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The Pedro Almodóvar Collection Vol.1 in November

Optimum Home Entertainment have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of The Pedro Almodóvar Collection: Volume 1 for 14th November 2005 priced at £39.99. Truly original, the Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (Bad Education, Talk To Her) is celebrated for his characteristically flamboyant and eccentric cinematic style. Four of his early films, including his first ever feature film, Pepi, Luci, Bom, along with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Dark Habits and What Have I Done To Deserve This? will now be available together as a DVD box-set from November 14th.

In Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) pregnant actress Pepa (Carmen Maura) is distraught by a break-up with her actor boyfriend Iván (Fernando Guillén), and prepares a gazpacho laced with sleeping pills. She is, however, saved from suicide by her best friend Candela (María Barranco), a fugitive from justice. Pepa’s ex-lover's grown son (Antonio Banderas) arrives with wife-to-be Marisa (Rossy de Palma) in answer to Carmen's "room to let" newspaper ad. Marisa inadvertently ingests the gazpacho and as she blissfully snoozes, her fiancé inaugurates an affair with Carmen's fugitive friend.

Almodóvar’s provocative first feature Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980) is set during Madrid’s punk era. The film is an outrageous comedy which follows docile housewife Luci (Eva Silva), her trendy, marijuana smoking neighbour Pepi (Carmen Maura) and rock star Bom (Olvido Gara) who are close friends. Events take a shocking turn when Pepi is raped by a policeman. Pepi vows revenge, and of course her friends are on hand to make sure she gets it.

Almodovar wrote and directed What have I done to deserve this? in 1984. The film stars Carmen Maura as Gloria, an over-worked mother and wife addicted to amphetamines in order to have the energy to cook and clean for her ungrateful family, as well as cleaning other people’s houses for extra cash. Gloria’s husband Antonio is a chauvinist taxi driver who gets entangled in a plot to forge Hitler’s memoirs. Her mother in law is a tight-fisted but loveable old lady who longs to move back to the village, whilst one of her sons deals heroin and the other son is adopted out to a lecherous dentist.

In Dark Habits (1983) nightclub singer Yolanda (Cristina Sánchez Pascual) is blighted by drugs and has herself committed to a charity convent. The nuns there include a writer of sensationalist pulp fiction, a drug addict and a masochist. But their private lives and perverse foibles are plunged into doubt when a new mother superior arrives to take charge.

Features include:

  • Introductions to all films by critic José Arroyo
  • Digitally re-mastered features

The Pedro Almódovar Collection Volume 2 scheduled for release in June 2006 will include: Law Of Desire, Matador, Flower Of My Secret and Kika.

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