Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Almodovar & After

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Almodovar & After

Article excerpt

WITHOUT A DOUBT, Spain's Pedro Almodovar remains the pioneer and prince among filmmakers bringing gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Hispanic characters to the silver screen. Yet others in the United States and abroad are now following his lead. Herewith, a time line of some of the most memorable characters from the past 21 years--including several not played by Antonio Banderas.

1980 Pepi, Luci, Bom Pedro Almodovar, Spain

Pepi (Carmen Maura), a bisexual hooker, becomes entangled in a menage a trois with her lover Bom (Olivido Gara) and Luci (Eva Siva), a bored housewife. Sex, drugs, and masochistic lesbianism ensues. Not for the squeamish. (L, B)

1982 Labyrinth of Passion Almodovar, Spain

Antonio Banderas got his start as the gay Islamic terrorist Sedac; Imanol Arias plays his target, Riza Nero, the heir to an overthrown Arab ruler who is at first preoccupied with men and makeup but eventually goes straight. (G, B, C)

1985 Kiss of the Spider Woman Hector Babenco, USA-Brazil

William Hurt won an Oscar as Molina, a jailed window dresser who falls in love with the ostensibly straight political prisoner (Raul Julia) he is supposed to be spying on. (G, B, C)

Mala Noche Gus Van Sant, USA

A young white grocery clerk (Tim Streeter) falls madly in love with a 16-year-old Mexican (Doug Cooeyate) who accepts his money and, briefly, his affections but is not interested in a relationship. (G, B)

1987 Law of Desire Almodovar, Spain

Gay filmmaker Pablo (Eusebio Poncela) has a sister (Carmen Maura) who used to be his brother, until she underwent a sex change in order to please her lover--their father! Antonio Banderas is Antonio, an unbalanced fan who will stop at nothing to have Pablo to himself. (G, T, B)

1983 Philadelphia Jonathan Demme, USA

Antonio Banderas (again!) plays Miguel, longtime lover to Andrew (Oscar-winner Tom Hanks), a gay lawyer with AIDS who battles in court his dismissal from a top law firm. (G)

Strawberry and Chocolate Tomas Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabio, Cuba

In the Havana of 1979, an unlikely romance develops between David (Vladimir Cruz), a shy straight lost soul who blindly believes in the Revolution, and Diego (Jorge Perugorria), a swishy but intelligent gay man. (G, B)

1995 Costa Brava Marta Balletbo-Coll, Spain

Anna (Marta Balletbo-Coll), a monologuist and Barcelona tour guide, meets and falls in love with Montserrat (Desi del Valle), a visiting American scientist. Won the audience favorite award at San Francisco's gay and lesbian film festival. (L)

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar Beeban Kidron, USA

Latina drag neophyte Chi-Chi (John Leguizamo) hitches a ride west with drag vets Vida (Patrick Swayze) and Noxeema (Wesley Snipes). …

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