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Goya in Bordeaux Goya in Bordeaux

Carlos Saura's ambitiously conceived biography on visual artist Francisco de Goya has the power to reach into the imagination of the aging painter in the haunting, but obscure Goya in Bordeaux.

From the outset Goya in Bordeaux tracks wavy, shifting light schemes and deep orchestral sounds to show the older Goya (Francisco Rabal) in bed having a seizure.

Saura lights the bedroom in blue with Goya seeing the ethereal vision of the Duchess of Alba, Cayetana (Maribel Verdu) walking into a bright white hallway.

Exiled from Spain to Bordeaux, France, the withering Goya is looked after by lover Leocadia (Eulalia Ramon). The extravagant court parties include the younger, early middle aged Goya, a debonair Jose Coronado, observing the magnetic Duchess of Alba with her raven like locks.

From being commissioned to paint St. Anthony of Padua using a miracle whereby the saint performs an interrogation of a corpse in a coffin to liberate an accused murderer, the painter, looking for ideas from the more barren areas of the hamlet comes across the lovely Cayetana at a local exhibit.  In time, the attractive Duchess and the wealthy adulterous aristocrat have a heated affair.

Rosario, his daughter, later finds out from her father about Cayetana's poisoning by a scheming, jealous queen and how a fever lead to a permanent deaf condition.  Being a true artist, Goya tells Rosario to use her inner ear to hear the outcries and reverberations of war.  As his life nears its end, the painter feels an ominous presence while working in his dining room.

The rest of Goya in Bordeaux showcases the gifted Saura using slide projections and altering light on opaque paneling to depict the artist's passion and suffering.  Yet, in its expressive visual consciousness Goya in Bordeaux doesn't get into a conflicted man at the end of an affair.

Goya in Bordeaux

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