//
you're reading...
Artists & Designers, capitalism, characters in the city, cinéma+cine, cinematique adventures, cultural ghettos, Española, European Histories, feminine discoveries, identities & city personalities, Journalism, people worth noting, Philosophy, photographic legacies, sex media, Spanish cinema, Spanish history, womanism + american sexuality in popular culture

Madrid, 1987 is a strange juxtaposition of idealistic youth and the grumpy grandfather

OFFICIAL POSTER FOR THE FILM, MADRID 1987 // Image © ALFA PICTURES & Jessica Berman, producer. No usage without consent of author.

A tense, oddly erotic, biblical, tender and profound film, MADRID, 1987, is a tale of two people who are opposites in every way. She is young, he is old. She is the daughter of a fascist military leader, he is a communist. She is quiet, he speaks streams of sentences. She is a student, he a professor. He is married, she is single. They are like two passing trains. This both mesmerizes and terrifies him. He’s more afraid of her youth, than she is of his age.

MADRID, 1987 directed by David Trueba (set in 1987 Madrid; big bifocals, high-waisted jeans and all) is essentially a cast of two characters: a well-established communist-leaning journalist and professor, Miguel (José Sacristán) and aspiring journalist and student, Ángela (María Valverde), with side entrances of people in the life of Miguel, the waiters who serve him coffee at the café he uses in place of an office because the “newspaper doesn’t let you drink there anymore”, a fan of his column asking for an autograph just as he tries to put the moves on Ángela, an autograph of which he signs, “You have poor timing” and his painter friend who goes away for the weekend to the mountains to breathe.

The film is shot almost entirely in the actual apartment of Spanish artist, Joaquín Risueño — and tiny bathroom space, exhibiting awesome camera work. The most beautiful part of MADRID, 1987, is the usage of thirds. Abstract snapshots of their bodies, scars, and humanity, and the little accoutrements we keep in our attempt to barricade ourselves within an identity, a gender, a body, act as interludes: a Van Morrison album, a pipe, paintbrushes, English lavender cologne, her face, his body, reading glasses. The soundtrack is bare, Miguel interestingly tells Ángela, in one of his rants against inserting music in film,”Music is like a traffic signal telling the audience what to feel and when to feel it.”

Ángela has requested to interview Miguel for an article but instead finds herself being interviewed and deconstructed by the biting cynic of a teacher. He says, after reading some of her work in the café, “You assume the voice of your subjects,” he adds, in the breathless way a cynic does, “A writer is not a chameleon,” … and then “Writing should stab, not pinch.” His critiques pile upon themselves and her seeming naïveté glares through in her uneasy glances at him. She’s silent, in a pouty, child-like way. She glows and as Miguel notes, “Glides across the room like a gazelle.”

BEHIND THE SCENES Café Comercial Bilbão. L to R: María Valverde, director & writer David Trueba, José Sacristán. Image © ALFA PICTURES, producer Jessica Berman, Buenavida Producciones. No usage without consent of author.

He convinces the late 20-something Ángela to join him in the apartment of his painter friend for the interview and some whisky. She hesitantly obliges. She snoops around the paint-spattered rooms and ink-stained brushes, as Miguel thinks of ways to seduce her. After painting her in streaks of blue and kissing her and stroking his old hands along her body, she decides to shower the colour off. He is persistent in conquering her, in order to “fly on her wings” for a taste “of youth.”

He catches a glimpse of her showering and decides to join her in his arrogant thinking that the seduction just might work this time. But she’s already getting out, and preparing to leave, only to find out, they’ve been locked in and the door is swelled shut. Miguel’s painter friend won’t return until Monday. In between random shouts for help through the small bathroom window, Miguel talks of época, profundities of agebitter and banal topics: from the paranoia in the 70s after Franco’s death, to the Dirty War, the Green March, Ángela’s older sister Isabel’s sexual proclivities as a communist theater student in the 60s, Proust, Faulkner, Hemingway, to his “wisdoms” of “Brits drink to kill themselves. The Spanish drink to loosen up,” “Kissing is like a formality as you age,” and in response to her frustration of his overrated place in literature, he says “Only an overrated writer can making a living at this” and the most telling of all, “Meeting someone you admire is the first step to not admiring them at all,” … “Because inside they are dirty, rotten, untidy.” Just as Ángela had admired Miguel’s work, she now saw him for all he was and is.

