Ana María Sánchez-Arce
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High windows and ugly aesthetics
¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto?
in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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This chapter explores an early Almodóvar feature film and a short film, Tráiler para amantes de lo prohibido, both of which are understudied due to their departure from the established narrative about 1980s Spain and because the filmmaker was seen as a frivolous member of la movida. A parody of 1960s family films containing black comedy and drawing on Italian and Spanish neo-realism, ¿Qué he hecho yo?’s attention to detail of 1980s working-class social reality without being realist, overtly postmodern, or pop makes this a difficult film to classify. At the centre of this parody is the sending up of the return to the country narrative typical of films of the dictatorship and also present in Hollywood melodrama. Almodóvar combines these with postmodern distancing techniques, blatant artificiality undercutting the serious themes central to the film such as a critique of patriarchy and capitalism.

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