Law of Desire (1987)


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A film director, Pablo (Poncela), is frustrated by his relationship with his straight-acting lover, Juan (Molina), and reluctantly agrees to spend ‘time apart’. The handsome Antonio (Banderas), an obsessive fan of Pablo’s homo-erotic movies, is only too happy to fill the gap left in Pablo’s life.

One of Almodóvar’s most autobiographical films, Law of Desire is a comic thriller depicting the complex relationship between filmmaker and fan. As the possessive young fan, Banderas delivers an edgy, more sexually charged performance than anything that followed in his Hollywood career, while Maura rises magnificently to the challenge of playing Pablo’s emotionally vulnerable, transsexual sister. Unconventional and defiant of taboo, Law of Desire features nudity, sex, violence and subversive humour in its affection for misfits and the marginalised. The film was revolutionary at the time of release, with Almodóvar debating questions of gender long before the subject gained mainstream acceptance.

Spanish with English subtitles.

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Spain 1987. Runtime 102 mins. R18

Auditorium, lower ground level

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