Almodovar - The Collection: Volume 1

  |  Buy to Own: 14/11/2005
  |  387 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Four flamboyant films from the Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. 'Dark Habits' (1983) is set in a convent in Madrid, where a band of nuns called the Humble Redeemers practice their particular brand of the Catholic Religion under their motto, 'Sin Is Our Chosen Path'. Yolanda, a nightclub singer, witnesses her boyfriend die from an overdose, and with the police out to question her, she decides to take refuge with the nuns. The convent specializes in the salvation of murderesses, but their benefactor has stopped coming up with the money, and, fearful that they may have to sell the place, the nuns welcome Yolanda. Yolanda encounters an unusual religious life: a heroin-addicted lesbian Mother Superior, a soft porn writing nun, another into acid and one who wrestles tigers. 'Pepi, Luci, Bom' (1980) is Almodovar's first film and was made while he was still working at the Post Office. Set during Madrid's post-Franco punk period, it is a pot-pourri of his usual obsessions: sex, drugs, adverts, musical numbers, violence and female masochism, all put together with low-budget style and panache. In 'What Have I Done To Deserve This?' (1984), Carmen Maura plays Gloria, an embattled Spanish housewife trying to cope with her family in a tiny apartment. Her two sons have become drug addicts and have taken to dealing, her taxi-driver husband is totally indifferent to her plight, her grouchy mother-in-law keeps a pet lizard, and her friend and neighbour wants her to help in her prostitution service. Finally, 'Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' (1988) is a fast-moving, surreal farce of obsessive love. When Ivan jilts his long-time lover Pepa, she considers suicide, laces her gazpacho soup with barbituates and lets her flat. However, the tenants turn out to be Ivan's son and his girlfriend. Revelations pile up, weirder and weirder characters appear and meanwhile Ivan is flying off to Stockholm with yet another young girl. Carmen Maura and Antonio Banderas star.