I watched The Skin I live In (La piel que habito) last night and it was great. I won't say too much about it 'cause there are some surprises, but it's about love, loss, promises and a mad scientist. I've been thinking of a way to compare it to Pedro Almodóvar's other movies, and I think this works: it's about beautiful women in bizarre situations. He's a master at making crazy, almost ridiculous, stories look beautiful and convincing. Anyway, here's a list of Almodóvar movies that I've seen and what I remember of them:
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) I think this is my favorite. I've probably watched it about five times. You've got a handful of women with man problems. Mostly the same man. And a young Antonio Banderas. Hilarious.
All About My Mother (1999) I think this was an early Ragtag Bluenote-days film. I can't remember if I saw it there or not... Anyway, this is pretty sad. A mother loses her son and she sets off to find the son's father.
Talk to Her (2002) Bullfighting, women in comas and surprise awakenings.
Bad Education (2004) Ooo, I remember this one the least. It features the handsome Gael García Bernal, I know. School, beautiful architecture and sexual abuse.
Volver (2006) I definitely remember seeing this at the 10th Street Ragtag. I'd say this is Pedro's most acclaimed film in recent years. This is a mysterious, surprising film--much like The Skin I live In. Penélope Cruz is a mother in a tight spot, who spends a night with a shovel in the woods and has conversations with a ghost...or so it would seem.
Broken Embraces (2009) A blind filmmaker remembers a lost love and is given a second chance at the film he'd sacrificed for that love. Featuring Penélope Cruz, stunning as ever. I recommend watching Women on the Verge before this, as that's the film referenced.
And that's what I've seen from Mr Almodóvar. A patron recently suggested Dark Habits (1983). Here's the description from IMDb: "A nightclub singer seeks refuge with gay nuns on dope in a Madrid convent."