Archive for February, 2005

Bad Education

Bad EducationGreat, great, great Almodóvar film!!! Gael García Bernal is sexy, amazing and completely seductive, even as a tranny!

The interlocking stories, multiple flashbacks and pieces of a film within the film are frustratingly impossible to describe but keep the film consistently intriguing. The insane plot(s) are complex but easy to follow, even if you sometimes don't know exactly which of them you're actually watching. The Production Design and Cinematography are, as usual, stunningly rich and entirely plot driven. As Stephen Holden said better than I could in his New York Times review, "This film is unrestrained by any need to appear realistic." Almodóvar mines classic Spanish and American thrillers and film noir for style but the substance of this film is absolutely his own. Despite frequent and obvious nods to Hitchcock and DePalma(!) this film is still pure Almodóvar. The beautiful, sometimes seemingly innapropriate score which owes a debt to the great Bernard Herrmann is wonderful on its own. (Imagine Herrmann with flamenco guitar!) These are simply landmarks to help us navigate the thriller territory. Oh, and for laughs, too.

I've read that Bad Education is about all the effects of Franco-era Catholic education on two young men. That's not really true. Child sexual abuse by a priest and battering by another may be what binds these two men and drives at least a large part of the 'story' but the film is really about passion, love and, especially, art. It examines how love and memory drive us to create and how sometimes art is defined by the things we choose to leave a mystery. It's about our identities, how we see ourselves, how we want to be remembered and how we are remembered, despite ourselves. It's about how some people's incomplete and clouded memories motivate the creation of art. It's about a lot of things. And it's hilarious,too, but played completely straight. Bad Education's comic, tabloid roots are made completely clear in the very first scene, so it's hard for me to understand why some folks don't see them. It's sensational in every sense of the word, conciously and proudly so.

Just go see it! If great gay filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar don't get our support, we're gonna be left with nothing but hacks like Joel Schumacher and crap like Phantom of the Opera.

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FrankKaren brought me some pizza on her way home from the movie. God bless her. She's so nice. What a rarity. She understood why I missed the movie and said I would LOVE it. I can't wait.

My backbreakingly heavy suitcase finally arrived at 12:45 AM! I had to unpack it in the hall to get it to the second floor! (Hint for over-packers: Use curbside check-in! They don't check for extra weight!) It was completely disheveled by TSA but everything was there, at least. I've got the desktop set up—even the iSight—and I'm extremely happy. Now I can respond to insults from youngsters in the chats without the 10 minute delay I get on my elderly laptop.

I'm hungry again, though, and there are no places open, even in in this increasingly guppified neighborhood. (I was getting the hairy eyeball from some local home-owning fags when I was outside screaming into my cell phone, trying to get the USAirways robot to understand me this afternoon!) I think I'll just go to sleep.

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