Read more about this video essay on MUBI's Notebook: mubi.io/2lCTOlU
The 31st entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin. MUBI's retrospective, The Art of Transgression: The Cinema of Almodóvar, is streaming in the UK: mubi.io/almodovar
"Export/Import: Pedro Almodóvar’s Dark Habits and What Have I Done to Deserve This?" by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin
How Pedro Almodóvar became exported Spanish cinema by importing so much from other countries.
It’s an enabling paradox of Pedro Almodóvar’s films that he became a principal export standing for Spanish cinema by importing so much into it from other countries and traditions. And this is especially so in relation to his starring female characters.
Our audiovisual essay (the first in a series of three for the Notebook on Almodóvar) looks at some of the many allusions in two of his early features, Dark Habits (1983) and What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984), to diverse forms, genres, and directors—from Italian neo-realism to R.W. Fassbinder. In every case, Almodóvar does not merely borrow or pastiche, but reinvents these idioms as his own.
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