Monday, April 12, 2010

Monologue - The Blind Leading the Blind.

Jose here with the Monday Monologue.

At the beginning of Broken Embraces, Harry Caine (Lluís Homar) the protagonist, who is blind, asks a woman he met on the street to describe herself.
After a lush description that highlights her beauty without exaggerating, they proceed to have sex. The woman fascinated by the way he listened, the man yearning what he has lost.

Then, straight out of a pulpy noir he narrates his lifestory,
I always wanted to be another person, to be someone beside myself. To dispose of a single identity didn’t seem enough. Living a single life wasn’t enough for me. And half-joking, I came up with a pseudonym for myself, Harry Caine, an adventurer who, as fate would have it, became a writer. At that time, I had him author all the scripts and stories that I wrote. For many years, Mateo Blanco and Harry Caine shared the same person, me, but a time came when, all of a sudden, I couldn’t be anyone other than Harry Caine. I became my pseudonym. Just as I had planned, a heterodox writer and, never better stated, a self-made man, one might even say, “self-written man”. There was only one detail I had not foreseen, Harry would be a blind writer.

That last bit, confused the hell out of me when I first saw the film. Was he implying that Harry's blindness was fake?
After the film ends it's obvious that it wasn't, but it took me a few more screenings to see this as some sort of conscious Freudian slip from Pedro Almodóvar.

Anyone else see this-no pun intended-or am I reading too much into a simple grammatical confusion?
For that matter are there such things as simple grammatical mistakes?


Anonymous said...


I thought the same when a I saw the film.

I think Pedro wanted we thought that.

The girl is Kira Miro, you should see her in "Crimen Ferpecto", a very funny spanish comedy.

Lorenzo said...

The ambiguity is absolutely there... I'm not even sure he is actually blind, after all. Not that it matters, I think the movie is one big allegory about the difference between writing and directing, imagining and seeing...

Michael Shetina said...

Yeah, that threw me big time. The implication that he somehow willed his blindness into being confused me and I wondered if it was a subtitle error. Glad to see someone else was perplexed by it.

Janice said...

I admit I haven't seen the movie yet but I read that monologue as you posted it Jose and it sounded to me like...a Pedro Almodovar dialogue. (Translated, of course.) It seems to me that's a minor existential curveball compared to some of the one's he's tossed out in the past. And, in an Almodovar universe, it makes perfect sense to me.

Now I HAVE to watch this movie.

Anonymous said...

The "ambiguous" mechanism is clearly described by Freud in "The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious". Both possibilities are true.