This month’s Pedro Almodóvar retrospective starts with his controversial film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
Having just been discharged from a mental facility, lonely orphan Ricky (Antonio Banderas) fixates upon Marina (Victoria Abril), an actress with whom he once had a one-night-stand. He goes to meet her, but she doesn’t remember their encounter and dismisses him. Desperate, Ricky abducts her in the hope that she will eventually fall in love with him. As Marina’s worried sister Lola (Loles Leon) searches for her, she starts to develop feelings for him. Will Lola ever find Marina? If she does, will Marina want to leave Ricky?
Notable for being one of the first films to receive an NC-17 rating, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! also has the distinction of introducing star Banderas to American audiences for the first time.
“One of those movies that makes you laugh if you sit back and absorb the entire absurd situation at once” — Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
“A writer-director driven by his passion, Almodóvar allows his movies to moan and sweat and writhe.” — Rita Kempley, Washington Post
“Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! comes from a transitional phase in Almodóvar’s career, one in which he was using bigger budgets to home his aesthetic, create characters with greater depth, but still indulge a punkish urge to shock.” — Keith Phipps, The Dissolve