Movie Recommendation- Law of Desire
LAW OF DESIRE (1987)
Pedro Almodovar has referred to 1987’s Law of Desire as a “key film” for him. Not only is it the first film brought to life under his own production company, it’s also his first explicitly and unapologetically gay film. As a result, the queer elements of the movie are, in many ways, imperative and, in other ways, refreshingly inconsequential. For the simple fact that Almodovar’s characters are not in any conflict about their sexuality, the rest of the plot is allowed to simply get on with itself. Despite its hefty LGBT credentials, I don’t think of Law of Desire as a gay film first when I remember it. Instead, I think of it as a lusty and lurid Hitchcockian tale of obsession and murder. The story kicks off when Pablo (Eusebio Poncela) has a one night stand with Antonio (Antonio Banderas). Though it was just a fling to Pablo, Antonio becomes obsessive and tries to get back to his object of desire both through Pablo’s lover and, later, Pablo’s sister. With warm, almost seedy, lighting and a sweaty, lived-in mise en scène, Law of Desire is a delicious piece of hothouse pulp. The added academic fact that it’s an important film from an important filmmaker is mere window dressing compared to how much fun the movie is.