Pedro Almodóvar – Julieta (2016)

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Julieta (Emma Suarez) is a middle-aged woman living in Madrid with her boyfriend Lorenzo. Both are going to move to Portugal when she casually runs into Bea, former best friend of her daughter Antia, who reveals that this one is living in Switzerland married and with three children. With the heart broken after 12 years of total absence of her daughter, Julieta cancels the journey to Portugal and she moves to her former building, in the hope that Antia someday communicates with her sending a letter. Alone with her thoughts, Julieta starts to write her memories to confront the pain of the events happened when she was a teenager (Adriana Ugarte) and met Xoan, a Galician fisherman. Falling in love with him, Julieta divides her time between the family, the job and the education of Antia until a fatal accident changes their lives. Slowly decaying in a depression, Julieta is helped by Antia and Bea, but one day Antia goes missing suddenly after a vacation with no clues about where to find … Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Carne trémula AKA Live Flesh (1997)

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Curious, seeing this after the smash hits of “Todo Sobre Mi Madre” and “Hable con Ella”, because this movie sort of prepared the viewers to what was coming. Grabbing a solid and original story, Pedro Almodovar creates a movie that revolves around a strange set of characters, and on the process gives an excellent essay on the effect time has on people’s lives. All the actors are top notch, specially the commanding Javier Bardem, who would later become an Oscar nominee with “Before Night Falls”. Great music, cinematography and direction give this movie an even more satisfying look, and make this a well-achieved movie that ends up being the first part of an unofficial trilogy of Almodovar’s best works. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – La mala educación AKA Bad Education (2004)

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The wag who first suggested running the trailer for Bad Education before screenings of The Passion of the Christ in southern France deserves a rosette for provocation beyond the call of duty. But while the region’s priests have responded with predictable outrage, they should have taken a closer look at the film itself. To the character of the paedophile Father Manolo, Pedro Almodóvar extends the same compassion and pity with which he regarded the various sex offenders in Matador (1986), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989) and Talk to Her (2002). Almodóvar has the most democratic sensibility in cinema since Andy Warhol. Whatever passes before his camera is met with curiosity or understanding. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Hable con ella AKA Talk to Her (2002)

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The closing act of the New York Film Festival, and one of the season’s most rewarding films, Talk to Her strikes a variety of chords: It’s uproarious, whimsical, sad, preposterous–sometimes sequentially, sometimes all at once. The one-time provocateur and lover of garish pop culture shows a growing maturity in this film, mining darker, more emotionally resonant territory that gets deep under the skin even as its loopy unpredictability makes it wildly entertaining. At issue here are loneliness, loss, communication, male friendship, and the different forms love takes, all embodied with the wacky imagination for which Pedro Almodžvar is noted. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – La flor de mi secreto AKA The Flower of My Secret (1995)

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Marisa Paredes is Leocadia (“Leo”) Macias, a woman writing “pink” romance novels under the alias of Amanda Gris that are very popular all across Spain. Unlike her romantic novels, her own love life is troubled. Leo has a less than happy relationship with her husband Paco, a military officer stationed in Brussels then later in Bosnia, who is distant both physically and emotionally.

Leo begins to change the direction of her writing, wanting to focus more on darker themes such as pain and loss, and can no longer write her Amanda Gris novels, whose publishers demand sentimental happy-endings, at least until her contract is up. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón (1980)

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This is Almodóvar’s first feature film. The plot follows the wild adventures of three friends: Pepi, an independent modern woman; Luci, a mousy, masochistic housewife; and Bom, a lesbian punk rock singer. The central theme of the film – female resilience, independence and solidarity – would be a constant throughout Almodóvar’s career. (Wikipedia) Continue reading