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All About My Mother

Despite the transformation of the position of women in society, the common idealized notions of motherhood have endured significantly across decades. All About My Mother reinforces the view of motherhood as a selfless commitment to nurturing through self-sacrifice, empathy, support, and humility. The roles played by Manuela, Rosa, her mother, and Huma enable viewers to make sense of maternal responsibility. Indeed, the representation of maternity in All About My Mother mirrors the existing perception of mothers as instinctual, supportive, and empathetic caregivers, although it does not attach meaning to particular aspects of effective motherhood such as authority and reprimand.

Test Questions:
Part A: Thematic and Stylistic Analysis

Instructions: Answer one of the following questions, which will require you to write about only one film
1. Examine the representation of maternity in either All about My Mother or Volver in terms of the various meanings attached to motherhood in these films.
2. Explore the use of intertextuality in All about My Mother, Bad Education or Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
3. Analyze Almodóvar’s use of ‘melodramatic excess’ in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
4. Analyze the theme of performance as manifested in All about My Mother, Bad Education or Volver.
5. Almodóvar is famous for saying that he made films as though ‘Franco had never existed’. How does Bad Education work against this statement?

Part B: Almódovar’s Signatures

Instructions: Answer one of the following questions

1. One of Almodóvar’s recurring signatures concerns his references to and revisions of elements of popular genre in his films. Examine how Almódovar mobilizes and revises elements of popular genre by examining either Bad Education or Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown in this regard.

2. A mark of Almodóvar’s authorship concerns the manner in which he blurs the divide between fiction and the real, both within and outside of his texts. Explore this question in relationship to either All About My Mother, Volver or Bad Education.

3. Almodóvar’s melodramas are characterized by the trajectory of loss, transformation and regeneration/renewal. Explore this trajectory as it manifests itself in either All About My Mother or Volver (Do not answer this question if you answer question one in Part A of the test)

4. Using Timothy Corrigan’s notion of the ‘auteur of commerce’, illustrate how Almodóvar is indeed one such auteur by examining aspects of Bad Education and All About My Mother that foreground Almodóvar’s authorial persona (In this question, you must make reference to both films)

 

Examine the representation of maternity in either All about My Mother or Volver in terms of the various meanings attached to motherhood in these films.

Motherhood is a repetitive subject in the movies of Pedro Almodóvar. The mothers in his motion pictures are wild, passionate, and ingenious—often in fluctuating combinations, and to differing limits. In Almodóvar’s hazily ironical fourth element, What Have I Done to Merit This? (1984), Carmen Maura stars as a lady who, battling to pay for her son’s dental medicines, ends up offering him to the dental specialist. In a Sophia Loren–roused maternal function in the acting Volver (2006), Penélope Cruz unblinkingly ensures her girl, who has killed a victimizer. Almodóvar likewise shows the hallowed, often sexual connection among mothers and children in the entirety of its drawn-out, lifelong misfortune: Victoria Abril’s character in High Heels (1991) continues a pathetic passion for her renowned mother, in any event, venturing to such an extreme as to lay down with her mother’s male impersonator. One of the protagonists of Converse with Her (2002) contemplates nursing so he can take physical consideration of his mother. Julieta (2016) is a romantic tale wherein a mother sits tight for her repelled little girl, who left suddenly and completely.

Explore the use of intertextuality in All about My Mother, Bad Education or Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Agony and Brilliance (2019) likewise makes a mother and child its focal couple. Jacinta (Cruz) structures with her bright Salvador a bond of grating yet delicate complicity. She spreads out a blanket for him to rest unpleasant adjacent to her at a railroad station. She gets mindful of his first sensual suspicions as he lies sunstruck and flushed, his face peach-soft, in the wake of watching a man wash exposed. Yet, Torment and Greatness likewise pushes forward to Salvador’s middle age, wherein he is played by Almodóvar standard Antonio Banderas, the mother now by Julieta Serrano. Jacinta returns as a conflictual figure, lamenting that Salvador didn’t request that her live with and take care of him in his adulthood. He feels extraordinary trouble that, rather than being with him in her own home, she passes on in a center in Madrid.

