PEPI LUCI BOM Y OTRAS CHICAS DEL MONTON - PEPI LUCI BOM AND OTHER GIRLS LIKE MUM - 1980
This was Pedro's first hit that took off in Madrid. I only saw it very recently and the impact it had on me was even more shocking and outrageous than some of his recent films. This film was seen as part of the transition that Spain underwent during 'La Movida' era. This film's most central and controversial moments include the penis size contest 'General Elections' and the 'Golden Shower' scene where Bom stands on a chair and urinates over Luci's face for sexual pleasure. The clip below is of the 'Golden Shower' scene just to give an idea of Pedro's extremity - it is unfortunately just in Spanish without subtitles but with a clip like this, you do not need to speak the language to understand what is going on!
MATADOR - 1986
ATAME! - TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN! - 1990
This is my favourite Almodovar film. It didn't have an exceptional reception however amongst many critics and some feminists in the US and Spain. It caused political uproar for its perceived mysogenistic representation of women. The Motion Pictures Association of America originally gave this film an 'X' rating, essentially putting it into the same class as a Pornographic film. Eventually, after Miramax tried to file against this rating in court and lost, MPAA changed their rating system so the film could receive a lower rating. To me this film is a mere portrayal of a romantic comedy where a woman falls in love with a man that she would never have let herself fall in love with previous to him kidnapping her and tieing her up. Antonio is head over heels in love with Victoria, who he once slept with years ago. She, a sucessful actress, doesn't look at him twice so he literally uses his strength and force to capture, kidnap and seduce her. Almodovar's message of this film is quite hard to determine however.. the mere idea that someone can fall in love with another person that beats them, ties them up with rope, puts tape on their mouth and forbids them to leave, makes me question Almodovar's definition of 'love'. The below clip is also available in Spanish but the shocking action and images gives a clear insight into the storyline.
KIKA - 1993
CARNE TREMULA - 1997
TODO SOBRE MI MADRE - ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER - 1999
This was the film that Pedro gained the most recognition and rewards for out of all of his 17. It won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Pedro won the Best Director Award and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Award at Cannes. It also picked up the French Cesar for Best Foreign Film, the Goya Award (Spanish Academy Award) as best film of the year, best Actress in a Leading Role for Argentine actress Cecilia Roth and a twelfth Annual European Film Award. It portrays the storyline of a woman who has lost her son to a car crash and flees to Barcelona to tell the boy's father (who has now had a sex change) about the son that existed. Women are portrayed in a very positive manner standing up and facing female duties such as Motherhood, marriage and pregnancy. These characters are far from eroticised and sexual content is low in this film. I believe this film was one of Pedro's most successful film because he proved to film watchers and critics that he was capable of an artistic narrative than was more deep and meaningful than some of his previous films suggested.
HABLA CON ELLA - TALK TO HER - 2002
'Talk to Her' a film made in 2002 centers it's story around a man named 'Beningo' in Spanish meaning 'harmless'. This name is very ironic considering the slanderous activites he is capable of. Beningo who becomes obsessed with a dance student named Alicia. Due to a fatal accident she is comatose and Beningo quite very uncoinscidently becomes her personal carer. It emerges that Beningo, who has convinced himself that their relationship is a mutual love affair, has raped her and she falls pregnant. He gets sent to prison where he takes an overdose to die and be reunited with Alicia. This film is a 2002 Academy Award winner for the best original screenplay. It also won the 'Best foreign film' and the 'Original screenplay' at the BAFTA ceremony in 2003. Almodoar highlights in this film a severe lack of communication between two people and women are portrayed as extremely vunerable while the leading roles are given to men suprisingly - Javier Camaro anda and Dario Grandinetti.