There was a time when Fernando Trueba confessed that Billy Wilder was God. But in post-classic Hollywood, that deity began to take on a corporeal form as quixotic as it was transgressive. Infinity of stars would have broken Dorian Gray's mirror in order to have penetrated the domains of the divine Almodóvar supported by pillars of irony, marginality, emotional deficiencies and colors as strident as his subliminal language.
Every time he was asked when he was going to shoot in English, the manchego was cautious. Neither Jane Fonda nor Meryl Streep succeeded. Almodóvar's universe was written in the language of Cervantes. But two days ago, everything changed. The director has started shooting a short film with a single foreign actress, but not just any, but with one of the most elegant, androgynous and ingenious figures of the last decades.
Tilda Swinton has made history. The British - although she considers herself Scottish - began recording the monologue La voz humana, by Jean Cocteau, in a new Almodovarian version three days ago in Madrid. In fact, the filmmaker has changed all of the original text that focused on a woman's suffering when her partner leaves her on the phone.
From the beginning, Tilda has collaborated in the development of the script, so the chemistry with the director has been excellent. This is what Almodóvar says: "Tilda is as open and intelligent as she had dreamed. During the rehearsals we understood each other perfectly." Filming was due to start in April, but Covid prevented it.
This Cocteau piece, which also has its operatic version, was also the source of inspiration for the two-time Oscar winner during the filming of The Law of Desire (1987) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). In both productions, Carmen Maura was the sufferer. In the past, great scene divas such as Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman or Simone Signoret also starred in film and theater in the book written by the French author in 1930.
As soon as his first experience in Shakespeare's vernacular is over, Almodóvar will begin filming Parallel Mothers with Penélope Cruz as the protagonist. And then he will put in pictures five of the 43 stories from the book Manual for cleaning women by Lucia Berlin, which will shoot in English. Who the foreign interpreters will be has not yet been released, but there is already a queue.
The Oscar-winning actress for Michael Clayton (2007) has a life as original as the scripts of her new film boss. She grew up in Kimmerghame House, a 19th-century mansion located in southern Scotland owned by her father, General Sir John Swinton, who died two years ago. In private, for a season she enjoyed a ménage à trois with the Scottish playwright John Byrne, two decades older, with whom she had her twins Honor and Xavier in 1997, while she was (and still is) in love with the visual artist. German Sandro Kopp, 17 years younger. Currently, she is only with the painter. Somehow the balance had to be balanced.