Pedro Almodóvar: The Ultimate Collection (Import DVD)
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Main Language: Spanish
Seven films by acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. In 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' (1990), Marina (Victoria Abril) is a soft-porn actress with two men in her life: one, the wheelchair-bound director of her films, is obsessed with her and leaves endless messages on her answering machine; the other, Ricky (Antonio Banderas), has recently been released from a psychiatric hospital and is determined to father her children. Ricky attacks her in her flat, holds her hostage and ties her to the bed until she becomes a willing participant in this black comedy.
'Bad Education' (2004), follows the intertwining stories of two boys, Enrique (Fele Martínez) and Ignacio (Gael García Bernal), who fall in love at an abusive Catholic school and are parted by a jealous paedophile priest. Sixteen years later, Enrique, now a successful filmmaker, is casting about for an idea for a new film when a young cross-dressing actor, claiming to be Ignacio but known as 'Angel', approaches him with a short story based on their schooldays together. In 'All About My Mother' (1999), single mother Manuela (Cecilia Roth) takes her seventeen-year-old son, Esteban (Eloy Azorín), to see a stage performance of 'A Streetcar Named Desire' as a birthday treat.
Tragically, Esteban is killed when he chases after a taxi carrying his favourite actress, Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes). Consumed with guilt, Manuela decides to go in search of Esteban's father, whose identity she never revealed to her son. In 'Talk To Her' (2002), Benigno (Javier Cámara) is a housebound nurse who falls in love with a young dancer, Alicia (Leonor Watling), he sees rehearsing through his window.
Marco (Darío Grandinetti) is a journalist who falls in love with a bullfighter, Lydia (Rosario Flores), after being assigned to interview her. When Alicia and Lydia are involved in separate accidents which send them both into a comas, Benigno and Marco meet at the hospital and unpredictable consequences promptly ensue. In the supernatural-themed comedy 'Volver' (2006), Penélope Cruz plays a Madrid mother and housewife of a drunk husband.
She and her hairdressing sister are orphans by dint of a house fire back home in rural LaMancha. When their sole surviving relative there - their mum's sister - passes on, her past habit of talking to the girls' mother as if she were still on the mortal plane takes on a new and chilling significance. In .'Broken Embraces' (2009), Mateo Blanco (Lluís Homar) is a scriptwriter who was in a terrbile car accident 14 years ago that killed the woman he loved, Lena (Penélope Cruz), and blinded him.
Since then he has gone under the name Harry Caine, choosing to forget his past and the accident, which he never talks about. One night he is required to look after his production manager Judit (Blanca Portillo)'s son Diego (Tamar Novas), after he hurts himself. During the time they spend together until Judit returns, Diego asks about when Harry was called Mateo and so Harry decides to tell the boy the story of his painful past, presenting it as fiction in an attempt to keep Diego entertained.
Finally, in the reve nge tale 'The Skin I Live In' (2011), Antonio Banderas stars as Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon whose attempts to cultivate a new form of human skin have led to years of experimentation on a live woman, Vera (Elena Anaya). But as the story of Vera's past emerges, it becomes clear that Robert has a questionable agenda of his own as he manipulates her face and body for his own purposes.
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