Dark Habits

On its face this 1984 comedy by Pedro Almodovar (Law of Desire) ought to be one of his most irreverent: Yolanda (Cristina S. Pascual), a junkie and nightclub singer, runs to a convent to escape a murder rap, where the freewheeling nuns (including Carmen Maura, Julieta Serrano, and Marisa Paredes)who favor such things as LSD and soft-core porntry to save her soul. Unfortunately, the results are rather limp as narrative, and the better moments never quite make up for the sluggish filmmaking. Worst of all, the film commits an act of inexcusable (and tacky) vandalism: appropriating one of the most beautiful film scores ever written (by Miklos Rozsa, for Resnais’ Providence) without any acknowledgment and using diverse fragments of it with no sensitivity whatsoever. This is in no way an hommage, but an act of theft. (JR)

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