Antonio Banderas Hub

Movies: Identity Crises with Antonio Banderas, Glenn Close and Marilyn Monroe

Pedro Almodóvar And His Latest Plaything from "The Skin I Live In"

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

This weekend at the multiplex it's the battle of the 80s remakes with sci-fi horror film THE THING (previously in theaters in 1982) vs. "everybody cut everybody cut" dance drama FOOTLOOSE (previously in theaters in 1984). The latter proudly and absurdly waves a "this is our time" tagline despite being a remake of another generation's touchstone.

Skin-tiemeupBut no matter. The only one that truly matters is Pedro Almodóvar's new gem THE SKIN I LIVE IN. While it's not quite on the level of his five masterworks (Law of Desire, Women on the Verge...All About My Mother, Talk To Her, and Volver if you ask me) very few films are. Second tier Almodóvar is still better than most movies made in any given year. For his latest he's reunited with his only male muse Antonio Banderas for their sixth film together and their first since Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) in which sexy Antonio held a beautiful woman prisoner until she loved him. Twenty-one years later and Antonio is up to his old Stockholm Syndrome tactics again. This time he's a brilliant cold plastic surgeon and the woman he's holding captive (Elena Anaya) seems to be a semi-willing guineau pig in a series of illegal surgeries which will give her flawless new skin. But why does he keep her locked up? What exactly happened to the surgeon's wife and daughter who are nowhere to be seen? How long has this been going on? 

Like most Almodóvar films this one is novelistic with intriguing details that could make their own movies, has themes of identity and sexuality that are of interest to LGBT audiences, features smartly executed twists which bring the story into perverse focus, and wows with stunning imagery including simple but freakishly haunting costumes from Paco Delgado (with an assist from Jean Paul Gaultier). I hate to quote Peter Travers from Rolling Stone since his whole raison d'etre as a film critic is to be quoted but they used to promote Pedro's movies with this blurb:

"Pedro Almodóvar doesn't just make movies. Almodóvar is the movies."

A more succinct and correct appraisal I've rarely read.


 roadDid you know they had personal trailers in the 19th century? How else to explain Aaron Johnson's physique in Albert Nobbs?

More identity crises AFTER THE JUMP...


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Movies: Cannes Brings Out the Legends

 GATTACA Reunion! Genetically perfect humans Uma & Jude doin' Cannes jury duty.

...would live in the movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience. Follow him on Twitter @nathanielr.

Last week Thor's circular hammer started swinging the tornado (thornado!) that is summer movie season. This weekend Kristin Wiig and Rose Byrne play BRIDESMAIDS for Maya Rudolph (we're hearing good things) while rough and tumble hotties Paul Bettany and Karl Urban battle in the apocalyptic vampire actioner PRIEST. In limited release Joseph Gordon-Levitt starts fires as underwear clad eccentric HESHER, Will Ferrell says EVERYTHING MUST GO and a young girl takes that GO FOR IT mantra seriously as all young movie dancers from 42nd Street (1933) through Step Up 3D (2010) have before her.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the 64th annual CANNES FILM FESTIVAL has just kicked off. Faye Dunaway is this year's Poster Girl, albeit Faye Dunaway circa 1970.

Do you prefer Faye by way of Mommie Dearest, Bonnie & ClydeSupergirl or Network



Continue reading "Movies: Cannes Brings Out the Legends" »

Photo: Ricky Martin and Antonio Banderas Make a Radcliffe Sandwich


Daniel Radcliffe finds a past and future Che Guevara to get in between at the Tonys. DanRad hangs with the drag queens of La Cage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Photo: Ricky Martin and Antonio Banderas Make a Radcliffe Sandwich" »

Antonio Banderas: No Pardon for Kissing a Man on the Mouth


PopWrap interviews Antonio Banderas about his career. Banderas recalls that when he was in Law of Desire, kissing a man was more frowned upon than killing one. Likely still true today.

Banderas2 Said Banderas: "Everything changes as you get older -- your mind, your body, the way you view the world. For example the scenes I did with [director Pedro] Almodovar in the 80's were very tough to play at the time it was not common for actors to play gay. Many actors thought that if you played those scenes, everybody would identify you with that role...I felt very early on in my professional life that where there were limits, there shouldn't have been limits. I remember in 'Law of Desire,' where I played a homosexual, that people were more upset that I kissed a man on the mouth than I killed a man. It's interesting to see how people can pardon you for murdering a man, but they can't pardon you for kissing one. It's a very interesting approach to morality in our days, so you see there is an incredible amount of hypocritical judgment over those things."

Schwarzenegger Calls Gay Marriage Ban 'a Total Waste of Time'

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke out at Friday's Log Cabin Republican convention in San Diego about efforts in the state to put a measure constitutionally banning same-sex marriage on the state's ballot in the upcoming election.

SchwarzeneggerRex Wockner wrangled the full quote: "Well, first of all, I think that it would never happen in California because I think that California people are much further along with that issue. And, number two, I will always be there to fight against that, because it would never happen. I think we need a constitutional amendment so that foreign-born citizens can run for president, but not about gay marriage. That's a total waste of time."

Opponents of marriage equality said at the beginning of April that they have nearly one million signatures supporting the anti-gay measure. Schwarzenegger's statement has been hailed as a salvo against those efforts.

Said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California: "This is extremely significant, and it's an enormous event to have our Republican governor come out against this ballot measure, which is opposed by Democrats as well. It makes this opposition a bipartisan issue."

Schwarzenegger has continually vetoed and promised to veto legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. His position on that remains unchanged.

Following, his statements, one LCR member urged the governor: "Arnold, I loved all your movies. ... Take your shirt off!"

Teased Schwarzenegger: "Why stop there?!"

Arnie: Marriage-ban effort "a total waste of time" [rex wockner]
Fun with the Governator... [rex wockner]
Governor against amendment to ban gay marriage [sf chronicle]
(image: rex wockner)

Antonio Banderas Tops Justin Timberlake

Shrek1 Shrek2 Shrek3

Antonio Banderas ditched his tennis buddies for Justin Timberlake and did some horsing around at the premiere of Shrek the Third in Leicester Square in London yesterday.

Both appeared to enjoy the ride.


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