Jean-Baptiste Mondino for The New York Times


I wish to confess something to you.  I know you will be shocked.  I have only seen one movie by Pedro Almodóvar.  I know, I know.  It just happened that way.

When I tell people, I usually get a look of disbelief, then they shake me and scream “rent ‘Women on the Verge’ NOW!”

In the meantime, perhaps I’ll study up on Spain’s cinematic treasure with TASCHEN’S spectacular new 410-page tome looking over his entire œuvre: “The Pedro Almodóvar Archives.”

You want to win a copy and meet the man himself? Almodóvar will be on hand for an exclusive ticketed event (cocktails and hors d’oeuvres!) next Wednesday the 9th at TASCHEN’s Beverly Hills store.  If you want to win a book and two passes for the evening, here’s what you do.  Comment below and tell me what Almodóvar movie I must see immediately and why.  Enter by Sunday the 6th at midnight.  We’ll send two winners a copy of “The Pedro Almodóvar Archives” and two “plus ones” for the book signing.

Selection by the judges (me) is arbitrary, capricious and final.

The Pedro Almodóvar Archives is available to the general public by pre-ordering through TASCHEN’s Beverly Hills Store by calling 310.274.4300 or emailing

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  • Yvonne Condes

    You should see All About my Mother. Penelope Cruz as a nun. It's beautiful and riveting.

    • mholzman

      Can you be more specific?

  • Jade

    Matt, I have to confess, too: I've only seen BAD EDUCATION. However, I have my tickets for LAW OF DESIRE at AFI Fest and I have VOLVER and BROKEN EMBRACES checked out from the library, waiting on my coffee table, and TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! and LIVE FLESH are also up next in my Netflix Queue. As you can see, I have a lot of fun ahead.

    I was sucked into Almodovar's world when I was about 17 with BAD EDUCATION and I don't intend on backing out! Fun times!

    • mholzman

      Weird. Bad Education's the one I saw.

  • Jesus Villa

    You should see "Todo sobre mi madre" (All about my mother) because it changed my perception of love between human beings. I think it's his best film.

  • Liz

    You must watch ‘talk to her’. It truly represents almodovars ability to tell a story in a emotional, poignant and visually appealing way.

    • mholzman

      How is it emotional, poignant and visually appealing?

  • Robert Campos

    Good call Liz! Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella) is my favorite Almodovar film as well. My favorite scene is when Marco is brought to tears while listening Caetano Veloso singing at the party. It points out the depths of feelings that we as humans (lovers) carry within our hearts/ heads. While Marco is at the party with Lydia, he is in tangled in thoughts of hs former lover. __And while Marco talks openly with Lydia before her bullfighting accident, he is unable to communicate with her while she is in a coma. __Benigno on the other hand is unable to communicate with Alicia prior to her accident, but flourishes verbally and emotionally when she is in a coma (to the point of his own demise).

    Visually, the countryside is stunning, the hospital is warm and inviting, the bull ring is exciting… AND the Silent Film is VERY INTERESTING to say the least! GREAT FILM!!!—Sorry, long post!

    • mholzman

      Don't be sorry! The more the better! Thanks!

    • mholzman

      Congrats! You're winner #1 – please e-mail me your particulars ASAP so that I can set you up for the event on Wednesday.

  • Robert Campos

    Don't give me the greenlight to ramble on about more Almodovar movies!!! I'm a huge fan! Perhaps I'll elaborate on Broken Embraces tomorrow??? Hmmmm… Back to work now!

  • Silvio Morales

    You must watch “Volver”. I believe Pedro Almodóvar is the only director that perfectly captures the beauty of women. The way he frames Penelope in the film and depicts her is amazing. I dare you not to fall in love with her after viewing “Volver”.

  • Jeff

    Matt, you must see All about my Mother(1999). When I first saw this I was really impressed. His early stuff is fun and farcical, but with this film I think he found is voice as a storyteller and filmmaker. It’s a great representation of what he does best: mixing drama and comedy. A visually stunning film. It doesn’t hurt to have Barcelona as a back drop. At the center of the film is the character Manuela(Cecilia Roth) who is revisiting her past. She brings a real humanity to the character. Almodovar does a great job of showing the humanity of even the most eccentric of characters. All the leading ladies performances keep you emotionally invested. A must see this weekend!

    characters. All the leading ladies

  • Dan

    La Ley del Deseo: The final scene where Antonio is so infatuated with Pablo that he holds Tina and Ada hostage. The song “Voy,” an emotional gitano vocal/guitar piece, plays while Antonio has his hour of ecstasy with Pablo and then proceeds to kill himself. Desire plays by no rules!

  • Carolyn

    Of course, it’s got to be Women on the Verge, the film you should rent immediately, the film that will reveal Pedro’s remarkable female sensibility and give you 90 minutes of ridiculous and hilarious fun – fun, remember that?! – something not to be dismissed in this year of frustrating political idiocy. Plus you will never slurp gazpacho again without pausing first, wondering if the person who made it wants you dead.

