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Monday, 29 November 2010

Pedro Almodovar 'Yo Queiro ser una chica Almodovar...'

A little while ago I posted a video which professed my very nearly obsessive love for Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar. But I left you with little explanation as to why I love him and when his films include a murderer and murderess who alternately play the role of bull and bullfighter (Matador), a woman who gets raped by the brother of her cleaner while her voyeur boyfriend watches from the window of an apartment opposite (Kika) and another girl is raped whilst in a coma (Hable con Ella), an explanation might be necessary.

Almodovar is a genius of modern film directing, his work is explosive, theatrical and deeply cultured, particurarly engaged with Madrilenian culture and the Movida movement which followed the fall of Franco's regime. He directs, creates, writes all without reservation, tackling issues such as tranvestitism, drug use, STI's and the darker aspects of the criminal mind but all with a touch of cabaret and burlesque (the singing, drug addicted nuns in Entre Tieneblas or Dark Habits is a brilliant example of this).
Women on the Verge, is a brilliant and early introduction to his film making, a female drama which becomes an epic chaotic comedy as the gazpacho laced with sleeping pills is passed around the cast members.

As you watch Almodovar's films things which first shocked you become commonplace details, the quirks of a director who likes performing transvestites and shots of women peeing. There is an Almodovar culture as well as Madrilenian culture to be observed. The same goes for his particular obsession with certain female actresses, who have become icons of his films, cult figures. This is what the song in my earlier post was about; Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril and Penelope Cruz have all been favourites of Almodovar. But it is Cruz who he has a lasting and unusual love for.

Dark Habits, the heroine-shooting Mother Superior pictured above, is a brilliant but often misrepresented comedy, in which refuge for lost and rebellious young women is manipulated to fit the particular desires of the Mother Superior and her twisted theology which makes her love the sinner above all others!
Anyway now I can only recommend his films. My favourites are; Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About my Mother), Attame! (Tie me up! Tie me Down!), Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown, Volver and Entre Tinieblas (Dark Habits)

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