Thursday, May 06, 2010

Pedro & Antonio. Madonna & Me

1990 / 1991 Flashback!

As you've no doubt heard my favorite living filmmaker (Pedro Almodóvar) is reuniting with his only true male muse (Antonio Banderas). They haven't made a movie together since Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), one of Pedro's best. You don't hear this enough so I'll say it. Pedro's 1986-1990 output was arguably as rich as his 1999-2006 run-o-brilliance. So we should all be very excited about this sixth get together. Basically Pedro is the entire reason I came to love Antonio. I could never really stop loving him. Even once the Melanie Griffith years happened and I stopped following his work, I always thought of him fondly. I just kept hoping that one day Pedro would rescue him from that crap filmography. And here we go.

Now, I don't want to read too much about the new movie so I've only skimmed the articles about it. It's called The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) and it's supposedly some sort of rape/revenge/horror deal. I'm not reading carefully because I like to be surprised. So let's talk about the past. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is not actually the last Pedro/Antonio film. It's just the last official one.

Labyrinth (82), Matador (86), Desire (87), Women (88) and ¡Átame! (90)

Pedro & Antonio's combined filmography
Remember that amazing scene in Madonna's brilliant documentary Truth or Dare (1991) when Sandra Bernhard asked Madonna who she wants to meet, 'Who would really blow your mind?' Madonna replies, laughing, "I think I met everybody!" But Sandra persists. Madonna suddenly mentions Antonio Banderas, 'the guy in all those Pedro Almodóvar movies.' What Madonna wants, Madonna gets and one scene later she's at Pedro's swanky party flirting shamelessly with his married Spaniard star.

You can't imagine how thrilling this sequence was back in the day. Back in 1991, the internet wasn't around to spoil every surprise from upcoming movies. There was no IMDb. There were entertainment magazines and infotainment shows. We had NO idea that Pedro & Antonio were going to get a scene in Madonna's breathlessly awaited event doc.

I was already quite obsessed with the Spanish pair but only exceptionally cool people in the US (yeah, I said it. shut up) knew who they were so it's not like they were a subject of frequent conversations. But Madonna was always proving how exceptional she was. During the late 80s and early 90s Madonna was basically greater than Santa Claus. She was constantly showering the world with extravagantly entertaining gifts.

Madge plants one on Antonio while exiting Almodóvar's party in Truth or Dare
photo source

But back to 2010. How about this new extravagant gift: Antonio Banderas wrapped up in that luscious Almodovar paper again? Me want.



cinemadventurer said...

It's easy to forget how smoldering he was (the Oscars fright-beard didn't help). I sort of assumed his career had floundered, though this new Almodovar project and the next Woody Allen movie might bring him back to the A-list.

Also, Glee has served as a recent reminder that in this Lady Gaga-ruled universe, Madonna is still in charge.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Antonio sets the sexy bar way too high. And for that, I salute him.

Michael Parsons said...

I always wonder what would have happened had they gotten together.

Iggy said...

I'm most excited to know the rest of the cast (please, some Carmen Maura!), specially the other male part. I'm already dreaming of a male face-off à la Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. But I should probably lower my expectations given the history of Almodóvar and his male casting choices.

Mirko said...

I'm glad they're working together again but, most of all, I'm glad they're reuniting for this particola project. LA PIEL QUE HABITO (THE SKIN I LIVE IN) is a movie project Almodovar was caressing from several years. it's a loosy adaptation of the late Therry Jonquet's erotic thriller MYGALE (TARANTULA)and it's very melodramatic and tense history of revenge, with a quite weird twist. I konw that Almodovar could make an awesome film about it, even if he won't be faithful to the novel...

I'm just sorry that we won't see Penelope Cruz as Banderas partner...I was pretty convinced Cruz was perfect for the role of the "victim"...but I'm trusting Almodovar could find a good substitute for his muse

mrripley said...

Hopefully ped will rescue ant from his holywood hell.

adelutza said...

Ha. Now just add some Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril,Marisa Paredes and even a little bit of Penelope in the mix and you already have a champion.

Aidan MT4 said...

Law of Desire was deliriously sexy, and despite the mostly horrendous American years (Griffith, the awful singing of the Best Song at the Oscars), Banderas will always be, in my mind, the young man from that movie, the essence of Spanish passion.

James T said...

Does everyone hate Griffith or is it just my imagination? Would anyone care to explain why is that?

Deivith Coast said...

Yesterday I was revisiting ¡Átame! and it´s sooo GREAT!!!

But Nathaniel I have just an objection: couldn´t you say that his films from 1986 to 1991 (instead of 1990) are some of their best? To me, leaving Tacones Lejanos out of that group is very close to a capital sin. Tacones Lejanos is so perfect... I love Victoria Abril and the complexity and depth of her Rebeca, all the emotions of the film, the wonderful songs, her relationship with her mother...and it´s so funny and intense!!

If I have to choose seven Almodovar films ( I can´t choose less than seven) that would be, in chronological order:

La ley del deseo
Mujeres al borde...
Tacones Lejanos
Todo sobre mi madre
Hable con ella

Kev said...

This reminds me of those SNL sketches that Chris Kattan used to do as Antonio Banderas. He'd have that Zorro look going, and Horatio Sanz was his sidekick who would always say, "Too sexy! Too sexy!" Loved those back in the day.

And you know that Madonna and Antonio boned. That kiss says it all.

Direct to Video Connoisseur said...

I think I'm more excited for this than I was for Almodovar working with Gael Garcia Bernal in Bad Education-- though I'm always excited for the next Almodovar film. He's one of the best directors in the world, and though his films are relegated to indie theaters because a large chunk of Americans don't care for films with subtitles, I'm not so sure that's such a bad thing-- my local indie theater's a lot cheaper than the stadium seating multiplex in town!

cantueso said...

Very nice to see that Almodovar is liked and admired in the US.I think he is the greatest photographer, and I prefer his stills to his films. Sometimes it is just the colour, but mostly it is the way he sees women.