Weekend Round-Up – The Flower of My Secret Review and The Voice.
It is Monday so it must be time to round-up the viewing that took place in FRC Towers, here is Scott.
What a horrid morning, it is dark, gloomy and raining. Don’t you just love Mondays? No? SNAP.
This morning was a tough one, I found it very hard to drag myself out of bed and come to work. I could have very easily stayed under the covers and dozed all morning. Unfortunately when you have 2 daughters that need to get to school before 9am that is never going to happen. Also when you have 2 daughters, that have a huge amount of love for Jessie J, you find yourself stuck in front of The Voice UK when you would rather be watching a film!!
So that was me this weekend. Watching two nights of The Voice. It isn’t so bad. I am not heartless and I do love to see an underdog triumph, but when it is on both Saturday and Sunday nights, it is a bit too much.
I did get to see one film. Even though I was pretty tired and we didn’t stick the DVD in until 9.30pm last night (which by the way is VERY late to start a film in FRC Towers). We decided to carry on with the Pedro Almodovar season that we started a little while ago. For some reason it got forgotten about, which is such a shame as I just love the Auteur’s work. Last night we watched ‘The Flower of my Secret’, which is a full on melodrama with an Almodovar spin. My review is below.
But first Tom is here with some news of this weekends upcoming GRIMM event…
As huge zombie fans, we are getting very excited about the forthcoming Zombie night which is taking place this Friday 27th April at Manchester Dance House hosted by our good friends from the Grimm up North Team. It is the perfect way to kickstart your weekend with beers from £1.50, a late night bar, and three zombie flicks that are guaranteed to make the night a memorable one. Fancy dress is optional, and with drinks that cheap I have no doubt that there may be a few in attendance who do end up leaving the event shuffling down the street like zombies anyway.
With two premieres and a classic zombie film remastered in HD, the Grimm team really are spoiling us this week. I have had my eyes on the first Cuban zombie film Juan of the Dead for sometime now, the trailer is very intriguing and although there are numerous zombie comedies out there these days, I am pretty sure the Cubans will be able to inject some new life into the genre. Another foreign film, War of the Dead will also be having its premiere at the event and takes place in a Russian forest where a platoon of American and Finnish soldiers come face to face with the living dead. To top off the night we have the cult classic Return of the Living Dead, which is one of the smartest zombie flicks out there that never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Tickets be bought direct from the Grimm website here and are proving very popular. This is a chance to be part of a very fun evening, so grab some tickets for yourself and your friends as you still have four days to get to work on your zombie outfits, the more gruesome the better!
Sounds good huh? Ok here is my review…
The Flower of my Secret
Pedro Almodovar is known for his highly stylised dark comedy but with The Flower of my Secret the Spanish Auteur moves more into the realms of full on Melodrama with a definite Almodovar spin. The Writer-Director skillfully takes us on a journey of a heroine that must travel through despair and depression to rediscovered hope and strength. The performances throughout are stellar and the script is razor-sharp. The film resonates wit, subtlety and surprises, although some people who are familiar with Almodovar’s work may find this a little safe. There are no transvestites, no sex changes, no shock deaths.
Marisa Paredes plays Leo, the lovelorn femme whose marriage to NATO officer Paco is falling apart at the seams. Leo is a successful author of romantic novels, albeit under the pseudonym Amanda Gris. Unfortunately Leo’s failing marriage and consequential depression has made it impossible for her to be able to write a sexy yet safe whimsical romance her contract requires. Instead she finds herself heading to the bottom of a whiskey bottle and writing a dark yet realistic tale of a woman forced to murder when her husband attempts to rape her daughter, they then hide him in a freezer (sound familiar yet? Yes that is right, Leo actually pens the same story that Almodovar made into the brilliant film Volver many years later). Anyway her publishers deem the novel too dark, and unpublishable. This throws Leo even deeper into the downward spiral of depression.
Paredes is stunning in the lead role. Given the challenges she faces the actress brings style and panache to the role. The heroine never loses her grace throughout her plummet and eventual clawing back up onto her feet. She is the heart of the film, but she is surrounded by a great cast that support her fully.
The standout for me was Angel, played by Juan Echanove, a magazine editor who is immediately taken by the charisma and style that Leo exudes, and is blissfully unaware of her secret identity. He hires her to write a scathing review of the latest Amanda Gris novel, which she gladly accepts. There are some very funny interludes with Leo’s Sister and Mother, characters that are apparently inspired by Almodovar’s own family.
The films look and design is much more of a realistic tone than other films I have seen from Almodovar. Primary colours and vibrancy are kept to a minimum. The films is heavily influence by the melodramatic styles of hollywood often using mirrors, screens or grates to hide faces.
The Flower of my Secret may not be as outlandish or as funny as many of the film makers other examples, but it has a rich and real quality that is a fantastic homage to cinema of days gone by. But all the time keeping it very Spanish.
About The Author – Scott Lawlor
Chief Editor of FRC. A self confessed geek with an unhealthy thirst for all things Home Cinema. Whether it is the latest Action film or Subwoofer. Check out his home set up HERE
Have you seen this film? Are you a fan of the director? Are you going to GRIMM? Comment below…