On a cool summer’s evening in London, the beautiful architecture of Somerset House created a perfect frame for yet another masterpiece by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar.
The ‘Under the Stars’ UK premiere of his new film, Julieta, was hosted at the Film4 Summer Screen and welcomed a vert special guest to start proceedings, Almodóvar himself. The director impressed with fluent English instead of his mother tongue, with an introduction pointing out the themes of the movie and what they presented for him.
On to the film itself; women’s sensitivity is the main subject of the story, based on three short stories from the book Runaway (2004) by Alice Munro. The film is based around the titular Julieta, who we see both as a young girl and old woman. To begin we see her in the streets of Madrid, seemingly traumatised by a meeting with someone from her past. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience begins to understand her reaction to this meeting, and we enter her world, complicated by a troubled mother-daughter relationship.
Almodóvar has never been afraid to break taboos, sexual desire, guilt and difficult relationships are mixed together in Almodóvar’s usual directing style, but this film never stops feeling well-rounded and personable. The film concludes in a manner that allows for personal interpretation, allowing the audience to decide for themselves how the story ends (or continues?).
The atmosphere of the Somerset House, with people on the floor with picnic blankets enjoying food and drinks, listening to music provided by a pre-film DJ, whilst the sunset over London on a glorious summer’s night was the perfect accompaniment for Almodóvar’s intimate, thought-provoking and well considered Julieta.
Film4 Summer Screen continues this week at Somerset House with screenings of Trainspotting, Girlhood ad Captain Fantastic. Book now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.