|Dressed in what appears to be a skin body suit ?|
His first feature film Pepi, Luci, Bom was a raw, punk explosion of sex, violence and sick humour. Shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm for public release in 1980. The plot revolves around a woman who is raped by a policeman after he arrests her for growing marijuana. She gets her revenge by persuading his masochistic battered wife to leave him. All his early films reveal a world, held together by women, or by men who would be women, in which the centre stage is occupied by people from the edges of society, prostitutes, transvestites, transsexuals, drug addicts, depressed housewives, nymphomaniacs and pregnant nuns!
|Vera and the house keeper.|
Almodovar proceeded to write and direct virtually a film ever two year’s, gathering around him a family of actors and technicians, honing his skills and polishing his style, adapting a collage of popular genres and using Hollywood melodrama’s as his starting point, nearly always placing women centre story. They are hugely stylish films and, in their themes (passion, death, religion) and sense of humour (often absurd, sometimes cruel), unmistakably Spanish. His work continues to garner critical respect and inspire interest in Spanish cinema worldwide. Along with his brother Agustin he created a production company El Deseo that guarantees his independence. Among his successes are All About My Mother (1999), which won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Film in 2000, and Volver (2006) whose entire female cast was recognised at Cannes in 2006 with the Best Female Actor Award.
|The good Doctor examines his work.|
The Skin I Live In, which could only have been made by Pedro Almodovar, was loosely based on a 1984 novel by Thierry Jonquet called Tarantula. The story, without giving away any spoilers, is set mainly in what appears to be an isolated house, El Cigarralin, where three people reside, a world-renowned plastic surgeon called Robert Ledgard, an elegant elderly housekeeper and a very beautiful female called Vera Cruz who is kept captive in a locked room and dressed in what appears to be a skin body suit. Ledgard’s wife was involved in a horrendous car crash some years earlier that resulted in her dying due to her injuries. Giving away any more of the plot would spoil the intricate twists and turns of this clever narrative.
|A Tiger outfit!!!!|
Following the film a rather muted discussion took place; most of the evenings audience seemed stunned by a film that had taken them places they did not necessarily want to go. Most agreed that this was probable the best film Almodovar has made, although I will reserve my own judgment until I have given it a second viewing, but its certainly up there with the very best of his work. This movie is a dazzling example of how to tell a story cinematically by a director who is a master of his craft. How many directors would dress one of the protagonists in a Tiger outfit, resplendent with tale? Described by one of the film club members as a horror film for grown up’s its much more than that in the fact that it successfully brings together not only elements of horror but Sci-fi, melodrama and black humour. The cinematography by regular Jose Luis Alcaine is perfect although different from earlier work as the scenes are more clinically lit, the cast are superb and the visual art direction is a credit to another Almodovar regular Antxon Gomez.