The Gateway to Global Cinema: ‘All About Almodóvar’ kicks of at the Lightbox here in Toronto

Posted in Movies, Retrospective, Theatrical by - February 24, 2017
The Gateway to Global Cinema: ‘All About Almodóvar’ kicks of at the Lightbox here in Toronto

As a lifelong movie fan, I’ll admit that I was once like you.  Watching movies with subtitles was a little bit of a chore, especially if there weren’t any violence or nudity or samurai swords.  I just didn’t want to spend the time.  Then of course I got older and my tastes got more refined and the more I found the arts and specifically film to be my calling, I found my gateway into the cinema of the world.  I found the films of Pedro Almodóvar.

Kicking off tonight down at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and running until April 4th, it’s all about ALL ABOUT ALMODÓVAR as a brand new retrospective launches celebrating the work of one of the more prolific on the global filmmaking scene and easily the most recognizable name in Spanish language cinema since Luis Buñuel.

Starting with his Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom that is screening tonight at 6:30 we get a rough but unique experience that goes against the polish and shine that he would ultimately become known for.  Celebrated by critics at the time when it was released in 1980 it was viewed as statement in the post-Franco era that delighted audiences and became a cult hit in this newly liberal country and it serves as an example of how anything, even a movie with menstruating dolls and golden showers can speak on a political level when done the right way.

Throughout all of his films there is an underpinning of desire, not necessarily sex, but desire to live as freely as possible.  This shows up in films like Dark Habits where he is taking some not so veiled shots at the Catholic Church and the marriage of overwrought melodrama and farce in Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the film that marked his debut on the global stage being nominated for an Academy Award.

A master of tone at every turn this films are so universally accessible because he manages to provide his unique Spanish flare to a series of stories that have very much been influenced by the Hollywood classics of yesteryear.  He could be keeping us on edge in thrillers like Matador or The Skin I Live In, providing us with sweeping romance like in Broken Embraces or giving us emotional and poignant tales of humanity much like All About My Mother and Talk To Her.  The man has never been a one trick pony, and rightly or wrongly he has stayed in his native country telling stories that he has wanted to tell avoiding the obvious glare and attraction of the Hollywood system.  He has taken all the right lessons from the Tinseltown structure of filmmaking and made them his own in some very unique and satisfying ways.

With it being ALL ABOUT ALMODÓVAR until April 4th, cinephiles across the city don’t have any excuse not to take in some of these classic and unique pieces of cinema that at least for yours truly opened up an even larger world of global cinema for me to feast on.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.