Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pedro & Pe... Giving It Away

Readers were invited to submit their favorite thing about either Pedro Almodóvar or Penélope Cruz for a chance to win a copy of the new Broken Embraces DVD. This contest got a great response. I guess the film experience's well known love for P&P has attracted other like-minded movie freaks. THE WINNER, drawn randomly, is... Adelutza in Indiana who writes
I don't think I can express how much I love Pedro and his films. I love him so much that, when I have a bad day, all I have to do is bring up the memory of Tacones Lejanos (High Heels) , the scene where Letal sings "Piensa en mi" - and the voice of Luz Casal combined with the face of Miguel Bose are enough to bring me back to the real world where movies rule. Wouldn't that be nice? :-)
Adelutza... are you implying that movies don't rule the world? What a cruel cruel world we live in. Your DVD ships this week. (Anybody waiting on recent past contests... I have confirmation that your wait is also over this week. I did hear from a few people who just received theirs.)

This shot above, is from my favorite scene in Broken Embraces... the amount of emotions that cross Cruz's post-coital face here, are just wondrous to behold. But this post isn't about my Almodóvar/Cruz fixation, but yours. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. Here are some excerpts from the many contest entries that I wanted to share.

On Pedro...
Fabrice in Montreal: One of the many reasons i love Almodovar, is that he certainly has a special talent to film the hottest sex scenes ever. Or, As we say in french: Almodovar tourne les scènes de baise les plus torrides!

Candice in New York: the man knows how to write complicated sass queens who unabashedly admit faults without making them look wishy-washy and one-dimensional.

Janice in Connecticut: What I loved after seeing All About My Mother, Women on the Verge...., Volver, and even Pepi, Luci, Bon is the depth of his love and compassion for all of his characters, which few other filmmakers match; there are no "bad guys", no monsters in his films (not even the tranny ex-husband of whom the protagonist screams "You are an epidemic!"), only foolish and fucked-up human beings reaching for love in their own unique, foolish and fucked-up ways.

Eric in Pennsylvania: As a Douglas Sirk-a-holic, it is a joy knowing that there are filmmakers like Almodovar still carrying his style and spirit.

Brad in Toronto: I am a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown but Pedro's films always manage to keep me sane.

Bernardo in Mexico: I am the grandson of Spanish refugees and whenever I watch an Almodovar film, I can't help but feel the sense of passion that I feel every time I taste my great aunt's paella: Spicy and colourful, just like the enthralling images of Almodovar's films.
On Penélope...
Derek in New York: I, along with everyone else in the world, am absolutely amazed at Penélope's complete transformation into a great actress, having not given a single performance I would consider less than remarkable since Volver.
On the Almodóvar/Cruz Combo...
Bryan in Washington:The two together work with such passion and beauty, yet seem to be doing so effortlessly, with grace and without a trace of falseness. I know there is a great deal of effort involved in their collaborations, but whenever I see a film they've done together, hell an interview with them, it reminds me of old friends from my life who I love dearly. Their connection is so vital and wonderful that it just makes me smile.

Serghio in Guatemala: One thing I love about Pé and Pe: The diva-legend vibe surrounding them, equally!

Hayden in Boston: Cinematography that lusts after a lead actress is a beautiful thing, whether it's classy like Nicole Kidman in Birth or trashy like Megan Fox in Transformers. Pedro knows exactly how to straddle that line with Pene, daring to push the limits of taste (that ceiling-boob shot in Volver!) while clearly adoring her as the Sophia Loren of our generation. From Pedro, you get the idea that filming Penélope is a true privilege.

Andrew in Ontario: My favourite thing about Pedro and Penélope is that they found each other, and continue to work together.
Amen, Andrew... amen.

I wish I had 10 copies to give away but if you didn't win, you can still rent the movie or buy it. I'd love to hear what you think of it. One day I'll have to rank all of the Pedro oeuvre. One day...

I could have kept sharing contest entries. Y'all have such good taste but I must be getting on. Are these things you also love about Pedro or Pe?


Cory Rivard said...

I'm so happy that you singled out that particular scene from 'Broken Embraces'. It is also my favorite scene and is the scene that officialized Penelope Cruz as my favorite SUPPORTING-ACTRESS of last year.
Yes, better than Mo'Nique. Yes, supporting-actress.
I LOVE that performance (I think it's her best) and I love that movie (one of his best). Opinions are so all over the map for that film.

adelutza said...

Hey, thanks Nathaniel! This really took me by surprise... but what a good surprise! I've seen Los Abrazos Rotos twice when it opened here but I'm sooo looking forward to seeing it again! I own all other Almodóvar films on DVD si this is a welcome adition to the collection.
And of course, movies rule the word!


Cory... she is so fantastic in that scene. I'd rank it as one of the top 3 or 4 acted scenes of the year. but i'm not as crazy about the movie... and you're right. opinions are all over the place. i guess that's more interesting than another unequivocable masterpiece ;)

Janice said...

Disappointed that I didn't win (better luck next time) but getting part of my response posted here is a neat sort of "runner-up" prize. Thanks Nathaniel! This was the first time I've tried any of your contests - I'll have to apply myself more often.

Iggy said...

Their's might be the only story where "stalking" your favourite director really pays off. Which is scary if you think about how La ley del deseo ended.

Iggy said...

* when instead of where, I guess.

Bernardo said...

Um...yeah... I am the one who wrote about the spicy paella. My name isn't Samuel, it's Bernardo. My address is Samuel :P.


Bernardo --- EEeeek. i'm sorry. i fixed it. In order to keep the blog afloat i must type very very very quickly and i sometimes make boo-boos.

i loved the story!

Iggy -- haha. hadn't thought of that but Penelope was right to pursue!

Anonymous said...

The winner is wrong. "Piensa en mi" is not sung by Letal/Bose, but by Marisa Paredes' character.

Letal/Bose sings "Un ano de amor".

For me, the best part of the movie is "Chon" (Carmen Machi, the character with the drug suitcase). She EASILLY wins the best actress in a cameo or limited role award of the decade.

adelutza said...

Anonymous, you're right ... I stand corrected.

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

I spent last night explaining to a guy I went out with what made "Broken Embraces" so good.
I had so much to say with all the Antonioni, Rossellini and Pedro references within the plot and let's just say the beer I'd drank wasn't helping me get any clearer.
I'm not really sure if the guy agreed or even understood me, but I ended up falling in love even harder with the movie.

Jordan Ruimy said...

I think the fact that I enjoyed i so much was due to having low expectations from all the reviews I was reading- lo and behold, this is one of his very best and continues his varied tribute to Hitchcock

Jordan Ruimy said...

I think the fact that I enjoyed i so much was due to having low expectations from all the reviews I was reading- lo and behold, this is one of his very best and continues his varied tribute to Hitchcock