Sex, Dance and Rock & Roll (Then nap!)

Almodovar! I always want to chant his name like he's a soccer star or revolutionary....or something? I will admit, I haven't seen many Almodovar films....I saw Bad Education and some of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (which I bought in college at the local supermarket video store for 99cents!). His new film, The Skin I Live In, was all kinds of huge at Cannes (which doesn't mean much fact a European programmer here schooled me that the highest ranked and the lowest ranked films are always the best of Cannes, interesting!) but did make me want to see what all the fuss was about. While watching Skin I thought of a phrase that really sums up what I have seen of Almodovar "a meandering sexual journey through the highs and lows of life." This one, a kind of sexual revenge thriller in the vein of Education, is pretty good...the story of a mad scientist sort of unfolds from the middle as Antonio Banderas (!) avenges and revenges all over the place with weapons and science and science as weapons all with (typical?) Almodovar confusion of sex and lust and love and family and identity and humor- a Freudian psycho-thriller-melodrama! With pretty outfits! And jokes! Almodovar! Almodovar! Speaking of chanting and untamed sexuality...

Nick Cave! At one point during his Grinderman show here at the New Horizons Film Festival he proclaimed that his face was gone and his body busted but that didn't stop the mad man from swerving and sexing his way across the stage in demonic lunacy, even when, literally, buzzing around like a bumble bee! We also met the (evil?) Warren Ellis, who is a band member of Jim White who recently drummed along to a few of our live shows, in the hotel lobby. He had nice jewelry, a wry smile and had to bend down about two feet to even get within earshot of us. Nick Cave always walks that thin line of humor and cool, I don't think anyone else in the world can sincerely sing about kittens like he does and get away with it but...years of hard, skillful song writing might have a ton to do with that! On top of the whole being sated with cool thing....and he was in a Wenders film for goodness sake! How cool can a person get? Speaking of Wenders....

Pina! I saw Pina! The new 3D dance documentary masterpiece by Wim Wenders! I tend to not like dance. Like really not like dance. But between Wenders' staging of performances (mostly in public spaces), the harsh physicality and meaning (a lot of feminism, questioning of modern man and warring/harmonizing with the elements) in Pina Basuch's choreography and the rich, catchy score I found myself really moved by dance for the first time ever. As a documentary this piece was crafted so masterfully too; voice over testimonials from the dancers in Pina's company to their nearly still pictures, some footage of the inspiring beauty in action, engulfing stagings of her work, all in 3D- there is a heartfelt joy you can feel from Wenders as he edits this portrait of a friend he obviously cared for so very deeply and whose work he so obviously respected, seamlessly integrating it into his own vision of her life. The whole time I was watching this though I just kept thinking "Wim Wenders needs to direct an opera!" Get on it Wenders! Please? O, wait! Upon researching...he IS in 2013! Wagner's The Ring of all things! This is going to be wonderful! Almost as rock & roll/dance/sexy wonderful as a light up bath tub! ooOOoo!



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.