Monday, 9 July 2012

Frida-directed by Julie Taymor

It’s been so rainy for summer and I have a teeny tiny person to sit and feed for hours so I’ve been watching films, new and old. A biopic of Frida Kahlo, the surrealist painter was just perfect, via lovefilm, one of my new favourite things. Famously, she had a monobrow and more than your average upper lip hair for a lady; more importantly though, she was an amazing artist, woman, lover and participant in life, hers being short-lived at only 47 years.

Frida Kahlo’s self portraits were her trade and breath along with her love of Diego Rivera, who in Liz Taylor fashion, she married twice despite his infidelity, of many amongst whom were her own sister. Frida’s affairs with many women and Leon Trotsky, interestingly that one was politically and scandalously documented, she eventually led a life of free passion; some might say promiscuity, her only loyal lover, her art.

A life tinged with tragedy that filmically, it was easy (although took forever to get to fruition); already crippled in childhood from polio, then hit by a tram, then married to a creative and complicated older man who could not stay faithful, then gangrene dramas later, an amputee, left bedridden, Frida ordered her bed be carried to her final exhibition; that is a story.

Of course she then became a feminist icon of the status that even Madonna wanted her part, had a scrap with Jennifer Lopez over it, then eventually, the very lovely Salma Hayek (of stripper vampire fame From Dusk Til Dawn, the worst film I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch) landed beautifully in the part. Why this film took so long is a mystery. I guess probably as Frida Kahlo was just a bit tricky for Hollywood protocol to take on.

Kahlo celebrated her difference by exaggerating it in her self-portraiture, her monobrow, her moustache, her withered leg, in reality were barely there in the life of a woman that shone with vivacious animation. This film did that sort of energy justice in my opinion, faithfully accurate yet wary of realistic boringness; Frida could not be anything of the sort and triumphantly lived. Magical and real, so it was fitting.
It’s a good film if you missed love x

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