Though the kinky characters and aberrant social behavior common to the works of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar are very evident in his Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the film is at heart a door-slamming farce in the grand tradition. The tiny apartment of pregnant actress Carmen Maura is the “Grand Central Station” setpiece for this dizzying tale. Distraught over her recent breakup with her lover, Carmen prepares to overdose on sleeping pills, which she blends into a gazpacho so they’ll go down easier. She is diverted from her suicide by her best friend Maria Barranco, a fugitive from justice (her boy friend is a Shi’Ite terrorist) who needs a place to stay. Later, when Carmen’s apartment is empty, her ex-lover’s grown son (Antonio Banderas) comes to the apartment with his fiance (Rossy de Palma) in answer to Carmen’s “room to let” newspaper ad. The wife inadvertently ingests Carmen’s “pill sauce,” and as she blissfully snoozes, the husband inaugurates an affair with Carmen’s friend Barranco. Continue reading
based on the novel of the same name by Miguel Delibes
Somewhere in the spanish country, in the 60s. Paco and his wife Regula are very poor. They work as tenant farmers for a very wealthy landowner. They have 3 children. One is backward. The others can not got to school because the master “needs” their work. When Regula’s brother is fired from where he has worked for 61 years, he settles down at their little place… An attack against the archaism of the spanish country of the 60s. Continue reading
Just released from residential psychiatry, where he became an all-round handyman, gentle orphan Ricky pursues his sole pathological obsession. Penniless, hence without a chance to court her, he kidnaps porn actress Marina from the set of crippled director Maximo’s last movie. At first she hates her abductor. Once she realizes he risks and bares everything for her, she gets feeling for him to. But won’t she still escape and return to her family and career? Continue reading
Harshly treated by the critics on release, of Pedro Almodovar’s work, Kika is perhaps the one that most benefits from re-viewing and re-assessment.
The story of Kika (an astonishing Veronica Forque), a Madrid makeup artist whose relationship with Ramon (Alex Cassanovas) leads to criminal schemes involving Kika’s maid Juana (Rossy DePalma), Jauan’s amorous, criminal brother Pablo (Santiago Lajusticia) and Ramon’s youth-obsessed father Nicholas (Peter Coyote). Overseeing it all is the muckraking, reality tabloid television show presided over by the formidable Andrea Scarface (a uniquely attired Victoria Abril).
Attracting controversy because of the scene in which Almodovar depicts Kika’s rape at the hands of Pablo with humorous detachment, the scene has since come to be more popularly viewed as further evidence of the director’s tribute to the power of women. Continue reading
Una pareja se hospeda en una misma pensión en habitaciones separadas y mantienen contacto a espaldas de la dueña. Metáfora de una sociedad reprimida en la etapa del franquismo, Contactos es una cinta de culto rodada con muy pocos medios e influenciada, principalmente, por el cine de Yasujiro Ozu. (FILMAFFINITY) Continue reading
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 conversations with 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. Continue reading
There is no director alive more connected to the hearts, minds and mysteries of women than Spain’s Pedro Almodovar. With a string of masterworks stretching from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to All About My Mother and Talk to Her, Almodovar is a filmmaker worth following anywhere. In Volver (“return”), a movie that leaps off the screen to take its place in your dreams, the writer-director tells a ghost story that manages to include lust, incest, rape and murder. You’ll laugh, too — wildly, helplessly — because to Almodovar, laughter is life. Continue reading