Film Scouts Diaries

2005 Taormina BNL FilmFest Diaries
Abril Day

by Philipp Hoschka

Taormina, June 12, 2005 - Today's program features no less than four movies with Spanish actress Victoria Abril, muse of director Pedro Almodovar, who is being honored in Taormina this year.

The Abril movies include Almodovar's "High Heels", a film from the early post-Movida phase in 1991 that explores Almodovar's usual universe of elaborate cross-dressing and strange family relations. It's still amazingly good, especially compared to the other films here at the festival. Favorite scene: after Abril's character admits that she accidentally shot her husband, her mother looks her in the eye seriously and says: "You know, you have to find another way to solve your problems with men".

"Atame" is another Almodovar starring Abril shown today. A character played by a young and admirably short-haired Antonio Banderas uses unconventional means to win over Abril's heart. I watch this in the original Spanish version with Italian subtitles without speaking any of these languages, but the story is easy enough to follow. Not understanding the words gives me time to focus on the decor: the film sports the pop-colored dresses and apartment furniture typical of the period that has not been taken up by the 80's revival yet.

Victoria also gives a press conference in what to my uninitiated ears appears to be fluent Italian. From what I can tell, she seems to be promoting a Bossa Nova Album she just made, and is waiting for a call by Almodovar for his next movie.

The Greek Theatre screening is yet another Abril movie, this time not by Almodovar: "Incautos" is a fairly entertaining film about the career of a young con man in Spain, who starts out as a petty thief and then goes out to learn from the masters of the con trade. As common for this type of movie ever since "The Sting", the plot takes many twists, and does not fail to con the audience at times as well.

After all this hard work, Victoria gets awarded a Harry Winston watch as part of Taormina's "award for cinematic excellence" that precedes every Greek Theatre screening.

Previous Installment | Next Installment

Back to Taormina BNL FilmFest Diaries

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.