RFS Members' Virtual Screening: Pain and Glory

8 Jun 2021
8:00 pm

This Week’s Recommendation: Pain and Glory

Title: Pain and Glory

Spain, 2019

113 mins, language: Spanish

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

RFS Members' Virtual Screening

After our long enforced COVID absence, RFS is presenting a free 'Member’s Only' online showing of ‘Pain and Glory’ from one of our favourite directors, Pedro Almodóvar. The screening is on 8 June at 8:00pm and is intended as a thank you to members for their support and patience.

This will be the society’s first ever virtually screened film. Using Filmbank Media’s Virtual Screening Room, members can login from home and utilise the ‘chat room’ facility to score, comment upon and discuss the film, thereby replicating in part the experience of a scheduled film screening. 

Many of us have become more familiar with streaming services since the first lockdown in March 2020 and the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated an existing trend towards streaming. Although the choice of features available for virtual screenings is currently limited, we expect this to change over time and it may be that some events in the future will be hybrid screenings - i.e. shown to a 'live' audience at The Exchange as usual but also streamed remotely to individuals who wish to watch the film at home. It is very early days, but this could represent a way of extending our reach and accommodating those who, for geographical, health or other reasons, are unable to come to The Exchange.

'Pain and Glory'

Pedro Almodóvar's 'Pain and Glory' is the kind of indulgent and self-absorbed film that only a director with such a glittering career behind him would be allowed to get away with. It’s about a filmmaker looking back on his past, mulling over his life and relationships. It’s a wonderfully evocative affair, with a subtle, soulful performance from Antonio Banderas.

The filmmaker protagonist, Salvador Mallo (Banderas), is first seen in a swimming pool, underwater, motionless. He is on the cusp of old age and is a pronounced hypochondriac. He has lumbago, tinnitus and countless other ailments. He is also profoundly depressed. “Without filming, my life is meaningless,” he declares at one stage, but he appears to have abandoned his cinema career.

Pain and Glory has an episodic structure. There are moments showing Salvador as a young boy, growing up in humble circumstances and being doted on by his beautiful mother (Penelope Cruz). These are interspersed with scenes showing him in the present day. He has written an autobiographical story called Addiction which deals with a love affair he had long ago. 

The film was nominated for Oscars in two categories - Best International Feature and Best Leading Actor - and it won 69 awards worldwide. Almodóvar fans will pore over Pain and Glory, looking for clues about how autobiographical this movie is. Others can simply sit back and enjoy the delicate and lyrical way in which Almodóvar shows a filmmaker hero voyaging deep into his past.’

With acknowledgement to Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent 

Presented by Richmond Film Society