Barcelona (1994)

Talk to Him

A great joy in a life with film is to discover a film that is competent and coherent, that exists cinematically but which on reflection has dynamics worth rejecting. After all, you build your life not so much on absorption but on paring. A great sorrow in film is to encounter a film that isn’t quite competent and therefore doesn’t project a coherent world. This is the latter.

Its mildly interesting in that we can see the writer’s sketchbook: he started with three pairs: men and women; two differing and sometimes competing cultures and two “odd couple” cousins. Each of these pairs has some inner dynamics: now triangulate among them all.

Spain, falling in love with a dancing woman, a death, another in a coma who recovers. Sounds a lot like “Talk to Her,” and in fact you might even find this film interesting if you see it together with Almodovar’s gem. But otherwise, all you’ll see is a writer’s exercise gone awry. There’s even a paucity of jokes: only the one about the AFL-CIA.

I viewed this only because of the promise of the setting in Barcelona. Like the three dualities of the story, the city is bicameral. It is half African and half European; nominally Spanish, it has its own culture and language half French half Spanish. But its architecture is the thing. There are some Gaudi masterpieces which have influenced a unique approach which is half socialist architecture (yes, there is such a thing) and half wan decorative attempts at Gaudi’s space jazz. This all adds to create a special ambiance; one is rarely happy about leaving Barcelona, and I hoped to get some of that here.

Nope. This could as easily been set in some dreary place like Madrid.

Posted in 2005

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *