Cinema: Almodovar's Los Amante Pasajeros, a troubled plane metaphor for Spain

In cinemas on Friday, director's return to comedy

07 March, 17:30

CSpanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar (3-R) poses for the media with (L-R) actresses Lola  Duenas, Laya Marti, Blanca Suarez, Cecilia Roth and Pepa Charro during the presentation of his movie  'Los Amantes Pasajeros' (I'm So Excited), in Madrid CSpanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar (3-R) poses for the media with (L-R) actresses Lola Duenas, Laya Marti, Blanca Suarez, Cecilia Roth and Pepa Charro during the presentation of his movie 'Los Amantes Pasajeros' (I'm So Excited), in Madrid

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, MARCH 7 - The film marking director Pedro Almodovar's return to comedy and homage to Madrid's 1980s movida will hit Spanish cinemas on Friday. Los Amantes Pasajeros, which will run as I'm So Excited in English-speaking countries, kicks off with a scene in which a plane about to crash flies over a Spain on the verge of a catastrophe. In business class are a group of raving-mad characters: a swindling banker of a savings and loans institute, a woman specialized in blackmailing those in showbiz, a virgin witch, newly-weds, three gay flight attendants addicted to psychopharmacos. After forays into making thrillers, such as with his film Live Flesh, and two Oscars (one for All About My Mother and the other for Talk to Her), the icon of Spanish cinema has come home to the refreshing and irreverent style he used for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. But the film is not only for laughs. ''It is a metaphor for Spain: a plane about to crash, with commanders hiding information, an anesthetized economy class to prevent panic from breaking out and a business class retaining its privileges,'' the director has told the media. Almodar's 'tribe' all make an appearance in the wild comedy, with only a few more ''gray hairs'' here and there. A special sort of chemistry has been wrought by bringing together again such actors as Javier Camara, Lola Dueas, Cecilia Roth, Carmen Machi and Paz Vega, alongside such new stars of television as Blanca Suarez and Miguel Angel Silvestre, Hugo Silva and Willy Toledo. There are also the actors for whom Almodovar has become known: Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, who are seen in the early scenes in cameo performances. What Almodovar seemed unprepared for was the bitter laughter sparked by the inevitable reflection on the political world. ''An entire class has been forcibly put on sleeping pills, drugged so that it does not react,'' he said. ''The film shows this relationship with power through the pilots, who try to keep their silence and flee. The order the commander gives to the crew is to make anything up, any technical detail they can think of to distract the passengers. This is also very similar to what our leaders do.'' The film is strongly metaphorical, with references to the ever-higher levels of corruption, banks and the 17 'ghost' airports built in Spain during the economic boom, all of which were abandoned during the recession. The film was shot in one of them, the Ciudad Real airport. ''I hope that the smiles freeze on those governing us, which is what is happening as of late,'' the director said on Thursday to the radio station Cadena Ser. On Friday Los Amantes Pasejeros will premier also at Calzata de Calatrava, where the director was born, after previews in Madrid and Barcelona where it met with a mixed response from critics. (ANSAmed).

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Copyright ANSA