All About Almodóvar

If you've had an unexplainable urge for gazpacho lately, it's because Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown was playing at the Angelika earlier this week, where it was the first installment of Viva Pedro, a Pedro Almodóvar film festival. If you hurry you can still catch the Oscar-winning All About My Mother, which ends Thursday. The Spanish director's films are infamous for exploring the masculinity of men, celebrating the eccentricities of women and touching on every gender-bending taboo in between with humor and an all-too-human realism. The festival continues with two of Almodóvar's women-centric films (Talk to Her and Flower of My Secret) before giving the guys equal screen time with Law of Desire, Live Flesh, Bad Education and Matador—which came out in 1986, making it the oldest film in the series. (Unfortunately, the festival skips Almodóvar's early '90s work, including Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) Keep in mind the festival is designed to make sure you claw your way to the front of the box office line on November 11, when his latest film, Volver (starring Penelope Cruz), hits screens. Viva Pedro continues though October 5 at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Tickets are $8.75, $5.75 for seniors, $6 for students. Call 214-841-4700 or visit
Sept. 13-Oct. 5
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Jay Webb