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Heart of farce: Almodovar's comic complexities
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 21:42 authored by Andy Medhurst
This article explores the use of comedy in the films of Pedro Almodóvar, and argues that his commitment to comic sequences and sensibilities throughout his work causes several complications in how he has been culturally placed and understood. Three themes are considered. First, although he has been marketed and analysed as a contemporary inheritor of the traditions of European art cinema, his use of comedy sits uneasily with those traditions' commitment to discourses of seriousness and solemnity. Second, his adoption by the primarily Anglo-American `queer academy¿ often involves a neglect of the specifically Spanish context of his work and the role of humour within it. Third, his refusal to jettison comedy from the complex emotional range of his narratives lends his films a richness that disregards conventional genre boundaries and cultural hierarchies in their insistence that comedic representation and thematic depth are perfectly compatible.
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