Almodóvar’s use of ‘melodramatic excess’ in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

In accordance with the self-reflexivity and complicated layering of so a large number of Almodóvar’s movies—generally unpredictable, maybe, in Awful Education (2004), with its dashing moves among at various times and its presentation of a film inside the film—About My Mother is likewise about composition. In one of the initial scenes, motivated by the title About Eve, the beginner writer Esteban composes his own title, Task sobre mi madre, in his note pad. There is a nearby on his hand composing and afterward a slice to the pencil lead composing straightforwardly on the camera’s viewfinder, appearing to mysteriously record this title on the film itself. The following shot returns us to Esteban and Manuela sitting on the sofa, in front of the television, with the on-screen title showing up between them. Such account confining proposes that it is conceivable that a mind-blowing narrative we watch is her son’s dream, his composition. If so, he can be believed to eradicate himself, thus the danger of inbreeding, only to envision his dearest mother all the more intently giving herself to his memory.

The theme of performance as manifested in All about My Mother, Bad Education or Volver.

Almodóvar comes nearer than some other chief I know to hanging on-screen the complexities of clairvoyant life, of projection, of mental practice, of want. Vulnerabilities about the status—genuine, recollected, or envisioned—of the pictures we see and the story we follow are all aspect of this. About My Mother is especially frightening in its key repetition of scenes. Prior to the mishap, for instance, there is where Manuela thinks her son will be run over as he goes across the street. There is a still more detailed practice in relation to the transfer scene that follows the mishap. In her ability at the medical clinic, Manuela deals with the crucial time during which a donation of organs is done. She is seen approaching this work and furthermore putting on a good show of a relative of a potential organ donor in an instructional meeting with two transfer surgeons. Here Almodóvar likewise plays with echoes from film to film. A comparative session is appeared toward the beginning of The Bloom of My Mystery (1995), where it is muddled from the outset that it is an exhibition, shot inside the film, rather than basically part of the film’s diegetic reality, until the camera is uncovered. In the instructional meeting that happens a few minutes into About My Mother, there is less vulnerability about what is genuine and what is arranged—the camera reporting the to and fro is obvious from the beginning. Yet, Almodóvar includes another curve: this equivalent situation is happened for Manuela, in actuality, as she herself holds up outside the ICU after her son’s mishap and is tended to by the specialists from the instructional meeting. She has experienced these motions as of now yet lives them just because. The repetition is dreadful, jumpy—underscored by the feeling of incredulity all over. The limit between what is genuine and acted is scarily obscured.

Whether it speaks to her son’s dream or her own story, the film goes to near Manuela’s emotions, her decision to follow her son’s heart to its new beneficiary, and afterward her takeoff from Madrid for Barcelona, where her son was conceived. The fast train ride, a theme in the film, offers a long passage like a cocoon, a space of deadness—Almodóvar shows melancholy as an exhausting, another takeoff. The main pictures of Barcelona are blissful flying shots of the night city, illuminated by the whirling music of the song “Tajabone,” by the Senegalese performer Ismaël Lô. This was Almodóvar’s first film set and shot here. The Barcelona scenes, which make up the greater part of the film’s leftover portion, have an unbelievable perfection, a happiness that reviews a portion of Almodóvar’s more alluring, crazy prior work—Carmen Maura, another of his preferred entertainers, strolling the night roads of Madrid (Almodóvar’s home city and a successive background for his movies) in Law of Want (1987), or contemplating self destruction in an energetically hued condo in Ladies Nearly a Mental meltdown (1988). The transition to Barcelona in About My Mother flags an adjustment in time and style, permitting a move in feeling, a restoration of Manuela’s sparkling recollections of La Barceloneta and her adoration for Lola, Esteban’s transfeminine father. In Barcelona, other ladies become part of Manuela’s story, and the film opens to other recollections.

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