Peel back the Chronicle's archives to find lots more Pedro Almodóvar
By Marjorie Baumgarten,
1:55PM, Mon. Nov. 14, 2011
So by now you’ve seen Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In and you’re hungering to see more of the earlier films by “Spain’s maestro of madness and desire” (as dubbed by Marc Savlov in his Skin review), but you have no idea where to start. It’s at moments like this that The Austin Chronicle’s film-review archives can be a handy source.
All the film reviews that have been published in the Chronicle since 1991 are available online. (Reviews from the Dark Ages decade, 1981-1991, will one day find their place online, too.) Listed below are links to most of the film reviews in the Chronicle’s Almodóvar archives. Also online is Viva Pedro!, an overview of the Almodóvar aesthetic that I wrote in support an eight-film retrospective and Virginia B. Wood's report on the Alamo Drafthouse's special tapas menu being served during the first two weeks of The Skin I Live In's run.
The Skin I Live In “continuously confounds expectations in the grandest of ways.”
Broken Embraces “is about mad love and its consequences, [and] as much about the art of filmmaking as anything else.”
Volver shows that “no working male director loves the community of women more than Almodóvar.”
Bad Education is “a modern anticlerical film noir … with a candy-colored palette.”
Talk to Her "has moments of almost unbearable beauty … full of yearning and loss and frustrated attempts at communication.”
All About My Mother "continues Almodóvar's noted preoccupations with screwball melodramas, flamboyant visuals, and women on the verge of nervous breakdowns” … but merges them “with a universal story about the faces and roles we all adopt in public.”
Live Flesh shows the camp-obsessed, taboo-flouting punk of [of his early films] toning down his act, but Almodóvar still makes movies with a daring distinctiveness and exhilarating freshness that few can match.
The Flower of My Secret is not as crazed as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, [but] the movie marks the return of Almodóvar's delicious humor and a departure from the nastier streak.
Kika is a “genuinely bizarre indictment of everything from tabloid journalism to romantic entanglements.”
Pepi, Luci, Bom, [Almodóvar’s] first film, is notable for its lack of polished filmmaking technique … but, thematically and spiritually, the gleeful and absurd Almodóvar sensibility is all there.”
High Heels "is tempered by a more serious side of life that we've rarely seen from Almodóvar."