The Skin I Live In ignites Spanish cinemas

by John Bascombe on Friday, September 9, 2011

Pedro Almodóvar's latest film The Skin That I Live In, or La piel que habito in Spanish, may have only been showing in Spanish cinemas for a mere week, but it is already a roaring success.

After its first weekend it had generated over 1.2 million euros and an audience of almost 200,000. Whilst his previous film, Broken Embraces, failed to ignite Spanish cinemas, The Skin That I Live In seems to have regained the confidence of the Spanish public and is already the second most watched Spanish film release of 2011, after Torrente 4.

The film is the eighteenth release of the filmmaker, who is arguably the most successful and internationally celebrated Spanish director. The unique and melodramatic nature of Almodóvar’s film has made him an emblematic figurehead not only of Spanish cinema, but Spanish culture as a whole. His legacy has propelled Spanish actors such as Pénelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, to superstardom, and his hard-pop artistic movement has broken boundaries in the history of Spanish cinema, covering polemic themes from machismo to LGBT issues.

Almodóvar has said, of his relation to Spanish culture- “I have no objection to my name being used to promote Spanish cinema; on the contrary. I shoot in Spanish, I produce other Spanish-speaking films, I live in Spain and this is my culture”.

The Skin I Live In continues to employ the codes of melodrama, identity and complex narratives so prevalent in Almodóvar’s cinematic output. The film sees the reunion between Antonio Banderas and Almodóvar and depicts a tragic figure touched by evil. Banderas plays a plastic surgeon who, after his wife’s death, is obsessed with the development of a new form of indestructible skin. The film has a more somber tone than that of previous Almodóvar films, and delves into the issues of masks and identities, sex and flesh, bodies and power. Whilst based on the French novel Mygale, the plot is full of twists and surprising revelations.

With such a great start, The Skin I Live In is sure to continue its success worldwide. Each one of Almodóvar’s releases is a momentous event in the international film scene and a celebration of Spanish cinema. With the San Sebastian Film Festival just around the corner, Spain really is at the cinematic forefront!

Keywords: cine,spanish cinema,penelope cruz,film festival,pedro almodóvar,antonio banderas


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