I liked this a lot. I liked the intricateness of the narrative, stories within stories, shifting viewpoints. At one point, it’s about a man reading a story about a man reading a story. Ignacio is at the center of everything, but he really doesn’t exist except in the different ways people remember him. No one really understands his damaged nature — not his brother or the priest who caused the damage in the first place. Only Enrique seems to care about him, although it could be said he exploits Ignacio too by making a film about him and by having sex with his brother. Gael Garcia Bernal as the opportunist is remarkable. Great music, too — when the little boy started singing Moon River in that sad, high voice, I was stunned. It was like, ok, now we’re not in Kansas anymore, lol.
I haven’t really kept up with Almodovar since the days when he was inflicting Antonio Banderas on us. I think Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown was the last film of his I saw when it came out. Now I want to watch a few more of his recent films and am wondering if any others are as good as Bad Education.
I recommend “Live Flesh” “All about My Mother” “Talk to Her” “Volver” and maybe “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!”
All the above mentioned are good, but All about My Mother is a masterpiece. I feel the urge to rewatch it just now while writing this down.
Definately All About My Mother, Talk to Her, and Volver
I’ve found a good copy of Talk to Her that I’m going to be getting in a day or two. I can’t believe most of Almodovar’s films are out of print, including All About My Mother.
They’re not out-of-print. All of his “big” films are available in one boxset, Viva Pedro!, released by Sony Pictures Classics (it’s a fantastic set.) They have only discontinued the single-disc individual releases, although Talk to Her & Bad Education are readily available at BigLots in the US for a mere 3$ each.
According to amazon, Viva Pedro is also out of print.
If you’ve ever seen What Have I Done to Deserve This?, you’ll most likely appreciate Volver. Both of these films share many similar themes (though these themes are present in almost all his films) and you can see how much he’s matured from one of his earliest works to his most recent.
Talk to Her stayed in my head long after I finished watching it. The scene with Caetano Veloso singing Cucurrucucú Paloma alone makes this film a must see.
Sony has just re-issued single-disc releases of “Matador”, “Women on the Verge…” and “Law of Desire”. I watched the latter last night. A totally adequate transfer without any extras. Great to have it on the shelf. I was looking through my laserdiscs and found “What Have I Done…”, “Kika”, “Flower of my Secret”, “Labyrinth of Passion”, “Tie Me Up…” and “Dark Habits”.
How is it that the LD market (so much smaller than today’s DVD market) found room for “oddities” like these, but we’re without their presence in the newer, more mainstream technology? I’m also baffled by releases that go out-of-print. Doesn’t that mean they sold out? Haven’t all the start-up costs been amortized? Isn’t it just like a first printing? What’s the risk of a second production run, making another 2000 copies available? Surely there’s profit to be made.
I also really enjoyed Bad Education. And, like Matt Parks, I would recommend All About My Mother, Talk To Her, and Volver. I am in the opposite situation as you – I have only seen his most recent films. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, too. I love his use of color, and he always seems to get amazing performances out of his actors.