Sunday, August 9, 2009

Film knits

Volver is a nice film but lets talk about sweaters that play in it. Film from the perspective of its sweaters:
Lace sweaters, exactly the same as Penelope wears in the film, are something I refused to look at already by the time when I was a teenager. It was a big knitting hit.... for grandmothers who liked to perform their knitting skills and would then pull them on their poor granddaughters. It was the 80s and this kind of romantic was just exactly passé. I would see these sweaters everywhere, especially on older women, and then, like I said, on few girls who didn't resist successfully.
Only recently I started to notice them with a little fresher eye, again on older women, this time on those who haven't changed their style since the 1940s. (That can happen here.) The way they look so odd, they resemble something of the elegance that I connect for myself with Vienna around 1900. Suddenly it has nothing to do with the ugly acrylic sweaters of indefinite style and color from the 80s. I decided to look more into lace sweaters.
(Of course, lace sweaters always existed, it wasn't only just when I was a teenager when they knit them. Some people like only those and they can make pretty ones. Unfortunately, my attitude towards them had been determined in a kind of an early age that generally predestines our likes and dislikes.)
I didn't have to wait long to be totally convinced about their beauty. (Well, I still think they are weird, but it is not necessarily negative.) Penelope wears at least three different ones and the fact that she is pretty is a part of the beauty of the sweater. Her film mother, also pretty, wears another one.
Now it occurs to me that the way the story is built up, these romantic, very feminine sweaters have their place in the film. There are only female characters there who solve their problems (with men and other usual stuff) within themselves. The film has a nice texture and is visually pretty despite there are creepy things going on. And colors have their meaning in Almodovar's films, so in this sense, red could have to do with a murder and suffering whereas the nice green cardigan in the final part is like a reconciliation and new beginning. I am dreaming.


Francesca said...

This is an interesting topic, to analyze knits in a film, and relate them to fashion, taste and the story. I didn't see the film. I love lace of any kind, especially in sweaters or clothing: so I can get to wear it! It's an acquired taste for me also: when I grew up, at the time when kids fashion wasn't a business yet, we'd wear jeans and baggy, worn, second-hand tops, and we'd discuss politics and how to change the world. It was a fashion dictated by negative statements: no lace, no girlie, no feminine. I have a lot of catching up to do: 10 years worth of movies, and a lace-less youth:)!

victoria said...

I have seen the film and I agree its something special, although sometimes a little creepy like all almodovar's films :) I actually think sweaters and clothing are important in most of almodovar's films, he usually always chooses for his films a kind of spanish lower social class which, as you say, don't tend to change their looks for decades :) I would like some day to start knitting lace. My teenage years were marked by baggy sweat shirts and pants (no jeans!), and definitely no lace. I was more the stay at home type, not the party babe :)

raining sheep said...

I so know exactly what you mean...lace sweaters make me think of grandmothers or ...very religious women - I know that is strange :) But now, I myself am being drawn to their romantic look. I still cannot bring myself to wear a lace sweater, but I love looking at them and imagining wearing them. Maybe one day I will knit one, you never know.

Bohemian girl said...

Dear ladies, I think that we are just getting old. It is what this appreciation of lace all means.

I like to read your comments.