Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Film Club: Los Amantes Pasajeros

In previous film posts, we've looked at the French film Les Choristes, as well as Perfect Sense, an English-language film with a Scottish director and a Danish writer. Today, we're going to take a moment to talk about the most recent film from Spain's most internationally known director, Pedro Almodóvar.

The film takes place in the skies above Spain.
If you've never seen an Almodóvar film, you're in for an eye-opening experience upon viewing Los amantes pasajeros. His films are certainly not to everyone's taste, so if you're easily offended, especially by sex and drug use, then this may not be the film for you. However, those who are open to just about any film will quite possibly find themselves laughing out loud at the utter ridiculousness the characters become immersed in.

The film centers on the front section of a flight headed from Spain to Mexico that encounters a technical problem. Three flight attendants try their hardest to entertain the privileged few who are seated in business class. Half the fun of the film is learning about the characters, so we'll suffice it to say that they're an interesting group who learn each other's secrets as they panic over their possible impending doom. We'll leave the film up to others to interpret, but desire and relationships are certainly integral themes of the film. 

If you're fluent in Spanish, we recommend watching the film in its original language. For those who are still learning or have let their Spanish skills get a bit rusty, finding a version with English subtitles might be the way to go. The female characters, especially Bruna (played by Lola Dueñas), speak much more slowly and clearly than the hilarious male flight attendants, who are much more animated. 

You may want to make yourself a pitcher of
Agua de Valencia to drink while you watch the film!
One key term you may want to know is Agua de Valencia, which despite its name, is not water from Valencia. It's actually a cocktail that combines cava or champagne, orange juice, gin, vodka, and in the case of the film, one other extra special ingredient.

The title of the film has a dual meaning, as it refers to "lovers" (amantes) that are pasajeros, which can mean either "fleeting" or "passengers". It's a very cleverly titled film, as both connotations are apt. In English, a literal translation would not provide the same meaning, and it was instead named I'm So Excited. This would seem like a strange choice, but it actually nods to our favorite part of the film, a musical number performed by the flight attendants to the famous song by The Pointer Sisters. If you're looking for a light film to enjoy and 90 minutes of Spanish practice, you should definitely check it out.

If you've seen Los amantes pasajeros or any other great foreign language films recently, let us know what you thought of them in the comments below.