February 24 – March 12, 2000

The American Cinematheque presents...

RECENT SPANISH CINEMA: Featuring a Tribute to Pedro Almodóvar

Presented in collaboration with:
Ministerio de educacion y Cultura, Instituto de la Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuales, Spanish Society of Authors and COmposers (SGAE), Fundacion Autor, Instituto Espanol de Comercio Exterior (ICEX) and Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Instituto del la Mujer, DGA, WGA

Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok, Angel Gil Orrios and Gwen Deglise. Shorts Compiled by Andrew Crane.

Special Thanks to: Carmelo Romero/MINISTERIO DE EDUCACION Y CULTURA; Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón/SGAE; Carlos Cuadros/FUNDACION AUTOR; Herminio Morales/CONSUL GENERAL OF SPAIN IN LOS ANGELES; Genaro González/COMMERCIAL CONSUL OF SPAIN IN LOS ANGELES; John Kirk/MGM-UA; Linda Duchin/NEW YORKER FILMS; Serena Brosio/USA FILMS; Oriol Baquer/FIGARO FILMS S.A.

Titles of films that are part of the Pedro Almodóvar tribute are indicated in red.







The Cinematheque’s seventh annual survey of the wildest and most uncompromising new films from Spain is highlighted by a tribute to Pedro Almodóvar (whose ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER swept the Spanish Goya Awardstiemeup.gif (27543 bytes) taking home 7 awards out of 14 nominations), plus a Women In Spanish Cinema Showcase and a Luis Bunuel Centennial tribute screening. The series leads off with the savage,
erotic drama JEALOUSY, from director Vicente Aranda (LOVERS).   Other highlights include a dazzling range of comedies (Fernando Trueba’s THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS and Alex de la Iglesia’s DYING OF LAUGHTER); emotionally-charged dramas (FLOWERS FROM ANOTHER WORLD by actress-turned-director Iciar Bollain and the intense, homoerotic SECOND SKIN from Gerardo Vera); plus the highly stylized Carlos Saura production, the mournful, majestic GOYA IN BOURDEAUX (which picked up five Goya Awards).
Spain continues to foster stunning new talent, with brilliant, challenging
films from first-time directors Benito Zambrano (SOLAS, this year’s Goya award-winner for Best Original Screenplay and Best New Director, plus awards for the cast) and Santiago Lorenzo (the deranged comedy MY SILLY MOTHER). A program of short films from Spain will also screen. Joining us in-person during the series are the following guests: Directors Pedro Almodovar (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER), Fernando Trueba (THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS), Benito Zambrano (SOLAS); Actresses Carmen Maura (WOMEN ON THE
VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN), Adriana Ozores (ASK THE KING TO EXPLAIN), and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon (JEALOUSY); and screenwriters Elvira Lindo (MANOLITO FOUR-EYES), Alicia Luna (ASK THE KING TO EXPLAIN) and Angeles Gonzalez Sinde (SECOND SKIN). All guests are subject to their availability.

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute

This year’s series features a tribute to wildly-subversive director Pedro Almodóvar, whose films almost single-handedly put Spanish cinema on the world-map in the 1980’s and 90’s. Mixing drag-queens, drug-addicted nuns, homocidal bullfighters, pornographers, punk rockers and more, Almodóvar created a delirious carnival of style, politics and unhinged sexuality in films like WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? and WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. Born in 1951 in La Mancha, Almodóvar ingested a non-stop diet of florid Hollywood melodramas and Catholic-school eduction as a child – moving to Madrid in the early 1970’s, he worked as a telephone operator before gaining a growing reputation in the Madrid underground for his scandalously-funny comic books and short stories, and his infamous Super-8 mm. shorts with titles like "Two Whores" and "The Fall of Sodom." With his most recent films, THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET, LIVE FLESH and ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, Almodóvar has combined the perverse brilliance of his earlier years with a profound, often breathtaking understanding of the depth of human emotions. Director Pedro Almodóvar will join us for the Double Feature of TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN and HIGH HEELS.

