Goya en Burdeos
Goya en Burdeos
Directed: Carlos Saura
Country: Spain, Italy
Language: Spanish, French
Francisco Goya (1746-1828), deaf and ill, lives the last years of his life in voluntary exile in Bordeaux, a Liberal protesting the oppressive rule of Ferdinand VII. He's living with his much younger wife Leocadia and their daughter Rosario. He continues to paint at night, and in flashbacks stirred by confessions to his daughter, by awful headaches, and by the befuddlement of age, he relives key times in his life, particularly his relationship with the Duchess of Alba, his discovery of how he wanted to paint (insight provided by Velázquez's work), and his lifelong celebration of the imagination. Throughout, his reveries become tableaux of his paintings.
Movie ReviewsIn GOYA IN BORDEAUX Carlos Saura tells the life story of the 18th Century Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. Actually, working with cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, he attempts to "paint" the story. Elaborately staged and beautifully photographed recreations of Goya's canvases come to life as Goya (Francisco Rabal), lying on his death bed, tells his daughter Rosario (Dafne Fernández) the story of his life.
After a mysterious illness left him deaf, he changed from a craven, though immensely talented court painter of Spanish royalty, to a passionate painter focusing on the plight of Spain's poor during Napoleon's invasion.
After the restoration of the monarchy, he went into exile in France. But he was still haunted by his love affair with the beautiful Duchess of Alba (Maribel Verdú), who the film portrays in flashbacks with the young Goya (played by José Coronado.) Their scenes together are bathed in the soft glow of candlelight, giving the feeling of a cherished erotic memory. These sequences are a direct contrast to the figures of death from his later paintings -- some quite ghoulish -- who leap from their canvases near the end of the film to almost literally scare the old man to death.