Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Spain: Pedro Almodovar, 1988)

 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Spain: Pedro Almodovar, 1988: 88 mins)

Melding melodrama with screwball farce, this Academy Award–nominated black comedy was Pedro Almodóvar’s international breakthrough and secured his place at the vanguard of modern Spanish cinema. Continuing the auteur’s exploration of the female psyche, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown tells the story of Pepa—played by the director’s frequent collaborator Carmen Maura—who resolves to kill herself with a batch of sleeping-pill-laced gazpacho after her lover leaves her. Fortunately, she is interrupted by a deliciously chaotic series of events. The filmmaker channeled Hollywood inspiration into his own unique vision, arriving at the irreverent humor and vibrant visual sense that define his work today. With an exceptional ensemble cast that also includes Antonio Banderas and Rossy de Palma, this film shows an artist in total control of his craft. -- Criterion edition

Acevedo-Muñoz, Ernesto R.  "Melo-Thriller: Hitchcock, Genre, and Nationalism in Pedro Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." After Hitchcock eds. David Boyd, and R. Barton Palmer. University of Texas Press, 2021: 173 - 194.

Azevedo, Luis. "In the Kitchen with Pedro Almodóvar." (Posted on Youtube: March 10, 2020) 

D'Lugo, Marvin. Pedro Almodóvar. University of Illinois Press, 2006.

D'Lugo, Marvin and Kathleen M. Vernon, eds. A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Dumazet, Mathilde. "Why I love Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." Little White Lies (March 30, 2016)

Evans, Peter William. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. 2nd ed. British Film Institute, 2021.

Flores, Steven. "The Auteurs: Pedro Almodovar (Part 1)." Cinema Axis (September 29, 2014)

---. "The Auteurs: Pedro Almodovar (Part 2)." Cinema Axis (October 6, 2014)

"Laughing and Crying With Carmen Maura." The Current (February 21, 2017)

Lindo, Elvira. "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: A Sweet New Style." The Current (February 23, 2017)

López, Cristina Álvarez and Adrian Martin. "Total Design | Almodóvar’s Law of Desire & Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." (Posted on Youtube: September 19, 2019)

 Marsh, Steven. "Great Directors: Pedro Almodóvar." Senses of Cinema #40 (July 2006)

Tóibín, Colm. "Almodóvar, From Now to Then." The Current (July 17, 2019)

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