Archive for December, 2007

Review of “Talk to Her” (2003)

Thursday, December 20th, 2007
Alan’s Picks: A Review of “Talk to Her” (2003)
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Almodóvar, born in 1949, is widely considered to be the premier Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His movies, though, are anything but typical Hollywood fare. “Talk to Her” follows two highly unusual couples: the first is a travel journalist and a woman bullfighter who has just left her former lover, himself a famous torero. The second consists of a male nurse who lovingly tends a beautiful dancer who has been in a coma for years; these two have never met, but the nurse had secretly watched her, before her accident, for months through the plate-glass window of a dance studio from his nearby apartment. When the bullfighter is seriously injured and placed in a hospital, also in a coma, the two stories come together. The journalist has little hope that the bullfighter will ever regain consciousness, but the nurse insists that both comatose women can eventually be revived through their continual attention. For the nurse, that attention includes constantly talking to the dancer’s beautiful but immobile form, intimately stroking and massaging her in ways that make the viewer wonder where the line is between tenderness and perversity, and even cleaning up the mess of her monthly menstrual cycle. In the end, the audience is forced to address possibly unresolvable questions about love, illness, friendship, loss, and loneliness. Are we any better than the nurse as we ourselves feel drawn to the dancer’s beautiful body? Are there limits to what is acceptable in the name of friendship, tenderness—even love? “Talk to Her” is disturbing, beautiful in its slow pacing and emphasis on visual imagery, well acted, and quite well written (the screenplay won an award). And it is an excellent example of the intelligent, high-art film making still being produced throughout the world today—something that we may well disbelieve as we contemplate the choices available to us at the local centiplex.

–Alan Zuckerman

And the nominees are….

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. The movie Atonement starring Keira Knightley led the nominations with seven. In the Best Motion Picture category, the nominees are… American Gangster, Atonement, Eastern Promises, The Great Debaters, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood. I have only seen one of the nominated movies. Do you have a favorite among the nominees??


Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

No matter your musical taste, there may be a reunion tour coming to suit your fancy.

December 10 marks the first live performance from Led Zeppelin in many years, albeit with Jason Bonham, son of their late original drummer John, playing the drums. The show will be in London. Over one million people registered to get a chance to buy only 20,000 tickets, which were priced at $250 in American dollars.

Rumors are abounding about a forthcoming tour, and with that kind of money to be made, I’d say the odds are good. In the meantime, HCPL has many of the classic Led Zeppelin titles on cd.

If your tastes run to the more recent, and poppy, there’s always the Spice Girls! A force to be reckoned with in the 1990’s, the 5 original members recently reunited, selling out their UK show in 38 seconds. A sold out American tour is following in early 2008. Are they live or are they lip syncing? More rumors abound! Don’t forget to check out Spice World, their foray into film, now available on DVD.

Duets and more

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

The hot new opera duo right now happens to be the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko and Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon. HCPL is fortunate to have available for your listening enjoyment the latest recording of these two stars: Duets. The library also has their opera album Violetta, which includes selections from Verdi’s La Traviata. These two young stars have voices that meld into one fluid sound as melodious as it can get; plus, they exude a passion so steamy that their admirers suspect romance. (There isn’t any, but their voices together still conjure love.)

Books to film…

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

There are many books that have been made into movies. Recently, an article from the San Diego Union-Tribune had a list of movies that were better than the book. Two movies that made the list were The Godfather and The Birds. Check out the article for more titles.

Do you have a preference… the book or the movie? What is your favorite book to film? My favorite is E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View.