind the candelabra, the surface glitter, the madness, the twisted plots, the brilliant colour, the fathomless sex drive. Nothing else matters.

The digital look is used as a means of expression. Pedro Almodóvar is reinventing his bright, loud and bold colour world in digital.

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