Over the past decade, female directors and screenwriters have fought with
increasing success to establish themselves as a significant artistic and
commercial force in Spanish filmmaking: from actress-turned-director Iciar
Bollain (HI, ARE YOU ALONE?); to Maria Ripoll (TWICE UPON A YESTERDAY); to the late Pilar Miró (DOG IN THE MANGER), the most internationally acclaimed
of Spanish female filmmakers.
Following the success of last year's "Women in Spanish Cinema Showcase,"
this year's series, sponsored by the Instituto de la Mujer, highlights the
work of director: Iciar Bollain, with her latest film, the poetic, bittersweet drama FLOWERS FROM ANOTHER WORLD.  We're also pleased to welcome
three of Spain's most gifted screenwriters: Elvira Lindo, with the wonderful
coming-of-age comedy, MANOLITO FOUR-EYES; Alicia Luna, with the beautifully
observed Capraesque gem, ASK THE KING TO EXPLAIN; and Angeles González
Sinde, with the intense, homo-erotic drama, SECOND SKIN.

There will be a Women In Spanish Cinema panel on Sunday, February 27 at 11:30 PM at the Egyptian Theatre. Elvira Lindo, Alicia Luna, and Angeles González Sinde will appear in-person for the panel. Moderated by director Randa Haines (DANCE WITH ME, WRESTLING ERNEST HEMINGWAY, CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD) FREE ADMISSION!

Thursday, February 24 – 8:00 PM

CELOS (JEALOUSY), 1999, 105 min. From acclaimed director Vicente Aranda (LOVERS, LIBERTARIAS) comes this white-hot tale of sexual obsession and revenge: Daniel Gimenez Cacho stars as a hardworking truck-driver driven mad by the thought of his wife – the stunning Aitana Sánchez Gijón – with her past lover, the mysterious "José." Aranda’s spare, head-on style transforms this from a simple noir into a merciless portrait of Spanish machismo spun out of control, destroying itself and everything in sight.

Friday, February 25 – 7:00 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute – New 35 mm. Print!!

Carmen Maura and Producer Augustine Almodóvar in-person!

WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (MUJERES AL BORDE DE UN ATAQUE DE NERVIOS), 1988, MGM/UA, 89 min. Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. With Antonio Banderas. Anarchy – sexual and political – runs riot in this Day-Glo colored comedy about a voice-over actress (Almodóvar fave Carmen Maura) desperate to get her lover back, amid Shiite terrorists, flaming beds, and some of the wildest slapstick since BRINGING UP BABY. A little gazpacho, anyone - ?

Friday, February 25 – 9:30 PM

Carmen Maura in-person!

LISBOA (LISBON), 1999, 100 min. Dir. Antonio Hernández. Two of Spanish cinema’s finest actors – the legendary Carmen Maura and the great Argentinian Federico Luppi – star in this dark, vengeful thriller about a terrified wife trying to escape from her apparently-loving family. Newcomer Sergi Lopez co-stars as the porn-video salesman who gives Maura a lift – and gets slowly sucked into the whirlpool of this Spanish DETOUR.

Saturday, February 26 – 6:00 PM

Penelope Cruz and Fernando Trueba in-person!

LA NIÑA DE TUS OJOS (THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS), 1998, 121 min. Spanish sensation Penelope Cruz (about to hit U.S. screens in ALL THE PRETTY HORSES and WOMAN ON TOP) stars as the girl of EVERYONE’S dreams, in this high-spirited comic-drama about a troupe of Spanish actors sent to Berlin in the 1930’s to shoot a movie at U.F.A. studios. Director Fernando Trueba (BELLE EPOQUE) beautifully orchestrates a cast of stellar talents – including Jorge Sanz, María Barranco, Antonio Resines and Santiago Segura – as the Spaniards hop from soundstage to bedroom, and run afoul of venomous propaganda minister Josef Goebbels. Cruz’s red-hot flamenco number may make you forget about Rita Hayworth in GILDA … This screening will sell out. Buy your tickets in advance and arrive early!

