Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Skin I live In

 A "meditation on profound themes: memory, grief, violence, degradation, and survival"...

The Film & Art Study concluded our own Reel FX Film Festival Wednesday night (Jun 13, 2012), with a special presentation of the (2011) Spanish film, The Skin I Live In, by director, Pedro Almodovar.

The Skin I Live In (Spanish: La piel que habito) is a 2011 Spanish thriller film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet, and Roberto Álamo. The Skin I Live In is based on Thierry Jonquet's novel Mygale, first published in French and then in English under the title Tarantula. The film premiered in May 2011 in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, and won Best Film Not in the English Language at the 65th British Academy Film Awards.

Almodóvar has described the film as "a horror story without screams or frights". The film was the first collaboration in 21 years between Almodóvar and Antonio Banderas.  

Pedro Almodóvar read Thierry Jonquet's Tarantula about ten years before the film premiered. He described what attracted him in the novel as "the magnitude of Doctor Ledgard's vendetta". This became the core of the adaptation, which over time moved further and further from the original plot of the novel. Almodóvar was inspired by Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face and the thriller films of Fritz Lang when he wrote the screenplay.  

The director announced the film project in 2002, when he envisioned Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz in the film's two leading roles, but he eventually settled on Banderas and Elena Anaya. The Skin I Live In was the first film Almodóvar and Banderas made together in 21 years, after having been regular collaborators in the 1980s. The film was produced through El Deseo for a budget of €10 million.


Principal photography started 23 August 2010 and ended almost four months later. Filming locations included Santiago de Compostela, Madrid, and a country house outside Toledo.

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.

Pedro Almodovar and Tim Burton

 Almodóvar is arguably the most successful and internationally known Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama  and use elements of pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors and glossy décor. Desire, passion, family and identity are among Almodóvar’s most prevalent themes. His films enjoy a worldwide following and he has become a major figure on the stage of world cinema.

He founded Spanish film production company El Deseo S.A. with his younger brother Agustín Almodóvar who has produced almost all of Pedro’s films. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.

Asked to explain the success of his films, he says that they are very entertaining. "It's important not to forget that films are made to entertain. That's the key." He was heavily influenced by old Hollywood movies in which everything happens around a female main character, and aims to continue in that tradition.

Almodóvar is openly gay, and he has incorporated elements of underground and gay culture into mainstream forms with wide crossover appeal, thus redefining perceptions of Spanish cinema and Spain. He acknowledges, however, that his films are also very personal--"My films are very Spanish, but on the other hand they are capriciously personal. You cannot measure Spain by my films."

The Skin I Live In was written and directed by Pedro Almodovar.

RATED R, 120 min, Dolby Digital, Color, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio.

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