So, having rewatched Biutiful, and started to do a close reading of a couple of sequences of Los lunes al sol, I have come to some conclusions in relation to the points I raised in my previous post on the subject.
- I can no longer see whatever it was in Biutiful that so strongly pushed me towards Los lunes al sol (or only at a very superficial level - Bardem's performance in the later film is in many ways a physical reversal of what he did in the earlier one). This is more than a little irritating.
- Given the length of what I want to write, I think I have two separate ideas - one that relates to how Bardem's performance style and star image coalesce (and reinforce one another), and one that is about how Bardem's presence in a film shapes Spanish critical reception of that film. There is an overlap between the two things, centring around the issue of genre, but I think they can be separated out. Hopefully.
- My intention is to start with the first idea - mainly focussing on Los lunes al sol but also bringing in Biutiful (and some of his other films - yet to be decided). But I need to come up with a central 'hook'.
- I find the issues raised by the second idea intriguing, but I don't currently want to be looking at the reception side of things - I need to focus on the films themselves for a while. So this may be something I come back to, but in a smaller way.
- I'm going to have a think about how I would word an abstract for the first idea, to see if that can focus my argument.
- I have been working on a close reading of Los lunes al sol's longest sequence - the seven-minute-long argument in the bar - which I may work into an 'Anatomy of a Scene' post as a way of getting started with thinking specifically about his performance.
In addition to that, I am also starting to research a more general piece about Spanish stardom (covering a broader period than I have previously investigated) - as I start to watch films for that, they'll appear as 'random viewing' posts, but otherwise the blog will be pretty quiet as I try to get to grips with these two 'projects'.