Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

The Bolero in the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2010), 4, (2), 177–195.

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to explore the ways in which the cinema of Pedro Almodóvar resignifies the bolero through an analysis of two of his most representative films of the 1980s: Matador (1986) and Law of Desire (1987). These two films, both of which associate the bolero with explicit sex scenes, allow for a focus on the deconstructive work of Almodóvarian cinema. My main argument is that behind the removal of the normalising gaze – which establishes the limits between the normal and the pathological – the cinema of Almodóvar is capable of imagining new relational modes, new forms of sociability, and that the bolero represents an essential element in their achievement.

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Poe, Karen