Presented by Christopher Llewellyn Reed, chair, Film & Moving Image Department, Stevenson University
Moving into his second decade as a by-now-internationally-celebrated director, Almodóvar starts to examine, as he will frequently from now on, the relationships between parents and children, mostly (but not always) mothers and daughters. Here, we meet two more Almodóvar stalwarts, Marisa Paredes and Victoria Abril, who play Becky del Páramo, a famous torch-song singer, and daughter Rebeca, a television journalist. The two are long estranged, though Rebeca has maintained a connection to the memory of her domineering parent by marrying one of her former lovers. When that husband is murdered, the film turns into an intense study of the twisted relationship at its core, though Almodóvar by no means abandons his love of over-the-top sequences, whether they involve drag queens, plaintive singing, or staged jailhouse dances. A more emotionally mature work than Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, High Heels feels very much like a natural progression from it, looking ahead to the deeper works to come.
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