I have had these 3 movies from Netflix sitting on my bookcase for some time now. So on Monday, I decided to watch Talk to Her, which was directed and written by Pedro Almodovar. Wow. I am not even sure where to begin. It opens with two men, Benigno and Marco, in an audience watching a moving dance performance–a staging of Pina Bausch’s “Cafe Muller”. A modern dance piece, two women blindly stalking around the stage set of a cafe while two men move the tables and chairs out of their way. Marco cries silently and Benigno notices. You then meet Benigno, clad in nurses scrubs, recounting the evening as he lovingly administers to his patient Alicia. You can tell how much he cares about his patient by the fact that he got one of the dancers to sign a picture for her. He talks to her as if she could respond, though she has been in a coma for four years after being struck by a car. You also learn that Benigno took care of his ailing mother for twenty years previous to caring for Alicia. Marco becomes the lover of Lydia, the most famous women bullfighter in Spain at the time, when he witnesses her at her worst. He meets Benigno when she, having been violently gored by a bull, is placed in the same ward as Alicia. Benigno recognizes Marco as the crying man from the Bausch performance and the two establish a friendship. There is much more to the movie then this, but I would ruin it if I told more. Its not a plot driven movie. Rather, its an exploration of love and friendship and men and women, though not in some cheesy way. Benigno’s love for Alicia is entirely one-sided, but the gentleness of his touch and expression really speak volumes about how deeply he cares and seems to know her. Marco’s relationship with Lydia seems unclear at first, but through the brillant use of flashbacks, we see how they came into each other’s lives. Even though there is a slight plot twist, its the tenderness of each man and their affection for each other that really keeps the movie going.
One of the things I was able to do this weekend was see a movie with some friends. I had been hearing great things about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and really was excited about seeing it. I was not disappointed. I think this movie is better than Being John Malkovich, which was more of a concept movie. Its plot was clever and interesting. And you wondered what would happen to the characters, but it lacked the emotion of Eternal Sunshine. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to relate to the main character Joel’s dilemma. I know it would have been easier for me to have my college boyfriend erased from my memory. Breaking up is hard, especially if it’s not mutual. What a shitty part of my life. But I would never want Aaron, my boy now, to be erased from my memory. I am a stronger person now, partly because of what I went through with the college boy. That and time and growing up I guess. Ridding unwanted memories from your mind sounds good in theory at least. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet were both really good in their respective parts. You watch their relationship unfold and then crumple and they are lucky enough to get a second chance. I think I have to see this movie a second time. Its that good.