2 items from 2017
It’s only February, yet The Criterion Collection has already released two exceptional screwball comedies this 2017. The first, His Girl Friday, released last month (and reviewed by David Blakeslee here), is a film that comes to mind whenever the term “screwball comedy” is bandied about. The second is Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Almodóvar, particularly at this early point in his career, was better known for dark comedies that did all they could to confront and provoke and remind everyone that with the demise of Franco’s regime Almodóvar intended to utilize a newly discovered freedom of expression, so the film’s provenance, combined with the film’s dark premise, means that the delirious, escalating light comedy of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will come as a surprise (a pleasant surprise, I think) to first-time watchers familiar with the rest of Almodóvar’s work. »
- Trevor Berrett
The Criterion Collection 855
1988 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 89 min. / Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date February 21, 2017 / 39.95
Starring Carmen Maura, Fernando Guillén, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Rossy de Palma, María Barranco, Kiti Manver, Guillermo Montesinos, Chus Lampreave, Yayo Calvo, Loles León, Ángel de Andrés López, José Antonio Navarro.
Cinematography: José Luis Alcaine
Film Editor: José Salcedo
Original Music: Bernardo Bonezzi
Produced by: Augustin Almodóvar
Written and Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Connected film festival attendees learned about Pedro Almodóvar before everybody else, especially if they had an understanding of new developments in Spanish cinema. Film school had shown us nothing but the very exceptional work of Luis Buñuel, most of which is really from Mexico and France. In the 1980s we Angelenos were just getting access to films by the old-school ‘traditional’ rebel Spaniards Carlos Saura and Juan Antonio Bardem. »
- Glenn Erickson
2 items from 2017
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