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Look at him

November 03, 2002

One of the most popular and internationally significant Spanish directors since Luis Bunuel, Almodovar has made bawdy, colorful movies about people on the fringes of society. A few highlights:

Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap (1980) Packed with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, the comedy was the director's first commercial feature-length film. Blown up from 8 millimeter to 35 mm, it was shot while Almodovar worked at the phone company. Budget: $5,000.

What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984) Almodovar's first major hit tells the story of a speed-addicted cleaning woman who sells her 12-year-old son to a lecherous dentist and kills her husband with a frozen ham.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) A zany portrayal of a pregnant TV soap opera actress whose married lover dumps her. Taking in a relatively hefty $7 million in the U.S. and Canada, it was voted best foreign language film by the New York Film Critics Circle and drew an Oscar nomination in that category.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) A controversial film about a former mental patient who abducts a former porn film actress, ties her to a bed and waits for her to fall in love with him.

Todo Sobre Mi Madre/All About My Mother (1999) A woman seeking the long-lost father of her dead son becomes the center of a circle of women that includes a wayward nun, an old transvestite friend and a famous actress. Winner of the director's prize at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar for best foreign language film.

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