Monday, 28 March 2016

Stuff seen on TV.

Last week we watched Almodóvar's "Amores Pasajeros" again. It was on television but we saw it ages ago at the cinema. I have been told it's a satire on the state of Spain: total chaos, corruption, not knowing where it's going, all represented by a plane flying in circles over the country trying to find somewhere to land. It needs a safe place because it's landing gear is damaged. Even if you don't understand the satire, which is not really very obvious, the film is a splendid example of Almodóvar being outrageous, entertaining and just plain silly. There's a lovely cameo appearance by Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas (who accidentally cause the chaos with the landing gear) at the start of the film. The "dance" sequence by the gay cabin crew to "I'm so excited" is ridiculously funny. Here's a link to a website where you can see the dance sequence. And there are some shots of the white elephant Ciudad Real Airport in Castilla La Mancha, the one that never made a profit and went into receivership very quickly! 

By way of a complete contrast, last night we watched the final episode of the BBC dramatisation of Le Carré "The Night Manager". Dodgy arms dealings, corruption, government officials turning a blind eye and accepting a huge payment to do so, millionaires, violence and a haunting theme tune. It was so tense I could hardly sit still. Phil kept having to remind me to breathe! It was almost a relief when it all came to a surprisingly happy ending. As a rule in John Le Carré stories the spy/underground element gets worked out but the personal/emotional side ends up in disarray. But this time the good guys won - for the time being anyway - and bad guys got their comeuppance - until more bad guys spring up to take their place. Not only that but the "love interest" looked as though they had half a chance of living happily ever after. 

In the travel section of the weekend they were advertising the chance to go and stay in the hotel in Llucmajor, Mallorca, where some of the filming had taken place. A fancy hotel there with rooms for at least £140 a night had been used to play the part of a luxury hotel Istanbul, or possibly Cairo. 

After so much tension I watched the news, which just depressed me: bombs in Lahore, peaceful mourning in Brussels disrupted by marauding skinhead hordes, police with water cannons. The least violent, physically anyway, was the Tory MP explaining how they have improved performance in schools in the UK by making children learn ridiculous grammar terms (see an earlier post for a serious rant about this) as if reluctant readers will be encouraged by failing to pass tests! 

 I shall have to go back to the make-believe world of films and TV series. At least there I know the tension will come to an end!

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