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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Movies & TV

Movie fans, the Oriental say "Viva Pedro!"


In Spanish filmmaking, there's one director that stands out from the rest: Pedro Almodovar. His career, spanning the 1980s through present day have been celebrated by fans and critics alike.

To honor Almodovar's career, in preparation for his newest creation "Volver" starring Penelope Cruz (opening in November), Sony Classic Pictures selected eight of his greatest to go back into theaters for the first time since their release dates: "All About My Mother" (1999) "Bad Education" (2004), "Law of Desire" (1987) "Live Flesh" (1997), "Talk to Her" (2002), "The Flower of My Secret" (1995), "The Matador" (1986) and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988).

The "Viva Pedro!" series reaches the Oriental Theatre this weekend.

Although the series features three of Almodover's more recent films, classics like 1988 Oscar-nominated film "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" ("Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios") will be crowd favorites.

Pepa (Carmen Maura) has found out her lover Ivan (Fernando Guillén) is leaving her and she doesn't know the reasons. It leads her to investigate and assume its another woman. It's not a new thing for Ivan, since Pepa was the other woman that broke up his last marriage, driving his ex-wife crazy.

She has a hard time going about her business -- being late to her job where she does voiceovers for television. All day she tries to get in contact with Ivan, she has something to tell him and he won't talk to her. This leads her to throw the phone out the window, light her bed on fire and dump a handful of sleeping pills into a batch of Gazpacho.

But a few distractions come Pepa's way. Her friend Candela (María Barranco) keeps calling because she fears that the police are after her. An ex-boyfriend turned out to be a terrorist. Ivan's son Carlos (Antonio Banderas) stops by Pepa's apartment out of chance because he was thinking of renting it with his girlfriend. And finally, the crazy wife decides to visit.

It's all because of one man: Ivan.

"Women on the Verge" brought worldwide attention to Almodovar's films. With each new film he left his signature -- vivid colors and strong women as a centerpiece.

At times, "Women" gets a bit confusing with peoples' paths running into one another all over the place with seeming coincidences, like Carlos being the prospective renter. There are also plenty of items written into the script that help or hinder the characters at the most appropriate time at chance.

But the overall message of the movie is positive. Pepa spends her time searching out Ivan, who everyone knows is scummy, but in the end she realizes she doesn't need him. He drags her life down and she can handle herself.


The "Viva Pedro!" schedule is as follows:

"All About My Mother"
Tue. Oct. 3: 4:45 p.m. and 7:10 p.m.

"Bad Education"
Wed. Oct. 4: 9:40 p.m.

"Law of Desire"
Fri. Sept. 29: 2:20 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 30 through Sun. Oct 1: 2:20 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

"Live Flesh"
Tue. Oct. 3: 9:30 p.m.

"Talk to Her"
Mon. Oct. 2: 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

"The Flower of My Secret"
Thurs. Oct. 5: 4:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.

"The Matador"
Fri. Sept. 29 through Sun. Oct 1: 9:30
Wed. Oct. 4: 4:45 p.m. and 7:10 p.m.

"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"
Fri. Sept. 29 through Sun. Oct 1: 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Mon. Oct. 2 through Thurs. Oct 5: 9:30 p.m.


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