day five reacquaints me with pedro almodóvar's breakthrough film, women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (1988).
i was in love with his movies in the late eighties when he started to break big in the states but i suspect at eighteen or so i was not so well equipped to understand them. one of the great functions of the queue is that it sometimes acts as a time capsule, allowing me to unearth things that i packed away long ago and see them in a new light. before this week i had not watched this movie since 1988 and it was a very different experience this time around.
it was an interesting choice to follow pauline at the beach (1983), as it takes the farcical elements so subtly present in rohmer's film and spins them outward in ever more dizzying loops.
brits couldn't have made this at all. they would have ended up with something more like the latest installment of the carry on series.
carmen maura stars as pepa, a voiceover actress whose rat bastard lover, iván has just left her. she is despondent, contemplating suicide, even going as far as to make gazpacho spiked with a ton of sleeping pills. she never consummates the act, though, as everything and everyone in her periphery quickly spirals out of control. her friend candela is ringing her phone off the hook, frantic that she has just discovered that she had been unwittingly dating a shiite terrorist. pepa's lover's son and his fiancée show up in response to her ad to sublet her apartment and soon two and two are put together concerning everyone's respective associations with iván. a lawyer is consulted who turns out to be iván's latest paramour. phone repairmen, curious police, insane pistol-packing wives and hijacked bikers round out the supporting cast and pepa is shuttled back and forth between these loony episodes in the greatest, most ridiculous taxi ever dispatched. and what do you do when you have a houseful of guests you can't seem to get rid of? serve them gazpacho, that's what.
once again, an excellent choice and it was a nice lesson in how much a great film has to offer just by holding its worth as you improve as a viewer.
tomorrow we are graced by a visit from a solid dude if ever there was one.