"Disco music is very important, it’s like The Bible."
A professional dominatrix, a hitman and a psychic virgin walk onto a plane: the premise for Pedro Almodóvar’s new film “I’m So Excited!” sounds like an attempt to find a new setting for an old gag. The simple setup — a plane whose landing gear is busted, circling while waiting for a runway to be made available for a potentially fatal emergency landing as its passengers go nuts — was initially presented as a return to the farcical mode of Almodóvar’s 1988 international breakthrough “Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown.”
The film’s indeed funny and frantic, but there’s clear anxiety underpinning it: in the opening minutes, a character reads a newspaper article listing the top ten financial scandals of the year, an ominous harbinger of the economic chaos the plane is flying over. In interviews and in a self-written press kit, Almodóvar has been unambiguously clear about the film’s metaphorical echoes of the specifics of Spain’s current financial difficulties (see this interview for starters), which give the frothy film a taut charge. A few weeks ago, Almodóvar sat down in a midtown New York hotel to talk about Roberto Bolaño, synthetic mescaline and shooting his first popular musical number.