Once, in the waning hours of a party, someone tried to convince us (with the overwhelming certainty of the very intoxicated) that the director’s name was in fact actually AlmodÃ³varmodÃ³var. It was great fun to hear anyone slur that out loud, but he was so serious and so insistent that we began to doubt ourselves: Why would anyone go to such lengths to argue such a ridiculous point? Maybe it was really AlmodÃ³varmodÃ³var. At which point we put ourselves in a cab and went home. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics’ Viva Pedro retrospective kicks off this Friday, and at the Village Voice Michael Atkinson has a nice essay on the two AlmodÃ³vars, as he sees it, and how each is represented in the films selected (he’d like to see more of the earlier, nastier Pedro):
What’s missing in these later movies is risk, and the sulfurous charge to be had from the earlier filmsâ€”including Dark Habits (1983), a very special doped-dyke-nuns comedy-â€”and from Kika, which transgressed perhaps farther than any other film in the oeuvre (specifically, with a long comedic rape scene that revolted many but called the cards on our pop-entertainment amusement with some kinds of violation, like murder and torture, and not others). An utterly fearless carnivale, with enough plot for three movies and a Gaultier costume-design attack that verges on cyborgian hysteria, the unjustly maligned and hilarious Kika is the most BuÃ±uelian of AlmodÃ³var’s movies, and seems the one in need of a re-release.
New York magazine divides the series’ offerings up into "The Good," "The Bad" and "The Superior."
The Guardian has a transcript of Maria Delgado‘s interview with AlmodÃ³var and actor PenÃ©lope Cruz (who stars in his latest, "Volver") in front of a live audience (there’s an audio version here, if you have the patience), while Simon Hattenstone interviews Cruz by herself:
She smiles when I mention AlmodÃ³var’s adoration, and says, yes, it is a
love affair of sorts. "You don’t have to have sex involved in a love
story for it to be a love story. When I’m at the end of my life,
thinking about the most important people in my life, people I have
loved the most, Pedro will be one of the main people."