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"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (BFI Modern Classics) Paperback – 1 Sep 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing (1 Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851705405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851705408
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 0.6 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"An illuminating insight into the film." --"20:20

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
The movie plays just as well as the book reads. The movie is often haphazard and makes the watcher interested to learn more about the characters. The book was a very quick read. I had to reread it again, slowly, poring over each of the words. It's a small book, but its significance is made greater by reading it over slowly.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 July 1999
Format: Paperback
This book manages to make a funny, sexy and irreverent movie sound like a bout of trench mouth. The author is obviously yet another victim of gender studies who keeps weaving and unweaving his text to distract us from the fact the he's writing about a pop movie without having anything like a pop sensibility that might make his opinions mean something. He weighs down a movie that is lighter than air by imposing cultural "significance" where none is needed. There are the usual genuflections to Sirk and Hitchcock ("Rear Window" is mentioned but the more appropriate "Rope" is not) but no mention of Oscar Wilde, which seems like a huge oversight given that the movie is essentially a drawing room comedy (complete with servants and young lovers) unfolding instead in a penthouse. The BFI Modern Classics series can usually be counted on to be informative and entertaining but this is the worst one I've read. It skirts by the actual production of the movie with very few anecdotes but offers up alot of tired theorizing on gender and family romance. His derogatory comments on the physical makeup of most of the actresses is my idea of poor taste; he is judgmental about them but Almodovar's camera never is. The book is a perfect example of film criticism as taxidermy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent! See the movie by Almodovar.***** 8 Dec. 1998
By L.K Mas Mea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The movie plays just as well as the book reads. The movie is often haphazard and makes the watcher interested to learn more about the characters. The book was a very quick read. I had to reread it again, slowly, poring over each of the words. It's a small book, but its significance is made greater by reading it over slowly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Film Critique 3 Aug. 2000
By Luis Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A short, but informative critique on one of the classic gems of Spanish cinema, the BFI essay on "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," is an excellent, and well-researched study. Focusing mostly on the importance of the film in the context of history (e.g. the film veered away from the censorship once imposed by the Franco Regime) and its' artistic composition, author Peter William Evans does a magnificent job in discussing the film.
The part I like the most was his tribute to the greatest modern day Spanish actress, Carmen Maura, who radiates the screen as the betrayed, confused Pepa. It was Maura who carried this movie on her shoulders, and her ability to express emotion and utilize the sexuality many Latin possess was essential for the film's success.
This book makes great reading due to its' compact size. If you liked this book, please read "Almodovar on Almodovar," which features the master Spanish filmmaker talking about his works and his reasons for doing what he does when behind the camera.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Humorless Critical Study of a Comedy 8 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book manages to make a funny, sexy and irreverent movie sound like a bout of trench mouth. The author is obviously yet another victim of gender studies who keeps weaving and unweaving his text to distract us from the fact the he's writing about a pop movie without having anything like a pop sensibility that might make his opinions mean something. He weighs down a movie that is lighter than air by imposing cultural "significance" where none is needed. There are the usual genuflections to Sirk and Hitchcock ("Rear Window" is mentioned but the more appropriate "Rope" is not) but no mention of Oscar Wilde, which seems like a huge oversight given that the movie is essentially a drawing room comedy (complete with servants and young lovers) unfolding instead in a penthouse. The BFI Modern Classics series can usually be counted on to be informative and entertaining but this is the worst one I've read. It skirts by the actual production of the movie with very few anecdotes but offers up alot of tired theorizing on gender and family romance. His derogatory comments on the physical makeup of most of the actresses is my idea of poor taste; he is judgmental about them but Almodovar's camera never is. The book is a perfect example of film criticism as taxidermy.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Film Critique 3 Aug. 2000
By Luis Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A short, but informative critique on one of the classic gems of Spanish cinema, the BFI essay on "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," is an excellent, and well-researched study. Focusing mostly on the importance of the film in the context of history (e.g. the film veered away from the censorship once imposed by the Franco Regime) and its' artistic composition, author Peter William Evans does a magnificent job in discussing the film.
The part I like the most was his tribute to the greatest modern day Spanish actress, Carmen Maura, who radiates the screen as the betrayed, confused Pepa. It was Maura who carried this movie on her shoulders, and her ability to express emotion and utilize the sexuality many Latin possess was essential for the film's success.
This book makes great reading due to its' compact size. If you liked this book, please read "Almodovar on Almodovar," which features the master Spanish filmmaker talking about his works and his reasons for doing what he does when behind the camera.
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