Pedro Almodóvar is an auteur in the truest sense of the term; his movies are immediately recognizable from top to bottom.
Speaking of tops and bottoms:
My personal favorite of his cinematic affectations, on full display in his latest, Parallel Mothers: his fixation on adding sex into any and all relationships to further complicate and deepen them.
Remember how I recently bemoaned the relative chastity of movies? Sure, sex is always at play, but how often is it seriously explored on screen? Pervy Pedro (my highest adjectival compliment) is here to (e)rectify (I laughed) the prudes; he’s privy to the idea that sex can be yet another element to reckon with when evaluating and understanding his stories and characters, turning the relationships into more than they’d otherwise be. Sex tends to be on the menu in life, so inserting it (heyyo) into cinematic conversations should be the norm, not an exception to the rule.
Besides all the obvious ones, another Pedro predilection in Parallel Mothers: faulty nursing!
There’s auteur obsessions, and then there’s auteur redundancies.
The latter of which isn’t a criticism! Recycling similarities from movie to movie can get us thinking about how their respective usages change based on their differentiated, specific contexts. For example:
His last two feature-lengths — Pain and Glory and Parallel Mothers — both include plays within the movies. In these scenes, we’re treated to close-ups of actors on stage, juxtaposing their onstage performances with their depicted offstage reality. A concept near and dear to Pedro’s heart: how art interacts and intersects with lived truth! The comparative emotions, and how they’re expressed! The comparative artifice! The comparative melodrama!
The comparative Almodóvar!