Saturday, February 26 – 8:45 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute – Double-Feature!!

MATADOR, 1986, New Yorker, 106 min. Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Crippled bullfighter Nacho Martinez finds himself drawn to mesmerizing black widow Assumpta Serna, in Almodóvar’s ultra-perverse portrait of serial killers in love. Antonio Banderas co-stars as Angel, a young toreador desperate to prove his manhood (and possessed by strange psychic visions). "In Spain, bullfighting is more sacred than God" – Almodóvar.

WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? (¿QUE HE HECHO YO PARA MERECER ESTO?), 1984, 101 min. Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Pill-popping housewife Carmen Maura scrubs floors all day long to support a typical Almodóvar family that includes a gay 12-year old son, a husband addicted to a suicidal German singer, and a dominatrix next-door neighbor. Jawdropping black comedy from the master of surreal melodrama, Spanish style.

Sunday, February 27 – 11:30 PM

WOMEN IN SPANISH CINEMA SEMINAR -- A discussion of filmmaking and gender issues in the film industry with three of Spain's female screenwriters: Elvira Lindo, Alicia Luna, and Angeles González Sinde. FREE (In the 78 seat Spielberg Theatre). Seating is first come, first served.

Sunday, February 27 – 2:30 PM

MANOLITO GAFOTAS (MANOLITO FOUR-EYES), 1999, 85 min. From the same directing and screenwriting team -- Miguel Albaladejo and Elvira Lindo – that brought us last year’s sleeper hit THE FIRST NIGHT OF MY LIFE, comes this sweet, perceptive comedy of a chubby kid -- Manolito Four-eyes (David Sánchez Rey) -- stuck with a brother named "The Imbecile" and no plans for summer vacation. Until Manolito’s always-absent dad shows up to take him on a roadtrip filled with car-sickness, sexy waitresses and an unexpected detour to the beach … Screenwriter Elvira Lindo and actress Adriana Ozores in-person!

Sunday, February 27 – 5:00 PM

FLORES DE OTRO MUNDO (FLOWERS FROM ANOTHER WORLD), 1999, 106 min. With José Sancho, Lissete Mejía, Luis Tosar, Marilín Torres, Chete Lera, Elana Irureta. Actress-turned-director Iciar Bollain delivers on the promise of her excellent first feature, HI, ARE YOU ALONE?, with this powerful, bittersweet drama of a group of Latin American women who travel to rural Spain in search of husbands. Bollain combines the hard-earned realism of Mike Leigh with the harsh, desolate poetry of Victor Erice’s SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, in her earthy, compelling portrait of lonely souls in a lonely place.

Sunday, February 27 – 7:30 PM

GOYA EN BURDEOS (GOYA IN BORDEAUX), 1999, 98 min. Spain’s most admired filmmaker, Carlos Saura (TANGO, CARMEN) re-teams with cinematographer Vittorio Storaro for this luminous, mournful portrait of the last days in the life of famed painter Goya (played by the legendary Francisco Rabal in a lovely, nuanced performance). As he struggles to finish his final work, Goya re-lives his past loves and tragedies – including his passion for the gorgeous, ill-fated Duchess of Alba (Maribel Verdú).

Wednesday, March 1 – 7:00 PM

PIDELE CUENTAS AL REY (ASK THE KING TO EXPLAIN), 1999, 97 min. Dir. José Antonio Quirós. A small Capra-esque gem about human resistance in the face of overwhelming odds, PIDELE CUENTAS stars Antonio Resines as a miner who loses his job when the government shuts down the last mine in Mieres. Refusing early retirement, Resines walks on-foot with his outspoken wife Adriana Ozores and son to meet the King in Madrid – and ask him for a job. Wonderfully written by Alicia Luna. Discussion following with screenwriter Alicia Luna and actress Adriana Ozores.

