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May 19, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

A horror film may be the last thing one would expect to turn up at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, but Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito) — about a crazed plastic surgeon who exacts vengeance on the man he believes raped his daughter by turning him into a beautiful woman — not only was accepted in the competition but received prolonged applause from reporters after it was screened today (Thursday). At a news conference following the screening Almodóvar acknowledged that he had toyed with the idea of making the film more artsy than a run-of-the-mill horror flick and thought he might make it along the lines of a Fritz Lang “noir” film of the 1920s and early ’30s — a silent movie in black and white. But apparently the director decided that doing so would make the film more bizarre than it would turn out to be. With Antonio Banderas, always a fascinating actor, playing the mad surgeon, Almodóvar manages to bring a kind of eerie realism to his Frankenstein tale. Nevertheless, he acknowledged at the news conference that it is really he who is playing the monster’s creator. “Being a director is like playing God,” he said, noting that directors are handed the ability to manipulate “a set of actors who can embody the images we have in our imagination.”