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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v9n2 (01/13/2010) » Section: Film Reviews

Broken Embraces

In his 1978 book, The Films in My Life, Francois Truffaut wrote, “I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema, or the agony…” Mateo Blanco, aka Harry Caine (Lluis Homar), Pedro Almodóvar’s screenwriter protagonist in Broken Embraces, feels both in the course of this film, in spades. Almodóvar operates in a much different self-created cinematic milieu than Truffaut did, but Broken Embraces strikingly expresses his obsessive love of filmmaking. In his way, he’s even more of an auteur than Truffaut. (How’s that for irony?)

A Single Man

For decades, writer Christopher Isherwood’s reputation has rested primarily on his authorship of Goodbye to Berlin, his 1939 story collection that became the basis for Cabaret. But over the last 30 years or so, regard for his short 1964 novel, A Single Man, has risen. It has been particularly admired by a number of gay writers and critics for its unapologetic depiction of a gay protagonist, one of the first to present a gay man who was neither an ennobled victim nor a pathological outcast.

Up The Yangtze

Does anyone doubt that we are, for better or worse, at the beginning of the Chinese Century? That country’s headlong determination to modernize is ineluctably symbolized by the Three Gorges Dam, the gigantic hydroelectric project will create a reservoir 375 miles long, displacing by some estimates two million people, many of them country people with no desire to be yanked into the modern world.

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