Thursday, March 2 – 7:00 PM

SEGUNDA PIEL (SECOND SKIN), 1999, 100 min. Dir. Gerardo Vera. Two of Spain’s finest young actors – Jordi Molla (LUCKY STAR) and Javier Bardem (LIVE FLESH, GOLDEN BALLS) – heat up the screen in this drama of a married, seemingly-straight airline engineer (Molla) who conceals his overwhelming gay passion for a local surgeon (Bardem). An honest, sexually-explicit look at hearts and lives in collision, marked by great performances from Molla, Bardem and actress Ariadna Gil (LIBERTARIAS). Screenwriter Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde in-person!

Thursday, March 2 – 9:30 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute:

DARK HABITS (ENTRE TINIEBLAS), 1983, New Yorker, 100 min. Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Welcome to the Convent of the Humble Redeemers, where Sister Manure and Sister Sewer Rat fend off the advances of the lesbian, heroin-sniffing mother superior, and a strung-out bolero singer (Cristina S. Pascual) goes on the lam from the Madrid cops. Almodóvar’s most savage, sacrilegious comedy features a line-up of fabulous Spanish actresses including Carmen Maura, Marisa Paredes and Chus Lampreave.

Friday, March 3 – 7:00 PM

MUERTOS DE RISA (DYING OF LAUGHTER), 1999, 105 min. From Alex de la Iglesia, the manic director of DAY OF THE BEAST and last year’s PERDITA DURANGO, MUERTOS DE RISA is a scathing 3-Stooges style comedy about two talentless TV performers, "Nino and Bruno" (Santiago Segura and El Gran Wyoming) who rise to tacky polyester fame by slapping and kicking the hell out of each other on-camera.

Friday, March 3 – 9:30 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute!

THE LAW OF DESIRE (LA LEY DEL DESEO), 1987, New Yorker, 100 min. Almodóvar’s dizzying, poly-sexual melodrama stars Carmen Maura as a boy-turned-girl with a mucho-complicated sex-life (incest, transvestitism and so on) – until she’s kidnapped by the murderously good-looking lover (heartthrob Antonio Banderas) of her gay pornographer brother (Eusebio Poncela). Banderas’ smoldering presence – and his first man-on-man screen kiss – made him a gay icon worldwide.

Saturday, March 4 – 6:00 PM

SOLAS, 1999, Samuel Goldwyn, 98 min. Winner of the Audience Award at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival and surprise sensation at the Spanish box-office, first-time director Benito Zambrano’s emotionally charged drama stars Ana Fernández as a hard-drinking, short-tempered young working woman struggling to stay afloat in modern Spain – until the arrival of her silent mother (María Galiana) from the country opens up old wounds, and forces the two women to confront the vast gulf between them. Soon to be released in the U.S. through Samuel Goldwyn Films.

Saturday, March 4 – 8:30 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute - Double Feature!

PEPI, LUCI, BOM (PEPI, LUCI, BOM Y OTRAS CHICAS DEL MONTON), 1980, 80 min. The last of Almodóvar’s notorious underground movies became his first feature: Carmen Maura stars as an heiress willing to sell her virginity to the highest bidder – until she’s raped by a sleazebag policeman. Bent on revenge, Maura convinces a 16-year old punk rocker to kidnap the cop’s wife – who turns out to be a masochist-in-disguise! Watch for a brief Almodóvar cameo at a penis-judging contest.

