The transvestite figure and film noir
Pedro Almodóvar’s transnational imaginary
in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
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Melodrama has been a narrative and representational form tied to the imagining of the nation. Pedro Almodovar, consistently works within the parameters of melodrama, yet its conventions are always interrupted and subsequently reorganised by elements of comedy, the musical, the thriller and film noir. This chapter focuses on the director's use of noir alongside melodrama. Film noir has from the outset been interested in the in-between, its characters move along the edges of society: they are drifters, private eyes and femme fatales, identities constructed outside the bounds of the nuclear family - the family at the centre of the discursive strategies of the nation and the affective nexus dramatised by the melodramatic mode. The transvestite characters in each of the films provide a figure of embodiment for these transnational articulations informed, in part, by their iconographic status as femme fatales.


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