120 minutes| Spain| 2011| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema

Now in his fourth decade of filmmaking, Pedro Almodovar continues to take us by surprise. Who’d have expected a reunion with Antonio Banderas, 21 years after
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!? Or indeed that their new collaboration would be a stylish and disturbing mad-doctor movie with more than a hint of Georges Franju’s 1960 classic Eyes Without a Face.

In a swish country mansion, Banderas’ high-tech lab holds a dark secret, sultry Elena Anaya, who’s held captive in a protective body stocking while he pursues his illicit experiments in artificial skin – a project spurred by dark events in his own turbulent past. To reveal more would be spoiling it, so suffice to say that the results are an eye-popping, mind-boggling fusion of horror genre motifs and Almodovar obsessions, including the whys and wherefores of sexual identity and the destructive power of male desire. A rich, velvety score from Alberto Iglesias sets the seal on a film full-blooded in subject matter and inspiration. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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