Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

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Sat 26 Jan 15:15 Book (Auditorium - Subs)

A television actress encounters a variety of eccentric characters after embarking on a journey to discover why her lover abruptly left her. This is the film that brought Pedro Almodóvar to the cinema world.

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Though the kinky characters and aberrant social behaviour common to the works of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar are very evident in his 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown', the film is at heart a door-slamming farce in the grand tradition.

The tiny apartment of pregnant actress Pepa (Carmen Maura) is the "Grand Central Station" set-piece for this dizzying tale. Distraught over her recent breakup with her lover, Carmen prepares to overdose on sleeping pills, which she blends into a gazpacho so they'll go down easier. She is diverted from her suicide by her best friend Candela (Maria Barranco), a fugitive from justice (her boy friend is a Shi'Ite terrorist) who needs a place to stay.

Later, when Pepa's apartment is empty, her ex-lover's grown son (Antonio Banderas) comes to the apartment with his fiance (Rossy de Palma) in answer to Carmen's "room to let" newspaper ad. The wife inadvertently ingests Pepa's "pill sauce," and as she blissfully snoozes, the husband inaugurates an affair with Candela.

The film's colour scheme is like a makeup counter display, and the narrative has the same sort of spirit, with dabs of humour that gloss over or disrupt the heroine's grief.

This season is part of 'Comedy Genius', a nationwide celebration of comedy on screen led by BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience network, supported by funds from the National Lottery. For more screenings go to bficomedy.co.uk. #bficomedy