Oscar-winning director and screen-writer Pedro Almodóvar has produced dozens of unique, profound and sometimes controversial films, becoming an internationally recognized filmmaker, and one of the most famous outside Hollywood. His films tell stories of lost loves, tales of life and death, and even of one airplane in danger. Mostly profound, but with hints of humor, Pedro Almodóvar’s works are innovative and gripping; here we list his most unmissable films.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
Recently adapted for the West End stage, indicating the success of this film; the black comedy-drama Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown tells the tale of Pepa after her lover Ivan leaves her without explanation. The story follows her as she embarks on a journey to discover why this happened; along the way, she meets Ivan’s son from a previous relationship, his lawyer, and a terrorist, amongst other questionable and intriguing characters. This is a unique spin on a romantic comedy, with a combination of hysterical and emotional moments scattered throughout.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Talk to Her (2002)
Talk To Her tells the story of two coma victims, a ballerina, and a female bullfighter, as well as their two boyfriends who sit by their sides. The four of them form the unlikely friendship group of two unconscious women and two slightly obsessive boyfriends; until their relationship is called into question after an unpleasant incident at the hospital. Concentrating on the two men and the relationship that forms between them in the hospital, Almodóvar shows two ways that the men deal with the same tragedy. This film is yet another demonstration of Almodóvar’s emotional intelligence as he takes us on a journey through the different faces of love, compassion and attention. Talk To Her confronts the sometimes unwilling viewer with the realities of life and death. However, it is these disturbing parts which give the film such impact.
All About My Mother (1999)
One of Almodóvar’s most famous films, All About My Mother tells the story of Manuela, an administrator who works in a hospital in Madrid. Her main role is teaching junior doctors how to deal with asking bereaved relatives’ permission to used their loved ones’ organs. However, Manuela soon learns what it is like to be this bereaved character she has long played when her 18 year old son dies in a tragic accident. The death of her son pushes her into a journey leading her to the father of her son and a host of other weird and wonderful characters. With the motif of female companionship and sisterhood, and breaching the issues of love and loss, this film is a deep and memorable watch.
Live Flesh (1997)
Live Flesh is a visually creative and psychologically compelling film, featuring drugs, violence and sex, while simultaneously delving deep into the realities of love and longing, death and rebirth. It exposes how relationships change in ways that are often never convenient for both sides. Arguably his most mature and restrained film, it is a melodrama about 5 people living in modern Madrid, who find themselves linked in brutal and unexpected ways.
Broken Embraces (2009)
Broken Embraces tells the story of a blind Spanish filmmaker who revisits a tragic episode in his past in which he lost his sight and his love. It explores the story of a woman who featured in one of his films when the filmmaker was not yet blind and her jealous husband’s intervention, creating oppressive overtones. This is a story of passion, obsession, wealth, jealousy, guilt and creativity.
The Skin I Live In (2011)
An intense psychological thriller, The Skin I Live In features a top plastic surgeon who, haunted by the death of his wife who was burnt in a car crash, creates a synthetic skin which is able to withstand burns and insect bites. His illegal guinea pig is a mysterious and volatile woman who he keeps captive on a secluded island with the help of his most loyal maid. This is a classic horror, with a mad scientist, body parts, revenge, and captives, and Almodóvar maintains the emotional intensity of the story throughout with the help of lead actor, Antonio Banderas.
I’m So Excited (2013)
One of Almodóvar’s more recent films, I’m So Excited adopts a less serious tone than most of his collection. This film follows the passengers and crew of a plane headed for Mexico City, and their attempts to deal with moments of anguish and danger. Uniquely so, the film is set almost completely in one location, the inside of the plane itself, with occasional ventures to the ground below to follow the back-stories of certain characters. Almodóvar achieved something special by successfully managing to grip the audience, despite the lack of scene changes, almost certainly thanks to his use of humor and a unique group of characters. This film offers a much lighter alternative to many of Almodóvar’s other films.
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