Trevor Reviews Pedro Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

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.
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Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown


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.
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Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ Trilogy and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in February

Update: The Before Trilogy on Criterion is currently $39.95. Pre-order while you can.

After The Criterion Collection hinted at it and some of the own crew confirmed it, it’s now been officially revealed that one of their most-requested releases will be arriving next year. Richard Linklater‘s Before trilogy will be joining the colelction just a few weeks after Valentine’s Day, on February 28th, featuring new 2K restorations of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset as well as Before Midnight.

Special features include a new discussion with Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke, moderated by Kent Jones, and Athina Rachel Tsangari’s documentary on the making of the most recent feature. There’s also the full feature-length documentary Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny, and more. While we’re still waiting on cover art for the Linklater set, check out the full details on February’s line-up below, also including one
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