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 theNotebook 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.
is a daily, international film publication. Our mission is to guide film lovers searching, lost or adrift in an overwhelming sea of content. We offer text, images, sounds and video as critical maps, passways and illuminations to the worlds of contemporary and classic film. Notebook is a MUBI publication.