By Carla Marcantonio
Worldwide Melodrama is the 1st booklength paintings to enquire melodrama in a particularly twenty-first century environment throughout nearby and nationwide obstacles, studying movie texts from various nationwide contexts within the wake of globalization.
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Extra info for Global Melodrama: Nation, Body, and History in Contemporary Film
In this chapter, I argue that as our understanding of how bodies are intersected by the matrix of power has changed, so too has Almodóvar’s approach to representing the body. In other words, if modes of resistance were once accessible by way of challenging dominant categories of representation, particularly around identity, it has increasingly become a less effective tactic for addressing the ways in which meaning and bodies interact on the surface of the screen. In this respect, ﬁlm in general, but ﬁlm melodrama in particular, given its emphasis on embodiment, ﬁnds itself at a decisive crossroads.
Globalization, for its part, ensnares our bodies in its elaborate matrix of capital and information ﬂows. Imagined as a borderless phenomenon, globalization nonetheless institutes borders everywhere, as new patterns of movement and migration reorganize the global map into those it privileges and those it disadvantages. Globalization thus produces bodies both freed and bound by its virtual networks as well as ones constrained to actual territories by the very same forces that propel its deterritorializations—a term that describes the phenomenon whereby we are increasingly disembedded from place as we negotiate, in our daily lives, local contexts traversed by global elements that have altered our relationship to time and space.
33 In this context, the ﬁlm’s heart-wrenching reunion scene enacts much more than an isolated gesture of reparation as Vicente returns, albeit transformed. Vera, now escaped, walks into her mother’s store. She ﬁrst reveals herself to the attendant, Cristina, a woman with whom Vicente had ﬂirted (and who, being a lesbian, was not interested in his advances). As mother and son stand face to face, the mother fails to recognize her own child. She recuperates her lost son, but she will yet have to come to terms with the loss of a fundamental part of Vicente, now forever lost.