Salvador Mallo, a filmmaker in the twilight of his career, remembers his life: his mother, his lovers, the actors he worked with. The sixties in a small village in Valencia, the eighties in Madrid, the present, when he feels an immeasurable emptiness, facing his mortality, the incapability of continuing filming, the impossibility of separating creation from his own life. The need of narrating his past can be his salvation.
If you were to tell me that ‘Pain and Glory’ was Pedro Almodóvar’s final film, I would be inclined to believe you. Rarely has the act of looking back on one's past been so vividly and honestly depicted, and so richly and emotionally satisfying. You can feel the need for this film to exist in every frame, a need to understand and reflect and celebrate and mourn. It is a portrait of an artist at a crossroads, entering the last act of their lives, looking back at what they have created and the battlefield left in their wake, and facing the terror of never creating again. ‘Pain and Glory’ is an intensely beautiful film, one that hangs in the air around you like a perfume for days after. The more I think back on it, the more certain I am that I’ve seen a masterwork. I cannot wait to see it again.
El Deseo, Televisión Española by Pedro Almodóvar.
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Nora Navas.
Keywords: gay drug abuse movie business creative crisis gay relationship filmmaker sexual awakening chronic pain film director mother son relationship theatrical production valencia, spain cinema on cinema gay artist
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