The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, November 3-December 6

repertory-women-on-verge-almodovar

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Almodóvar’s international breakthrough is a wild and colorful comedy of manners starring Almodovar regular Carmen Maura as Pepa, a television and voice-over actress who goes through an emotional crisis after ending an affair with her older and married fellow actor Iván (Fernando Guillén). The erratic plot centers on poor Pepa as she desperately seeks some sort of closure from an unresponsive Iván.  Almodovar frames his volatile characters as if they’re pieces of a pop collage made of saturated magazine ads. By using backdrops that resemble American television sound stages of the 1950s and 60s, Almodovar creates a world of eccentricity marked by charming and calculated artificiality. Almodovar also loves to dangle some of the ostentatious aesthetics of 80s Spain, a critical time of post-Franco counter-cultural and sexual revolution that Spaniards call the Movida Madrileña (where all that is Almodovar originated). Gazpacho spiked with sleeping pills, a mambo taxi driver, Shiite terrorists and a young lanky Antonio Banderas are all featured in this hilarious Spanish 80s classic. Alejandro Veciana (December 3, 3pm; December 15, 5:30pm at MoMA’s Almodóvar retrospective

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