28 September 2005

Frida

Last night, I watched Frida, the film about the fascinating life of the Mexican painter (and Communist) Frida Kahlo and her famous artist husband Diego Rivero. Rather than a sharply focused retrospective, the film's colorful kaleidoscope of images and scenes does an excellent job of portraying the couple's exuberance and joie de vivre while capturing some of Frida's despair and suffering. One of the more innovative scenes shows Frida watching Godzilla while in the U.S. with the character of Godzilla replaced by an oversized version of her husband gobbling up the city with his popularity. The director, while painting sympathetic portraits of the couple and Trotsky (who lived with them at one point), is smart enough to show some of the men's foibles. If for nothing else, the movie's to be commended for showing us a side of Mexico we rarely see. Instead of chubby, corrupt drug dealers, we're shown a world of artists and intellectuals arguing about Marx and Hegel and the significance of their art. I'd definitely recommend the movie to everyone who hasn't yet seen it.

Other reviews: Zap2it.com's review and Philip French's review

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