Sunday, October 08, 2017

Dvd/150: ENTRE TINIEBLAS (DARK HABITS, Pedro Almodóvar, 1983)

Almodóvar's third film was made with proper film company funding which shows in the look of the film: finally Pedro finds a visual language and, although set in a convent, his use of shadows and colour make it a visual pleasure.

DARK HABITS is hampered by the dull central performance of Cristina Sánchez Pascual.  Pascual, while fine in a supporting role in LABYRINTH OF PASSION, was the film company boss' lover and her involvement was non-negotiable.

Luckily, Pedro surrounds her with sublime actresses who became his Almodóvar regulars.
Julieta Serrano is wonderful as the drug-taking, lesbian Mother Superior who gives sanctuary to singer Pascual who is implicated in her lover's death; Serano turns a cartoon character into a piercing study of lonely despair.

Memorable too are three zany nuns - masochistic Marisa Paredes, Carmen Maura (playing bongos to her pet tiger!), secret novelist Chus Lampreave - and Cecilia Roth too.

Shelf or charity shop? Despite Pascual's charisma bypass, Sisters Julieta, Carmen, Marisa and Chus make it a keeper...

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