Pedro Almodóvar has done a vampire story.
It’s true. It’s only a short one but it oozes style. The story crops up in his new film Broken Embraces, which was released in the UK yesterday.
Writer Harry Caine is discussing the story with his manager’s son, Diego. It’s Diego’s story but Harry is helping him develop it.
The vampires are running a blood donor centre. They invite people in to give blood, which they use for themselves. They are also running some legitimate businesses. A cosmetics business, for example. They’ve perfected a cream that you can wear to completely block out the sun. The story opens with one of the female vampires coating her naked body in the thick cream. She falls in love with a visitor to the blood donor centre. He’s not a vampire. She doesn’t want to bite him or even kiss him because she loves him so much that she doesn’t want him to turn into a vampire like her. So they don’t have sex. That’s the source of the story’s tension.
“What about a blow job?” asks Harry.
“He loves her so much that he doesn’t insist on that,” says Diego
But she gets aroused when she draws the blood from his veins. Later on, when her passion is so strong that she can no longer contain it, she wears a muzzle while they are making love.
It’s one of many stories within the story that is Pedro’s new film. Another is the love story between Pedro and Penelope Cruz. Of course it’s not sexual love. It’s soul love.
“She brings to me a great sense of security because of her blind faith in me. She trusts me so much,” he said in an interview for the BBC. “She sees me as an utter genius which is not the way I see myself at all. It’s embarrassing when I listen to her! It gives you a lot of strength having an actress who you know will do absolutely anything you ask her to do.”
Penelope has empowered Pedro to make a great film. Another great film, I should say. He is a genius. I agree with Penelope. But Penelope is great too, and never more so than here.
After I’ve calmed down I will probably go and watch this film again. I’ll get the DVD and watch it dozens of times. You can learn so much from Pedro.
The critics have called it a labyrinthine plot. It’s not. It’s a very simple plot. What’s complex is the way Pedro tells it. He brings so much passion to it. So much love. So much flair. So much craft. So much wit. So much personality.
I am a little in love with Pedro myself, as you can see. Fortunately he puts so much of himself into his films there is no need for Penelope to get jealous. There’s plenty of him to go round.