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All About My Mother

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Foriegn language films have always had that mystique of being particularly sophisticated. The subtitles mean that you must READ, and if you READ you must be smart.

And sophisticated.

All About My Mother has subtitles in English-the language spoken is Spanish. Spain-ish Spanish, that is, which sounds different to my ears accustomed to the rythms of Mexican accents. They lisp: “Grathias” and “Barthelona.” It sounds very gay to me.

But gay works in the story, even though the lisping was an unintetional addition to the gayness of the story. There are a number of transvetites who are important to the story.

The director, Pedro Almodovar, came highly recommended. He has another movie out right now, Talk to Her .

All About My Mother makes it sound like there is a main character whose mother we are learning about. But, the one who might be such a character died very early in the film.

It’s kind of a creepy thought, that the heroine’s son would be hanging around watching. The movie doesn’t really worry about his afterlife.

It seems to be more the director’s, Almodovar’s story about his mother. Or more broadly, it is a treatment of what femininity is. The story focusses on women, or men who feel like they are women. Transvestites always cast a bright light on conceptions of femininity, because they challenge conceptions of what it means to be a woman.

This movie is really lovely, with amazing camera shots and situations that bring out real feelings in the viewer.

And it was fascinating to see Streetcar Named Desire played in Spanish.

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