Six cultural events to check out in August—from Japanese photography to the new film from Almodóvarby Prospect / July 20, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
Cinema alfresco: Locarno’s Piazza Grande plays host to open-air screenings during the annual film festival. Up to 8,000 people can attend
The Skin I Live In
On general release from 26th August
Pedro Almodóvar’s latest is a giddying psycho-sexual revenge saga based on a pulp novel (Tarantula by Thierry Jonquet). Here is a film of harsh light and glittering surfaces, its interior honeycombed by flashbacks and false trails. Only near the end, when the glamours drop away and the truth is revealed, do we twig how expertly the director has been bamboozling us; pointing one way while scurrying the other.
Antonio Banderas—making his first film with Almodóvar since 1990’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!—gives a dashing performance as the obligatory mad scientist. Robert Ledgard is a brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by the death of his wife. Further unhinged by an assault on his daughter, he reaches for the scalpel and hatches a plan to punish the guilty and reward the virtuous.
Along the way, the director tips his hat to Frankenstein and Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face, as well as stirring memories of the more openly transgressive films from his back catalogue. In this film, identity is an illusion and gender just a costume. Almodóvar’s puckish, bawdy thriller invites us to throw off our clothes, shuck off our skin and dance around in our bones.
Hiroshi Sugimoto: “Lightning Fields” and “Photogenic Drawings”
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 4th August-25th September, Tel: 0131 624 6200
Hiroshi Sugimoto, the Japanese photographer known for his formally beautiful black-and-white prints, is above all a philosopher. He uses the camera to probe phenomena such as time, gravity, geometry and light, or the sly way in which photography can blur th…