LABYRINTH OF PASSION (LABERINTO DE PASIONES), 1982, New Yorker, 90 min. Almodóvar created his own punk group – Illegal Black Kiss Dolls – to record the soundtrack for this insanely-raw, freewheeling gutter-comedy about a cheerful nymphomaniac named Sexi (Cecilia Roth), her homosexual soul-mate (Imanol Arias), and about 50 other neurotics, amateur terrorists, plastic surgeons and more. "Along the way, Almodóvar sends up gynecology, genetic science, rock and roll, stimulants and tranquilizers, sado-porn movies, incest, test-tube babies and exiled tyrants … Only God is left relatively unscathed" – Village Voice.

Sunday, March 5 – 5:00 PM

AUTOR X AUTOR – 4 Short Films on Music (1999, 30 min. ea.). Spain’s finest modern filmmakers team up with its greatest singers and musicians for this unique series of intimate documentaries. First, the director of TANGOS ARE FOR TWO, Jaime Chavarri, focuses his camera on famed singer Luis Eduardo Aute; next, the late Pilar Miro (in her final film) collaborates with the great vocalist Victor Manuel. Masterful filmmaker José Luis García Sanchez captures the intense poetry of singer/songwriter Joaquin Sabina, and finally, director Fernando Trueba (THE GIRL OF YOUR DREAMS) lets it rip with Michel Camilo and his irresistible blend of Latin jazz and salsa - !!

Wednesday, March 8 – 7:00 PM

RECENT SPANISH SHORTS -- A program of exciting new visions and stories from the latest crop of Spanish cinema talent. Director Miguel Crespi’s “Puta De Oros” (13 min.) is the story of Adrian, a “rent-boy” of a different kind, who finds fame is not all he had dreamed of since childhood. Featuring outrageous “naked” costumes “Ruleta” (Roulette) (12 min.), from director Roberto Santiago, is a quintessential Spanish black comedy about a group of housewives who argue, drink coffee and shoot guns, as seen from the point-of-view of a washing machine!  Featuring Aitana Sánchez Gijón (CELOS,THE CHAMBERMAID ON THE TITANIC). Director José Javier Martínez’s “Luz” (8min.), winner of the Production Value Award at the 2000 Slamdance Film Festival, is a beautiful, sweet animated short about where we come from and the comfort of home, wherever we find it. David Pareja & Alvaro Pastor’s “Los Dardos Del Amor” (“The Dark Parts of Love”) (21 min.) is set in the 1960’s and examines the dark secrets of two upwardly-mobile couples. Jose Luis Barrios Trevino’s “Movil Immortal” looks at the dark side of the cell phone revolution. Jorge Torregrossa’s “Desiree” (14 min.) is set immediately after WW II as a couple tries to resolve their marital problems in the form of two sailors. Juan Cruz’s “El Olor De Las Manzanas” (“The Secret of Apples”) (12 min.) in which Violet watches over her comatose sister in a hospital and decides to expose her deepest secrets. Short films will not necessarily be screened in the order listed here. Directors who will appear in-person for discussion include:  director Jose Javier Martinez (“Luz”), producer Anna Vivar (“Puta De Oros”) and others.

Wednesday, March 8 – 9:30 PM

PARIS-TOMBUCTU, 1999, 107 min. From Luis García Berlanga, the director of Spain’s most-beloved comedy BIENVENIDO MR. MARSHALL, PARIS-TOMBUCTU is a raucous, in-your-face satire about a sexually-frustrated plastic surgeon – played by French acting great Michel Piccoli – who decides to pitch it all in and head to Timbuktu on his bike. Instead, he ends up in the fictitious town of Calabuch ("invented" by Berlanga in 1956), in this absurdly-hysterical modern fable.

Friday, March 10 – 7:00 PM

MAMA ES BOBA (MY SILLY MOTHER), 1999, 92 min. A bizarre, wildly-subversive comedy from first-time director Santiago Lorenzo, MAMA ES BOBA follows the trials and tribulations of a young boy, Martín (José Luis Lago) with no bowel control. To make things worse, Martín’s semi-literate, unemployed mother is catapulted to cruel fame as presenter on a local TV station – where the entire town laughs at her, not with her. If you’re a fan of John Waters – be sure to check this out.

