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Radmila Djurica

Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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Broken Embraces

Premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Almodóvar’s "Broken Embraces" is also taking place on Sarajevo Film Festival. Some might say that the film is homage to Bergman, one of the key film directors of today or thatBroken Embraces uses simplicity of Rossellini’s “Voyage to Italy” to show the effect on Lena of the discovery of the couple burned to death in Pompeii”. But in order to reflect the great Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar in his maturity, I find that he still remains a distinctive stylist and a wonderful film-maker. His new film "Broken Embraces" is very good, but does not breaks new ground here. And at first, it seems like Almodóvar’s take on noir dramas of the 40s and 50s, which will slowly become pretty modern with other film directors as well. The film is set in Madrid and it is about Mateo (Lluis Homar), a former film director now a screenwriter. He is trying to get over a tragic past: his doomed love affair with Lena (Penelope Cruz), actress and the mistress of Martel (Jose Luis Gomez), a dome millionaire. "Broken Embraces" like "Volver" deals with the past. Here, characters share old secrets in order to make sense of their present. The story is told with nostalgia and has tender moods, where the characters lives in the present and finds solutions for the daily struggle in present. Almodóvar is a film-maker that in his films, describes Madrid’s gay nightlife of 70s, during the reaction at the end of the repressive Franco’s era, so a mysterious, complex, soft melodrama about doomed love affair with Penelope Cruz as the mistress of a millionaire comes as no surprise. As for Cruz, in this film, she truly looks like a movie star. “She has all those characters inside her. She’s very conscious of her Audrey Hepburn looks, but in that same body, she can look like Sophia Loren did in the 50s - as she showed in "Volver". And in the scene where she wears a white wig, she reminds me absolutely of the desolation of beauty in Marilyn Monroe.  She was smiling like a model, but her eyes were sad and tired. I feel she is the perfect material that I can shape into all the different women I can imagine.” Almodovar explained. 

This year Sarajevo Film Festival, on a third day, hosted Lluis Homar and Tamar Novas in so very popular Coffee With Program on the occasion of the screening of film “Broken Embraces” the latest work of Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar. The director was unable to come so the cast presented the film but Novas and Homar really enjoyed talking about Almodovar’s films with us.

"Almodovar is an institution, a brand, a quality which is Spain guarantees full cinemas whenever he makes a new film. I think if we had a dozen Almodovars in Spain that the crisis in our cinematography would be overcome. He made me panic and made me feel under the pressure, let alone working with actors such as Homar and Penelope Cruz. The initial shock and panic made me prepare to the best of my ability, which resulted in one of the most beautiful experiences in my career. “young Tamar said.   

Homar also talked about experience of working with Almodovar and Cruz. “ That is the joy of working with Almodovar. It is interesting to see such approach towards us, actors, both young and experienced. I will not even mention what a privilege it is to watch Almodovar working with Penelope Cruz. Their relationship is special, it is almost love. This was evident during every moment of work on this film. “

Then Homar talked about the fascination of the story they have told, because making a film about making a film may sound odd at first. “At moments, it is a comedy, which, in its essence is, in fact, is a tragedy one of the most beautiful stories in the telling of which I have participated as an actor.”

Radmila Djurica


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