Carne Tremula

Spain, France

Synopsis

Fortune has never been generous with Victor Plaza. He was born on one of the darkest days of the Franco regime, on a bus that was taking his mother, a prostitute, to the hospital. A free lifetime bus pass is the closest thing to luck he has known in twenty years.

In spite of this, Victor is young and life has not yet destroyed his trust in people. For example Elena, only daughter of a diplomat, and the woman with whom he shares his first sexual experience. A napkin with her address and phone number written in eyeliner makes him believe that their encounter, in the lavoratory of a discotheque, was not a casual experience. Soon he will learn that things are not usually as simple as one would hope.

When Victor appears at her house, Elena is waiting for a drug dealer who doesn't arrive. Victor's appearance only makes things worse.

Nerves, a gun, and two policemen who have also had a bad day complicate things further. David - one of the policemen - can't prevent his partner Sancho from precipitating a violent encounter that will change all of their lives.

David is hit by a stray bullet that leaves him paralyzed in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Victor is found guilty and goes to prison to serve his sentence. And while in prison, he watches the success that David, who has become a basketball star at the Barcelona Paralympics, now shares with his new wife, Elena. Thoughts of revenge become an obsession.

Once out of prison, Victor visits his mother's tomb in the city cemetery, and there, fate provides him with the opportunity to forge ahead with his plans. David, Elena, Sancho and Clara, Sancho's wife, attend the funeral of Elena's father. From this moment on, the five of them are caught up in the workings of a game which has only just begun ...


Director's Biography

Pedro Almódovar was born in Calzada de Calatrava, province of Ciudad Real, judicial county of Almagro and Arbishopric of Toledo, in the 50s. His family emigrated to Extremadura when he was eight years old. There he studied the elementary and superior bacalaureate, with the Salesians and the Franciscans, respectively. His bad religious education only taught him to lose his faith in God. Around that time, in Cáceres, he started to go to the movies, compulsively.

At sixteen he moved to Madrid, alone, without his family and without any money, but with a very concrete project: to study and make films. lt was impossible to enter the official film school, as Franco had recently closed it. As he couldn't leam the language (the form), he decided to learn the content, and he dedicated himself to living. lt was the end of the sixties, and in spite of the dictatorship, Madrid was for a provincial adolescent the capital of culture and liberty. He worked in multiple and sporadic jobs, but he couldn't afford to buy his first super-8 camera until he took a "serious" job with the National Telephone Company. He worked there for twelve years as an administrative assistant. These years were in fact his real education. In the moming (since very early) he was in touch with a social dass that he would not have gotten to know so well under other circumstances: the middle class Spanish family at the beggining of the age of consumerism. Their dramas and their miseries. Quite a gold mine, for a future story-teller. In the afternoon-evening he wrote, loved, did theatre with the group "Los Goliardos", made super-8 movies. He wrote for several underground magazines. He wrote short stories, some of which were published. He was a member of the parodic punk-rock group Almodovar and Mcnamara, etc.

He was lucky that the opening of his first feature film coincided with the birth of democracy in Spain. After a year and a half of difficult shooting on 16mm, he opened, in 1980, PEPI, LUCI, BOM ... Since then, film has become his second nature. He writes and directs. And lives, enough at least to be able to invent stories which are alive.
His films are shown all over the world.

FILMOGRAPHY
1974 - 1979 - various films in super 8 mm and 16 mm. SALOME
1980 - PEI, LUCI, BOM Y OTRAS CHICAS DEL MONTON
1982 - LABYRINTH OF PASSIONS
1983 - DARK HABITS
1984-85 - WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
1985-86 - MATADOR
1986 - LAW OF DESIRE
1987 - WOMEN AT THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
1989 - TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN!
1991 - HIGH HEELS
1992 - MUTANT ACTION
1993 - KIKA
1995 - THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET
1997 - LIVE FLESH
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Pedro Almodóvar

Written by: Pedro Almodóvar

Produced by: Agustín Almodóvar

Cinematography: Affonso Beato

Editing: Jose Salcado

Production Design: Antxon Gomez

Costume Design: Jose Maria De Cossio

Hair & Make-up: Juan Pedro Hernandez

Original Score: Alberto Iglesias

Main Cast: Javier Bardem (David), Francesca Neri (Elena), Liberto Rabal (Victor Plaza), Ángela Molina (Clara), José Sancho (Sancho), Penélope Cruz (Isabel Plaza Caballero ), Pilar Bardem (Dona)

Nominations and Awards

  • People's Choice Award 1997
  • European Film 1998
  • European Actor 1998
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 1998