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Thread: Bad Education

  1. #1
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    Bad Education

    2 months after it's release, it finally made it to my town! And having just seen it, I'm dying to talk about it, spoilers and all. Any of ya'll seen it?
    What's your opinion - post modern homage to Vertigo and Psycho or something which falls apart in the last 15 minutes? And what was Angel's motivation?!

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    i'm trying to remember now what happens in the last 15 minutes! i saw it when it first showed here, about a month ago. i don't remember feeling like it fell apart, but i did think it had its flaws. i guess i don't know why i'm posting, though, since i can't seem to remember any of the details at this moment. gah!

    but i enjoyed it. it was the first of pedro almodovar's (sp?) movies that i've seen, and now i want to see all about my mother and talk to her. have you seen those?

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    ditto about seeing it when it first came out.

    i remember really loving it--no surprise, i love love love almodovar! i especially liked the structure, all the story within a story stuff. can't remember too many details though, unfortunately.

    also loved "all about my mother", "talk to her", and "women on the verge of a nervous breakdown"...the second one the most.

    btw, did you know he dropped out of the "spanish oscars" academy (can't remember what it's called) because of the way they pick foreign language films for the american oscars? i gotta say, "bad education" is 10x better than "the sea inside"....ummm, yea, he's going to die in the end, I GET IT!

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    I saw Bad Education back in December when I was in NYC for winter break. So forgive me if my recollection is a little hazy.

    In general I liked it. I did find the ending kind of weak though. And I have a really hard time believing that 10 year old boys could experience such a love that could resonate so strongly 20 years after the fact.

    I'll probably watch it again when it comes to DVD to see if there was just something I was missing the first time around.

    PS- yozhka, I think the Spanish oscars are called the Goyas.

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    I think I'm gonna see it tomorrow night. If schedules fall through, etc, i'm going by myself on thursday. yay.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielepea
    In general I liked it. I did find the ending kind of weak though. And I have a really hard time believing that 10 year old boys could experience such a love that could resonate so strongly 20 years after the fact.
    Yeah that's a big factor - I just didn't get the sense of Ignacio and Enrique being star crossed or obsessive. Which is a big factor in the two films referenced - Vertigo and Double Indemnity. Even with the final segment about (spoiler tagged with white font) Juan/Angel's affair with the defrocked Father Manolo, it was more like he was turning tricks for material gain rather than leading on this other person. In that persona -- and I can't believe GGB didn't get a Best Actor nomination for effortlessly playing three different personas - he's like Ewan McGregor-- it should have been easiest to get across that he was playing the classic film noir role of a femme fatale.

    We should be able to understand why Enrique and Father Manolo were willing to give in to him, even if it meant being implicated in Ignacio's murder. You see that in classic Hitchcock when so called good people, such as the Jimmy Stewart character in Rear Window find themselves drawn into situations because of their deepest (and frequently sexual) weaknesses, such as voyeurism. I just couldn't tell what had obsessed Enrique to the point of giving in the situation, even after he realized that Juan/Angel was acting out being Ignacio and their relationship. Or why Juan/Angel was so desperate to get the story filmed and play Zahara. You'd think that if it became this huge hit that some nosy journalist would dig around and find out about his brother. That just seems like a huge risk. And again, what possessed him that he had to act out yet another persona of his brother? No answers? And the ending disappointed me because nothing really happens. I don't want to see these characters caught for what they did - but with Hitchcock, there's always some reckoning or fall from grace due to a character getting swept up in obsession.

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    I can't believe that GGB didn't get a nomination either. Maybe his votes got split between Bad Education and The Motorcycle Diaries. (What was he thinking giving more than one quality perfomance per year?!?!)

    Reading your post above, Snufkin, reminded me of just what it was that I didn't get out of the film: some idea of what everyone's motivations were. This is why I didn't particularly care for the ending- I was expecting things to be explained, or at least made a little more clear, and it never happened.

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    Thanks Snufkin for putting your spoiler in white! I keep trying to decide if I should click on this thread or not, because I'm dying to see the movie but don't want to read spoilers.

    I'm a huge Almodovar fan, though, and for the last two months have been trying to find some free time to revise a paper on his film Live Flesh that I'm hoping to publish this year, so my interest is hardly objective.

    About the whole thing with the "Spanish Oscars": Almodovar's films are very rarely even nominated for the Goyas. The whole conflict goes back to the early 1980's, when the Spanish film academy had ties to the socialist government and dispensed government funding for art-film-type projects in Spain. The idea was that because of the harsh censorship that existed under the dictatorship, very few Spanish directors were making very courageous films, and the Spanish film market was dominated by Hollywood stuff and a locally-produced genre that my film professor and all of my film textbooks refer to as "soft core porn sex comedies" (really). So this idea of subsidizing arty-er films with government funds to counter this trend came about during the years when Spain was just emerging from the dictatorship, after official censorship ended. Most of the films that got made under this funding were very, very much within the "social realist" format and had a lot of formal qualities that were deliberately anti-Hollywood (long takes, slow editing, theatrical vs. natural acting).

    When Almodovar came out in the 1980's he was very controversial, and seen as completely apolitical, not (just) because of the queer content of his films or the overt sexuality, but also because he was making these films that, aesthetically, were openly emulating classic Hollywood films. As Almodovar's stature rose, a lot of changes happened in the film industry -- ie, the official government funding policy was scrapped, the socialists were voted out (and then voted back in last year!), etc. -- but a lot of people involved in making the original funding laws, who favor social realism and a non-Hollywood aesthetic, are still in charge of the Academy and have never liked Almodovar. It was a huge concession when they even put Bad Education on the cover of their magazine (but they had to, because the film's release was The Cinematic Event in Spain last year).

    It's this weird conflict, because Almodovar is very popular with Spanish audiences and is credited with the international resurgence in interest in Spanish cinema, but has never been respected by the Spanish film "establishment" that has been in place since the end of the dictatorship.

    It's interesting, because Alejandro Amenabar, who directed The Sea Inside, has in many ways benefited from Almodovar's rebellion -- he's always been a darling at the Goyas, and his films are also very "Hollywood". (Well, duh, he's making English-language films now, including the one with Nicole Kidman!) But he's been more strategic about it ... his first film, Thesis, which was basically a standard Hollywood thriller, also starred a classic art-film actress known to Spanish audiences (Ana Torrent) and contained a harsh critique of Hollywood violence.

    But anyway -- yeah, there's a loooooong history with Almodovar and the Spanish film academy, and that's why he's pulled out of the Goyas.

    (Sorry if that was long and boring. I'm a big nerd about this stuff.)

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    xuli - thanks for posting that! i was also interested in his background/why he pulled out of the goyas.

  11. #10
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    Hey, I always welcome some nerdy input! Thanks, xuli. :)


 

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