A camp melodrama/comedy about Sexilia (a nymphomaniac), Sadec (a gay Islamic terrorist), Riza Niro (the son of the emperor of Tiran), and Queti (the daughter of a dry-cleaner). When Riza ... See full summary »
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An ex-bullfighter who gets turned on by killing, a lady lawyer with the same fetish and a young man driven insane by his religious upbringing - these are the main characters in this stylish... See full summary »
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Leo Macias writes sentimental novels with great success but hidden under a pseudonym, Amanda Gris. She is unhappy with her professional life and with her husband, a soldier working in ... See full summary »
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A woman's lover leaves her, and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. She confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she. Meanwhile her girlfriend is afraid the police... See full summary »
Yolanda sings in a seedy nightclub. When her boyfriend dies of an overdose, she fears the police and seeks refuge in a convent that saves women from the streets. These off-beat nuns include a heroin using abbess who loves Yolanda, one who writes romance novels under a pseudonym, another raising a tiger in the convent yard, and one who designs fabulous fashions and is in love with the local priest. They plan an evening extravaganza starring Yolanda to celebrate the abbess's birthday and to convince their wealthy patron not to abandon them. Written by
Pedro Almodóvar's first film to have a proper producer and be made for a proper film company, rather than be made on the hoof like his previous projects. Almodóvar has since distanced himself from the film as he felt that he had to bow to commercial considerations. See more »
The "Salí porque salí" song is obviously not sung by Yolanda nor the backing vocalists. See more »
It's too late to change; your place is here. And where could you go? You're 48 years old.
Sor Rata de Callejón:
I beg your pardon, but I'm only 47!
[as her sister brushes away the plant by her face]
Move over a bit! The plant keeps hitting you in the mustache!
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"Dark Habits" from 1983 was Pedro Almodovar's first film made with a decent producer, film company, and budget. There are signs of his later brilliance in films like "Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "All About My Mother," but even for the quirky Almodovar, this is one strange film.
"Sister Act" is vaguely reminiscent of this movie, only in the fact that "Dark Habits" concerns Yolanda, a nightclub performer (Cristina Sánchez Pascual) whose boyfriend (Will More) overdoses while she's in his apartment. Yolanda panics, afraid she will be accused of killing him by the police, so, wearing her red sequined gown, she hides out in a Madrid convent.
This is unlike any convent depicted before or since. Some of the nuns, like Yolanda herself, are drug addicts, doing heroin and coke. One nun has a pet tiger. Another writes sexy novels under a pseudonym. Another nun designs fashions and is in love with the local priest. The Mother Superior is a lesbian and falls in love with Yolanda. The nuns all have strange names, depicting that man is the lowest form of animal: Sister Snake, Sister Rat, etc.
The big problem at the convent at the moment is that the Marquesa (Mary Carillo), now that her generous husband is dead, has decided to withdraw patronage from the convent. One of the nuns gets information about the Marquesa's daughter and decides to blackmail her with it.
"Dark Habits," I believe, suggests the Movida Madrilenia, a hedonistic countercultural movement that took place in Madrid after the death of Franco. It was meant to represent a new Spanish identity, an identity characterized by freedom of expression, use of recreational drugs, and even a new dialect. It was a hedonistic culture that more or less destroyed itself by the overuse of heroin. At the end of the era, Madrid was left with drug addicts, dead junkies, people leaving Madrid for their original hometowns, and for others, rehabilitation and a useful life.
The convent serves as a microcosm of this movement. Here one sees art, drugs, music, and homosexuality.
A fascinating if sometimes uncomfortable film, and certainly not representative of the later Almodovar, who himself has distanced himself from this offbeat, dark film.
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