My second foreign-language selection, this time by Brazilian troubador Caetano Veloso. He’s one of those people I feel ashamed for not knowing more about considering Wikipedia has references calling him “one of the most respected and prolific international pop stars” and the “Bob Dylan of Brazil.”
His voice is better than Dylan’s, that’s for sure. In fact, it’s so achingly lovely that I was shocked to read he is more known for his songwriting than his singing. That said, he did record an album of English-language covers a couple years back.
But enough about the singer; on to the film.
Pedro Almodovar is in love with cinema, head over heels for images and sounds. He often uses songs in his films to strike a wistful tone, as when Penelope Cruz’s Raimunda sings the title song in Volver or a young altar boy performs a delicate ‘Moon River’ in Bad Education.
In Talk to Her, a film about two men who bond over the comatose women they care for, Almodovar punctuates each segment of the film with a performance. First, an interpretive dance. Then a bullfight. Later, a silent film.
Halfway through the film comes this scene, in which the film’s protagonist is at a party with the woman with whom he will fall in love. He intrigues her by weeping during Caetano Veloso’s performance of ‘Cucurrucucu Paloma.’