Date Showing Showing On 3, 5, 6 February
Time Showing Monday 6pm, Wednesday 4pm and Thursday 6pm

Pain and Glory

MA15+ 1hrs 53mins
drama | 2019, Spain | Spanish

Salvador Mallo, a filmmaker in the twilight of his career, remembers his life: his mother, his lovers, the actors he worked with. The sixties in a small village in Valencia, the eighties in Madrid, the present, when he feels an immeasurable emptiness, facing his mortality, the incapability of continuing filming, the impossibility of separating creation from his own life. The need of narrating his past can be his salvation.


Strong drug use and brief nudity

Pedro Almodóvar
Original Review
John De Sando, It’s Movie Time
Extracted By
Gill Ireland
Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia

Watch The Trailer

PAIN AND GLORY | Official Trailer HD (2019)

Storyline (warning: spoilers)

“Without filming, life is meaningless.” Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas)

Salvador is Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical self in Pain and Glory, a drama about an aging Spanish filmmaker dealing with writer’s lassitude, decreasing sexual power, addictions, and memories of childhood that clearly explain his late-in-life challenges.  At age 70, Almodóvar has since Julieta, never been better.  Nor has Banderas, who, after a heart attack, seems to have himself found a new vigour and depth never before seen. Rejuvenation is all around.

The drama, narrated by Salvador, connects the dots of his own life through his films. Writer/director Almodóvar has the audience living through Mallo’s daily boredom, which reveals the numerous incomplete stories and musings, many of which could have been produced. Present are all the rich colours, especially red, and the eccentric life choices.  His impediments to a robust life now gradually reveal themselves such as disturbing memories of his mother, a love lost, and most of all addiction to heroin.

At the dawn of his ‘70s and the slide of his age, it’s the heroin debility that hurts the most as we watch this genius buckle to the hypnotic power of substance. However, as he reminisces about family and loves of the past, he is energized to re-enter the creative world. As powerful as any force is his youthful, electric mother (Penelope Cruz). When they moved into what looked like a cave, she transformed it into a glamorous catacomb (not a bad metaphor). His close relationship with his aging mother toward the end of the film is an exercise in lyrical, sentimental and loving filmmaking.

This is not a memoir, but it is as close as we have, to the auteur glossing the many afflictions he has dealt with his whole life. The result: colourful regret spiced with romance shouting that life is good. And film making.  

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