Looking for help. MADRID 1987. // Image © ALFA PICTURES, Jessica Berman at Buenavida Producciones. No usage without consent of author.

Miguel and Ángela are both nude, vulnerable, occasionaly taking turns using the one, small ink-stained bath towel to cover up. He continues poetical rantings, he stops and asks silent Ángela, “Why do you make me feel so alone?” She is defeated by his suspicions of life and youth. She is like a mirror to him. He can suddenly see himself as she sees him. He pities himself and his age, telling her, “You’ll forget me in every body that awaits you.” Miguel is at times eerily perverted, you feel you can’t trust him but his words redeem himself sometimes. Though suddenly Ángela comes to life in the final scenes — she’s far more independent, forgiving and wise than she initially lets on. She finally can break free from the bathroom when the painter returns. She leaves so hastily that she does not take her books and glasses. As she is walking along the city streets, rushing home, her outline is juxtaposed against the gritty and ornate buildings. She is nearly angelic. Is Ángela real?

About asliomur

Aslı Omur is a prolific writer. She is a freelance journalist for hire and a free agent. She writes about: film, people, books and authors, art and artists, music and musicians, cultures, travels, sexuality, cuisines, small businesses and their owners, finance, science & technology, genocide, war time, personalities, stereotypes, urban living, minimalism, simple lifestyles and life off the grid, among many other topics. She is also a published poet and photographer. Her life is one big curation & curiosità. Her article subjects, clients, friends & intimates call her a thorough reporter, coolspotter, trendstarter, creative thinker, sleuth & always a student.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Say what you have to say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Alex – “Truth”

Blog Stats

  • 38,786 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 39 other followers

Goodreads

#springhassprung #ilkbahar #bahar #çiçek #flower #flora #dutchiris #iris #planet #irisxiphium #finditineverything #nofilter #sanfrancisco #finditineverything #nofilter #sanfrancisco Whilst @ the #GuglielmoAchilleCavellini exhibit @ #IstitutoItalianoDiCultura #SanFrancisco #opening #igers #Italiano #ThisIsMyHappyPlace #mailart #Fluxus #Dadaism #SelfHistoricization http://thisismyhappyplace.net/2014/04/10/guglielmo-cavellinis-art-on-exhibit-at-san-franciscos-istituto-italiano-di-cultura/

Follow me on Twitter

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Learning Italian

These are my notes as I try to learn Italian (since 2007)

On Philosophy

In search of questions

The Rojava Report

News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan

Maker Faire

The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth

This Is My Happy Place

Film, Journalism, Short Stories, Photographs, Poetry, Songs, Sounds, Rhythms, Aromas, Paint, Post, Ink, Design, Gender, People, Cities, Societies, Observations, Essays By Aslı Omur

Ottomans and Zionists

Blogging about Turkey and Israel, the two most interesting countries in the Middle East

Preguiça Magazine

Depois dizes que não há nada para fazer

WordAds

Ad representation for WordPress.com sites

Stephanie Thieu - Blog

Main website: www.thieuvite.com

Eric Price

Motivation, Inspiration and Dedication to a Better You

Anatolian Pop Rock Folk Psychec 70's

Anatolian Pop Rock Folk Psychec 70's

interstellar medium

foreign lavish sounds

Phono Mundial Blog

The Golden Age of Global Musical Fusions

Turkish Psychedelic Music 2.

Anadolu Rock/Pop /Folk/Jazz

Turkish Cuisine

Traditional Turkish Style Cooking

Sabina Giado

Writer, comedienne & Muslim with a high tolerance for humanity. Hungering for an artistic revolution? Let's talk. Secretively.

Eat.Love.Write.Live

Musings of an erratic mind

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers

%d bloggers like this: