Pedro Almodóvar is a Spanish director who has carved a name for himself out of the strange and captivating narratives in his films. With over 20 years as a director and writer, Almodóvar has cajoled audiences with his arresting combination of conflict while simultaneously remaining enjoyable and entertaining. He is a director who can both delight and disturb, because he is willing to be earnest and deliver the end of the film whether it is what we had hoped for or not. Almodóvar not only directs; he is also the writer, and it is apparent that he understands the importance of dialogue and visual treats to support the narrative.
You are invited to discover (or rediscover) this ingenious director during the series Films of Pedro Almodóvar, starting January 11, 2012 and running through February 15, 2012. All screenings are on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Corner Room on the first floor at Mid-Manhattan Library. A brief discussion will follow each screening.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
January 11 at 7 p.m.: All About My Mother (1999, 101 min.)
"All About My Mother is the achieved synthesis of the whole Almodóvariety show, a new genre — part farce, part weepie, low camp and high melodrama, caustic yet heartwarming, humanist, and programmatically gender-blurring." — J. Hoberman, Village Voice
January 18 at 7 p.m.: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, 90 min.)
"In Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Mr. Almodóvar sets out to charm rather than shock. That he succeeds should not come as a surprise. The common denominator of all Almodóvar films, even the one that winds up in an ecstatic murder-suicide pact, is their good humor." — Vincent Canby, New York Times
January 25 at 7 p.m.: Live Flesh (1997, 103 min.)
"Witness the increasing promise of Pedro Almodóvar, in a film that has gone largely unnoticed in his career but stands as a worthy and mostly mainstream entry into his unique style of twisted relationship movies." — Christopher Null, filmcritic.com
February 1 at 7 p.m.: Talk to Her (2002, 112 min.)
"Almodóvar continues to refine the form of melodrama in ways that allow his films to function as witty, sophisticated black comedies, without sacrificing one iota of emotional texture or resonance. Talk to Her is far more eager to have us fall in love with its characters than to titillate us with its fetishes, but it does a great job at both." — Lance Goldenberg, Weekly Planet
February 8 at 7 p.m.: Bad Education (2004, 106 min.)
"Bad Education may be at once too gimmicky and too sincere. But it still exerts an uncanny power: like the best of Almodóvar's work, it throws you a first-love sucker punch that will stagger your heart, mind, and soul." — Logan Hill, New York Magazine
February 15 at 7 p.m.: Volver (2006, 121 min.)
"Ripe with female characters and embroidered with flourishes that hint at Hollywood's Golden Age, Volver is one of Almodóvar's finest films. It is also one of his most emotionally delightful." — Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
Our next series, Films of Werner Herzog, will start on February 29, 2012 and run through March 28, 2012.