Film Review: Movie master’s reflective study of ageing film director low on energy in ‘Pain and Glory’

Updated 16 June 2019

Film Review: Movie master’s reflective study of ageing film director low on energy in ‘Pain and Glory’

CANNES: One of the most arresting qualities of movie masters such as Pedro Almodovar and Emir Kusturica is their boundless energy. But lose it, and film fans soon notice something is amiss.

While Serbian legend Kusturica still manages to keep his cinema bubbling with life, Spain’s Almodovar – pushing 70 years old and somewhat bogged down by physical ailments – appears to have taken his foot of the pedal in his latest outing, “Pain and Glory.”

The drama, about a film director reflecting on the choices he has made in life as past and present come crashing down around him, competed for the Cannes Palme d’Or and won best actor award for its hero, Antonio Banderas. The Spanish star is an alter ego of Almodovar himself – much like Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee was of Satyajit Ray.

“Pain and Glory” is a vaguely disguised autobiography of Almodovar, revealing the anxieties rather than glories of the auteur’s chequered career.

His earlier works, such as “All About My Mother,” “Volver” and “Julieta,” were fantastic studies of Spanish society narrated with unbelievable vigor. Who can forget the opening scene of “Volver” in which dozens of widows, including Penelope Cruz’s character, are seen cleaning their husbands’ graves on a windswept morning?

“Pain and Glory” lacks this dynamism and is mostly ruminative.

Banderas plays film director, Salvador Mallo, a step-down role from his usual dashing screen image. Mallo has not made any movies for years but has enough money to lead a comfortable life surrounded by expensive artefacts.

However, he suffers with depression and worries about his headaches, back pain and a tendency to choke on his food. But a chance meeting with old acting friend Zulema (Cecilia Roth), leads Mallo to get in touch again with film star, Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia), after the two had fallen out during a shoot.

When Crespo introduces Mallo to heroin, he remembers an old script titled “Addiction” and asks Crespo to perform it on stage. In doing so, Mallo opens the curtain on a new life.

In a way, “Pain and Glory” talks about how to come to terms with death, but it is also witty and about lovers and mothers.

Almodovar is such a master craftsman that he does not allow his work to sink into self-indulgence. It is a movie within a movie, and a dream that leads to another.

Most importantly, Almodovar could not have found a better actor than Banderas, who transforms splendidly into Mallo.


Demi Lovato steps out in Jordanian-Romanian designer after engagement

Updated 03 August 2020

Demi Lovato steps out in Jordanian-Romanian designer after engagement

DUBAI: American pop star Demi Lovato has been spotted championing a pair of sandals by Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi, who is famous for her signature flared heels. 

In a picture the star shared with her 89.7 million Instagram followers on Monday, the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer was seen wearing Muaddi’s glitzy Naima leather sandals in white during a romantic dinner date with her fiancé, actor Max Ehrich, at the celebrity hotspot Nobu in Malibu, California.

The two-time Grammy nominee matched the heels with a dusty rose velvet form-fitting minidress that had a low-cut neckline and cuffed sleeves.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Date night at Nobu I love you @maxehrich - also shout out to @brianbonifassi for the pic!!!

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She accessorized her look, which featured a sleek low bun hairstyle, with a pair of golden hoop earrings and a glittery purple purse. 

The 27-year-old star announced her engagement last month on Instagram with a series of heart-warming images of her dreamy proposal.

The couple, who confirmed their relationship in May, celebrated their special moment by a beach in Malibu.

Lovato also shared images of her wedding ring by celebrity jeweler Peter Marco.

Muaddi, whose eponymous footwear label is designed in Paris and produced in Italy, has also been in the spotlight, with the likes of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Dua Lipa and Hailey Bieber showing off their favorite pairs at a number of star-studded events since the launch of the brand.

The 34-year-old designer, who grew up in Italy, launched her eponymous footwear line in August 2018, approximately one year after departing from her role as co-founder and creative director of luxury footwear label Oscar Tiye.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kylie @aminamuaddiofficial

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Just last month, the entrepreneur released a limited edition Fenty x Amina Muaddi footwear capsule collection in collaboration with singer-turned-entrepreneur Rihanna. 

Multi-hyphenate “Wild Thoughts” singer tapped Muaddi to design a collection of shoes for her luxury label Fenty back in December, the designer revealed in an interview with Footwear News.

The news wasn’t all that surprising, considering that Rihanna has been a longtime fan of Muaddi’s glitzy footwear.

The singer and beauty mogul would go on to be spotted wearing Muaddi’s designs on multiple occasions, including a trip to Barbados where she accessorized a long, green sweater dress from Jacquemus with a pair of strappy sandals by Amina Muaddi.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rih & me

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