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Movies

MOVIES

Pedro Almodóvar returns to his madcap ways

NEW YORK — For years, no matter where Pedro Almodóvar would encounter fans, he’d always hear a familiar refrain: “You’ve made us laugh so many times in our lives. We really miss laughing like that with you.” Then they’d plead with the beloved Spanish auteur to write another outlandish comedy, similar to his 1980s touchstones “Pepi, Luci, Bom,” “Labyrinth of Passion,” and especially “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

Since those wildly demented early successes, which trafficked in gleeful extravagance and piquant transgression, Almodóvar has spent 15 years fashioning films like “Talk to Her,” “Bad Education,” and “Broken Embraces” that nimbly interlace genre stylistics, from ripe melodrama to classic noir to sex-stoked crime thriller, with an increasingly baroque complexity (and without sacrificing his dry, subversive humor).

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