The Frida Cinema’s Pedro Almodóvar retrospective continues with the Spanish director’s controversial film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
Lonely orphan Ricky (Antonio Banderas) has just discharged from a mental facility, his dreams of stability, love, marriage, and children focused squarely upon Marina (Victoria Abril), an actress with whom he once had a one-night-stand. Learning Marina is on a movie set, Ricky goes to meet her, but she dismisses him, not remembering their encounter. He then follows her home, making Marina his prisoner in the hope that she will eventually fall in love with him. Worried that Marina is not at the film’s after-party, her sister Lola (Loles Leon), begins to search for her. Meanwhile, sparks begin to fly between Marina and Ricky as she develops feelings for him. Will Lola ever find Marina? If she does, will Marina want to leave Ricky?
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is notable for its introduction of Antonio Banderas to American audiences. It was also among the first films to receive the MPAA‘s then-new NC-17 rating, which ultimately proved to be as stigmatizing as its predecessor. The film still carries the NC-17, meaning No Children 17 and Under Admitted.
“One of those movies that makes you laugh if you sit back and absorb the entire absurd situation at once” — Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
“A writer-director driven by his passion, Almodóvar allows his movies to moan and sweat and writhe.” — Rita Kempley, Washington Post
“Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! comes from a transitional phase in Almodóvar’s career, one in which he was using bigger budgets to home his aesthetic, create characters with greater depth, but still indulge a punkish urge to shock.” — Keith Phipps, The Dissolve