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Voltumno´s Reviews

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  • Written by Voltumno on 08.10.2020

    This movie is all about pure artistry, and the power of its allure. This is not only embodied in the plot, a tragic tale of life against art, explored through the struggle of a young ballerina of rising fame. It is not just conveyed by the beautiful dancing, an artistic medium particularly suited to act as a frame to the harrowing theme of keeping the self intact against the opposing forces of worldly concerns and artistic ideals. It is also a marvel of technical prowess on the cinematographers' part, especially as it pertains to the use of color. Color design is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of this exceptional film. The shooting technique employed (extremely expensive and complex, featuring multiple overlaying of differently colored film on a black and white basis) is still basically unmatched in the vividness and expressiveness of color. This also works wonders with the beautiful expressionist-inspired production design, which does not inform just the visionary ballet sequences, but also creeps in the daily life shots of characters slipping away into artistic delirium.
    A fantastic watch to anyone who wants to experience a work of seminal importance in exploring how cinema as an artistic expression can tackle the most poignant philosophical questions about beauty, love, and the meaning of life.

  • Written by Voltumno on 08.10.2020

    Admittedly, this is not a very good movie. Its plot is meandering and ill-paced, the ending is questionable, the characters not particularly well delineated, the eroticism a little (or a lot) shallow and self serving. Yet, it has one merit: its aesthetic, the very embodiment of the core Goth experience. The film is practically drenched in dark, brooding, macabre tones, all rendered through a urban horror lens and elevated by the sheer, unfiltered sex appeal of the main actors (Bowie, Deneuve and Sarandon really give it their all, shortcomings of the script notwithstanding). Ultimately, to enjoy this movie it is required to take it as if it was a feature-length music video, effective in portraying a certain mood, but that can be asked nothing much deeper than that. I would say it is a recommended view only if you are interested in its lasting influence over the Goth subculture. Otherwise, it makes great background for a Vampire - the Masquerade RPG session!

  • Written by Voltumno on 11.10.2020

    In certain ways, Volver is the quintessential Almodovar movie. Stylized choices that almost get you into camp territory; tight, intellectual cinematography; gorgeously intense color design and a highly expressive, character-focused cast: all the trademarks of the Spanish director are there. Yet, there is something Volver has that Almodovar's films generally lack: restraint. This movie is full with a sublimated, rarefied quality that speaks of longing, nostalgia, and memory. It allows you to explore this universe of women so tightly wound up in a world of ghosts, visions, desires and dreams that the line between actual events and their inner lives become blurred, fluid, and ultimately irrelevant. This is a picture that drenches the return of the past, the mingling of life and death and love, into the hyper saturated tones of beautiful Spain. It is a gentle experience, a story that blooms from violence only to illuminate a landscape of tender affections between women, each and every one of them immersed in her personal tragedy, weaving her private joy, doing the best she can. It is the cast of the main actresses that truly elevate the script, irradiating the movie with a sense of emotional authenticity truly rare and genuinely precious. Carmen Maura and Penelope Cruz are particularly noteworthy, their performances widely praised and internationally recognized as masterpieces of poignancy. It is a highly recommended film, a beautiful cinematic experience that will leave you with sweet memories to go back to, yourself.

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