Pedro AlmodóvarSpain82 minutes1980ColourSpanish
Almodóvar's raunchy, rarely screened first feature became a late-night success in a newly liberal Spain, and launched its director's career as the country's most notorious cinematic firebrand since Buñuel.
Almodóvar's rarely screened first feature offers a marked contrast with the visual polish of the director's later work, resembling early John Waters in its artless framing and unconcern with continuity (reflecting the film's chaotically protracted production period). This very roughness, however, was celebrated by Spanish critics who viewed it as a riposte to the rigidity of the just-passed Franco era — although the director himself joked, "When a film has one defect, people say it's badly made; but when it has many, they say it has invented a new style." When Pepi (soon-to-be Almodóvar regular Carmen Maura) is raped by a policeman, she and her friend Bom (played by teenage punk-rock star Alaska) set out to corrupt the cop's battered wife Luci (Eva Siva) by introducing her to the punk underground — a lifestyle that Luci takes to with surprising gusto. Featuring golden showers, menstruating dolls and the "General Erections" contest as its centrepiece, Pepi, Luci, Bom became a late-night success in a newly liberal Spain and launched its director's career as the country's most notorious cinematic firebrand since Buñuel.