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Tag: Javier Bardem

Familiarity Breeds Absence

Familiarity Breeds Absence

For many of us, the foreign is enticing, exciting, a call to leave ourselves behind and find the new. To others, it’s something to fear, distort, and avoid. Thinking again about Woody Allen’s movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I wonder if familiarity breeds something less than contempt, and more like indifference and forgetfulness. Contrast truly is the key here. Contrast in the way we act socially, in love, at work, with friends. Contrast in the way we handle emotions, especially. I…

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen’s new film takes a sharp turn. It’s a departure from most of his other films in that neuroses is foreign, literally foreign, and perhaps more understandable in that context. The most overtly neurotic character, Maria Elena, played by Penelope Cruz, is the violently passionate ex-wife of the artist Juan Antonio, played by Javier Bardem. The two main characters, Vicky and Cristina, played by Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson, are mildly conflicted in comparison. The two American tourists, spending…

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