It takes a certain genius for a film director to intentionally use surreally garish colors, hyper-stylized sets and goofy/serious plot entanglements to reflect a realistic humanity. This is exactly what the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar has done for almost 35 years. Though he's made films since 1974, Almodóvar first made a splash stateside with his cult hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching saga of a Spanish soap opera star. Besides introducing Antonio Banderas to an American audience (Banderas was, back then, actually not a douchebag), the movie showed us Almodóvar's penchant for nailing the pain and beauty of being a human being. La Mala Educación (Bad Education), Almodóvar's release before last year's hit Volver, may be his most complex: It's clearly a noir-y homage to Hitchcock, but with a number of twists. Cross-dressing men, sordid sex, sweet sex, love, murder and the Catholic church all mix and tumble throughout a plot mixed with flashbacks and sudden turns. Catch the NC-17 flick at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St., 2 p.m. Saturday for free. Call 214-671-0045 or visit
Sat., Aug. 18

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