  • Yetta

    Volver. Hands Down. Penelope Cruz at her best – she reminds me of a young Anna Magnani in this film. The film explores one woman's breaking free of her abusive husband and how all the women around her (mother, sister, daughter, neighbor, even neighborhood prostitute) rally around her in support, whether they know her secret (watch the film to find out what that is) or not. A few secrets inhabit this film. Some are told others remain hidden. It explores the love and honor amongst women in a funny, human and ultimately, Almodovar-esque way. The music is gorgeous as are the small towns these characters live in. I have seen the movie twice (and have also seen all his films) and writing this makes me want to see it again… which I think I just might do on this rainy Sunday morning.

  • Cesar Quezada

    You must watch "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" You get a sense of Pedro's twisted sense of humor in this movie, I became a fan of him when I saw this back in 1990? Well anyways, it was also one of the catalysts of a new movie rating that we now know as NC-17. Hot and funny!

  • David

    Volver was great, Penelope was amazing! Also, Tie Me Up /Tie Me Down with Antonio!

  • Trey Savario

    Volver is a must see. Penelope Cruz is great!

  • Darby

    Women On The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown…Gazpacho and a crazed Scooter chase, one foxy Rossy De Palma…A Spanish Novela with colorful characters and sets that pop from the screen…my all time Almodovar Fave!

  • Brett

    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and then Broken Embraces. A young Antonio Banderas as a shy boyfriend plays against type before his US acting career began. Rossy de Palma has a face that signifies Spain and an Almodovar film for me — it's almost Picasso-like in its features. The film is farcical and fun and Carmen Maura (the protagonist) carries the entire story beautifully. When you're done, watch Broken Embraces. It's a very different tone and story, but the film-within-a-film homage to "Women on the Verge" 20 years later is a fun wink and a nod to his earlier work.

  • Diana Buran

    Talk to Her- demonstrating the sad idiocy of love. A story of two beautiful, strong women- one a bullfighter, the other a dancer (who are in comas most of the movie)- and the two weak men who love them. A bond of friendship forms between these "unlikely" heroes as they watch one woman's life come to an end, and the other give birth to a stillborn and a new life for herself. A gory bullfight, a twisted and intriguing portrayal of rape, betrayal, and beautiful scenes of the Spanish country and sea side, this is definitely a must see.

  • Diego Miranda

    Matt, I am an artist turned film student solely due to a screening I attended of Bad Education 7 years ago. I was 16 and it changed my perspective on how a story can be told and how much a film could actually say. 

    It’s a movie within a movie who’s line is thin and crossed throughout. It’s a passion story of true love vs. Infatuation, and the conquering will and unpredictable madness of love and passion. 

    The beautiful transitions between worlds in the different stories being told all about the same characters, the poetic dialogue, the perfect casting (Daniel Jimenez Cacho’s best performance bares all layers of his humanity in order to create a complexly tragic character), the score! All solid reason to see this immediately. I’ve seen it 30 times plus. Still a roller coaster of emotions and still a delight to show to any unknown, unexpected viewer.

     No other filmmaker exist like Pedro, he sucks you in with grace and tenderness, at his will you’re enthralled in the culture the subculture and the lyricism of social elements that is otherwise mystified in Spain. He is my main film teacher and influence. I’ve never smiled more than when he introduced 2 wonderful films at AFI on Saturday. My first time meeting the man himself.

    I highly recommend you see Bad Education ASAP! 

    • mholzman

      Congrats! You're winner #2 – please e-mail me your particulars ASAP so that I can set you up for the event on Wednesday.


    • mholzman

      Need to hear from you by noon today or we'll have to move on to the next winner…thanks!

  • Chad Kenyon

    Although I absolutely LOVE each and every Almodovar film, I have to say that "Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" is the film I adore most. I lived in Madrid from 1992 to 2008 and I find it incredible how Almodovar captures and interprets Spain's humor, visual esthetic, cultural nuances, … everything! I could go on for days. PICK ME PLEASE! ;-)

  • Robert Campos

    Just heard Jason Bentley playing Cucurrucucu Paloma (the song from Talk To Her) on MBE! Nice way to do a ticket giveaway! So excited about tomorrow night!!! Thank you KCRW :)

  • Benjamin Froggy Button

    You must see Talk to Her (Spanish: Hable con ella) a masterfully written and acted script. There is a trueness to all of his work but this film has an honesty about the true randomness of life and the true sadness that life can hold. It is to me the most honest reflection on what a greek tragedy really is. All of his films hold the true beauty and ugly moments that make life worth living.

  • Anonymous

    It is really wonderful for all. It affects your souls and minds from the unfathomable. The communicator shows the persecution and lie of your hardwork.
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  • Anonymous

    Those were really some of the best efforts and the suggestion that were taken out at the time of big show and i would be trying hard to get some of the best available options for the same.


  • Anonymous

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