Friday, March 10 – 9:15 PM SOLD OUT SOLD OUT

Pedro Almodóvar in-person!

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute – Double Feature!

TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! (ATAME!), 1989, Miramax (Swank), 102 min. Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Paroled mental patient Antonio Banderas kidnaps former porn star-turned-junkie Victoria Abril to save her from herself, in Almodóvar’s violently sexy take on male-female relations – and his most controversial film in the U.S., where it earned a hotly-contested X-rating. "In a country like Spain I don’t have to explain that TIE ME UP! is a love story, or defend myself against accusations that it could turn you into a psychopath - !" – Almodóvar.

HIGH HEELS (TACONES LEJANOS), 1991, Miramax (Swank), 114 min. Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Fiery Victoria Abril is back again: this time, in the wildly-demented soap-opera of a love-starved newscaster coming to terms with her egotistical, pop-star diva of a mother (Marisa Paredes) – with a little help from a heterosexual drag queen who performs her mother’s hits!! Actor Miguel Bose in-person!

Saturday, March 11 – 6:00 PM

LAS HUELLAS BORRADAS (WIPED-OUT FOOTPRINTS), 1999, 98 min. Dir. Enrique Gabriel. The poet Manuel Perea (Federico Luppi) returns to his childhood village just before it’s about to be flooded by a reservoir – where he renews his long-suppressed love for widow Mercedes Sampietro. Part lyrical journey into the forbidden past, part philosophical contemplation of the unavoidable future, LAS HUELLAS BORRADAS evokes the melancholy beauty of northern Spain and the stubborn souls who live there. "One of the most impressive Spanish films of the year" – Jonathan Holland, Variety.

Saturday, March 11 – 8:15 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute – Double-Feature!

KIKA, 1993, USA Films, 114 min. Almodóvar’s shockingly-funny satire on media-culture and modern romance stars Veronica Forqué as a make-up artist juggling multiple lovers (some with multiple personalities), while rabid TV reporter Victoria Abril cruises Madrid in skin-tight Gaultier outfits with a video-camera strapped to her head, looking to film extremely violent acts. "When I’m criticized, I want to become more dirty and more provocative – that’s my answer." – Almodóvar.

LIVE FLESH (CARNE TREMULA), 1997, MGM/UA, 101 min. Almodóvar assembled one of his finest casts for this mature, complex and often-disturbing story of a naïve young man (Liberto Rabal) who breaks into a girl’s apartment, and winds up accidentally shooting a police officer (Javier Bardem) who investigates. Released from prison years later, Rabal re-enters the crippled cop’s life – and ends up seducing his beautiful, devoted wife (Francesca Neri).

Sunday, March 12 – 5:00 PM

Luis Buñuel Centennial!

VIRIDIANA, 1961, 90 min. In honor of the centennial of the birth of director Luis Buñuel (1900 – 1983), we’re presenting one of his most brilliant, scandalous films (a movie that was banned in his homeland of Spain, and almost had him arrested in Milan!) A novice nun (Silvia Pinal) finds herself corrupted by her spectacularly wicked uncle, Fernando Rey – until she turns the tables by installing a group of beggars and lepers in his Madrid mansion. Co-starring longtime Buñuel friend Francisco Rabal (GOYA IN BOURDEAUX).

Sunday, March 12 – 7:15 PM

Pedro Almodóvar Tribute:

THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET (FLOR DE MI SECRETO), 1996, New Yorker, 107 min. Almodóvar switched gears radically with this rich, soul-searching portrait of a middle-aged romance novelist – played by longtime collaborator Marisa Paredes – who’s thrown into deep depression and alcoholism when she discovers her handsome husband (Imanol Arias) has lost interest in her. "The key is becoming the owner of your own loneliness. And this is what my heroine has to suffer so much to discover" – Almodóvar.