High Heels DVD
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Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Produced in 1991
Main Language - Spanish with English subtitles
High Heels is often neglected in discussions of Pedro Almodóvar’s work, a surprising omission considering it paved the way from the pure camp comedy of his earlier films to the more mature works (All About My Mother, Volver) which would establish him as Spain’s most important director since Luis Buñuel.
The narrative follows a plot which could have come straight from Dynasty - a newsreader (Abril) marries an ex-lover of her estranged mother (Paredes) . He turns up dead - but who is guilty? The heightened emotions immediately echo the work of Douglas Sirk and the larger-than-life performances of Victoria Abril and (especially) Marisa Paredes recall 50s melodrama, yet the film is never insensitive to its cinematic roots.
Movie buffs will relish the sly references to Mildred Pierce, Stella Dallas and Imitation of Life, while the soundtrack from electropop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto works remarkably well. One extraordinary scene, among Almodóvar’s best ever, sees Abril confessing to the murder during a news report while a sign language interpreter translates. The sequence tips from shocking to funny to moving to tragic, and is a tour-de-force for all concerned.
Alex Davidson on 1st August 2009
Author of 237 reviews
A touching, funny melodramatic black comedy from the incomparable writer and director Pedro Almodóvar. Becky de Paramo abandoned her daughter Rebecca, aged 13, to concentrate on her career as a pop singer. Brought up by her father and now a successful TV anchorwoman, Rebecca nonetheless remains obsessed with her absent mother, even marrying one of her former lovers: Manuel. When Becky has a concert in Madrid, mother and daughter meet up for the first time in 15 years with disastrous results.
Publisher: Optimum Releasing
Length: 109 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 17th August 2009
Cat No: OPTD1619