Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980)

Directed by
Amateurish but definitely a statement of intent
Reviewed by Simon on 2022-02-10

Free spirit Pepi strikes up a relationship with bored housewife Luci under... unusual... circumstances and introduces her to her friend Bom, a 16 year old punk singer and dominatrix who awakens Luci's suppressed desires.

Pedro Almodóvar's feature debut is a celebration of the libertarian counter-culture that arose in post-Franco Madrid... and "a smutty sexual sideshow most safely viewed in a full body condom" according to the WAPO.

Almodóvar is keen to explore boundaries and push buttons, but does so in a very juvenile way, like Kenny Everett without the irony. This was a very different Almodóvar to the one that would =direct films like All About My Mother, VOLVER and PAIN & GLORY.

As a debut it is undeniably amateurish and obnoxious, but exuberantly in love with life and unabashedly queer... PEPI, LUCI, BOM might not be a great film, but as an opening salvo it certainly announced Almodóvar's arrival.