For a obsessive appropriationist, Almodóvar has never been so blatantly referential as he is in Broken Embraces. Apart from the most obvious nods to Hitchcock, the director has included scenic love-letters to Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960), Roberto Rossellini's Voyage to Italy (1954), and Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place (1950). Those fans of Almodóvar's 80s comedies will even recognize the director's send-up of his own oeuvre in Girls and Suitcases, a potpourri of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984) Whether or not this confirms that the young iconoclast Almodóvar has, in his old age, become an unashamed nostalgic merits some debate. But, regardless of the verdict, Broken Embraces proves itself to be an impressive lexicon.
Broken Embraces opens Fri/18 in San Francisco.