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Cranleigh Film Club – November 2017

Showing on the 30th of November, Julieta, at the Bandroom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00pm and refreshments on sale)

Almodovar returns to female focused drama which he has specialised in throughout his colourful career. This new work has been praised as a recapture of the famous style and content of his much loved earlier works. It appears that basing the new work on Alice Munro short stories has provided a strong framework for this generational exploration of estrangement, guilt and reconciliation. We all remember his success with All About My Mother, an art house favourite for the last twenty years. The new work could be called “all about my daughter” because the central dynamic involves the writing of an account by the mother in middle age to try to explain to a daughter she has not seen in yeas what happened.

Julieta is played by two fine actresses, the newcomer Adriana Urgarte as the 20 something version ready for first real love, and Emma Suarez as the older version 30 years on. There are three actresses playing the daughter Anita, as a baby, as a girl and as a late teenager. The daughter repeats her mother’s sudden departure from her life by leaving mysteriously. Alice Munro’s stories have her heroine appear in three separate stories at three crucial moments of her life.

Alomodovar drives his work via flashbacks which gradually reveal the source of guilt and the motivation for flight from reality. We first meet Julieta in middle age, about to depart with her new partner to Portugal. A chance meeting with a friend of her estranged daughter sets in motion her quest to explain her own behaviour and these memories form the film. Julieta is shown to be emotionally complex but the key transition comes quite early when the daughter is drying the younger Julieta’s hair and older version emerges.

The film has many gorgeous moments, supremely well photographed and there is a perfect musical a score by Alberto Iglesias which gathers many motifs into a melodic jazz plus classical score,
depending on the mood required. An unexpected death early in the story has a permanent effect on Julieta and is counter pointed by a much more serious one later. Julieta’s own mother is an invalid and her father is betraying her with a nurse and Julieta cannot but link this to her own relationship, and her daughter’s estrangement is traceable to Julieta’s treatment of her own father. This all appears complex but Almodovar makes it an easy, beautiful family saga to follow with relish. This is a true cinematic joy.

For information on joining the film club please contact the membership secretary Sara Lock at . If you know an existing member why not come along and be signed in for this wonderful, recent Spanish film. The experience could be the first of many such visits.

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