Again, often referred to as Almodóvar’s second film, after Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom (1980), which makes it his first on 35mm
Almodovar continues a provocateur or agitator, a rebel of melodrama (like Fassbinder) but with even more outwardly button-pushing themes (and jokes) like rape. Here, the set up includes a pick-up artist (including a young Antonio Banderas in his first archiveable film at age 22– getting picked up) and a nymphomaniac. It is a mixture of the punk rock mentality and Almodóvar’s sort of bathroom humor and sexual focus (gynecology plays a role in this film of course).
Like Sirk and other former masters of the melodrama, Almodóvar’s talent for set design and color is evident. This is closer to a screwball farce though in mode (instead of a rich girl and a guy from the streets- these are two sex addicts)—especially at the end where everyone is chasing everyone else around like Bringing Up Baby (1938) from Hawks or What’s Up, Doc? (1972) from Bogdanovich aping Hawks.
An attentive eye will notice Almodovar uses Ozu’s strategy of having different flashy colors of liquid in his drinking glasses to help design the frame.
At the 42-minute mark there is a handsome leopard print couch, the plant in the front right, a poster above, the tea—a strong composition. Almodovar is the king of these coffee table/couch cinematic paintings.
Almodovar is well aware of his budding trademarks as an auteur– even in 1982—at the 46-minute mark “what pretty walls and such gorgeous colors” is in the text.
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