26 October 2011

PART 2: La piel que habito..."Art is a guarantee of sanity"

(Quote by Louise Bourgeois, 1911-2010)

for Part 1: La piel que habito...click here.

I experienced Almodóvar's latest film, La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I live In) last week and it left me in a pensive mood for days.  I read the synopsis, saw the beautiful trailer, and was lured by the gorgeous publicity shots for months. . .but nothing prepared me for the skillfully gruesome masterpiece.  Almodóvar is a genius.  I'm particularly glad he didn't cast Penelope Cruz for the part of Vera, because Elena Anaya portrays her beautifully.  This film is not for everybody, but if you're already an Almodóvar fan, you'll be in awe for days. FYI: Antonio Banderas is fiercely good. 

I'm most elated with Almodóvar's respectful homage to the French/American artist, Louise Bourgeois, who recently passed away at the age of 98. If you are familiar with her work,  you'll understand the leading female character, Vera, with great richness.  

After you watch the film, I invite you to come back to this post and study how I've grouped the selected images below. . .

Quien me quiera amar,  
amará tambien lo peor de mi, con ardor. 
(Buika, "Por el amor de amar")

Why Have You Run So Far Away? 
(Louise Bourgeois, head with pink fabric,1993)

Arch of Hysteria 
(Louise Bourgeois, 1993)

Image credits (from top to bottom)
1. Elena Anaya as VERA with "healing" mask. Image borrowed from here.  
2. Louise Bourgeois UNTITLED, 2002.  Image borrowed from the Cheim & Read Gallery website.
3. Close-up of VERA borrowed from here.
4. Image of Spanish actor, Jan Cornet, as VICENTE.
5. Louise Bourgeois sculpture: Nature Study, 1984.
6. Louise Bourgeois, The Couple (detail) 2007.  (Gouache on paper, suite of 18, Collection Louise Bourgeois Trust, courtesy Cheim & Read Gallery, New York and Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London. © Louise Bourgeois Trust. Photo: Christopher Burks.)
7. Image of Spanish actor, Jan Cornet, as VICENTE.
8. Louise Bourgeois head with pink fabric: "Why Have You Run So Far Away?" (1999).
9. Close up of VERA. 
10. Louise Bourgeois black head with flowers, credit details unknown.
11. Elena Anaya as VERA in arched position borrowed from here
12. Louise Bourgeois sculpture, Arch of Hysteria, 1993. Bronze, polished patina, hanging piece, 83.8 x 101.6 x 58.4 cm., Courtesy Cheim & Read and Hauser & Wirth, Photo: Allan Finkelman.

A climactic piece of the story is revealed through a scene where the Spanish singer, Concha Buika, sings the songs, Por el amor de amar (For the love of loving), and Se Me Hizo Facil (I found it easy), which can be found in her latest album, adequately titled, En Mi Piel (In my Skin).  Watch the clip below.


Anna said...

I watched this movie again and I remembered the notes on this post. The doctor's family, according to Almodovar, is brazilian. He chose Brazil because it is a country where plastic surgery has become popular. Almodovar also says Ledgard was one person out of the "logic of guilt and punishment." This was the second reason for the choice of a brazilian family. So, as a brazilian, I was watching the movie after reading this interview with Almodovar. So I would like to point out one other reference: the name of the character Vera. When she introduces herself as "Vera" she adds with the name "Cruz". Vera Cruz was the first name that Portugal gave to Brazil in 1500, the date of 'discovery' of the country.

(the interviwe, in portuguese, is here: http://vejasp.abril.com.br/noticias/entrevista-pedro-almodovar )

(I'm sorry, my english isn't so good!)

Vivi said...

Thank you Anna. Almodovar is full of fascinating details.