David Ehrenstein: Almodovar is unquestionably talented. But I've never really been all that impressed with his work. When he first burst upon the scene his supporters -- like Kael -- were always going on about how "daring" he was. Yet I've never found anything at all daring in any of his films, even "Law of Desire."
Count me in the lack of love, even more so for the later, more 'human' works (Talk to Her, All About My Mother) than for the wilder, earlier ones (which I do like). Actually, there's what I think is a Filipino equivalent to Almodovar, and one who started working earlier than he did--Joey Gosengfiao, gay Filipino filmmaker with Japanese blood who was doing straight-faced camp in the early '70s until today.
In fact his masterpiece, Temptation Island (1981, no relation to the reality show) is stranger than anything Almodovar's ever done, I think: beauty pageant contestants on a ship that sinks are marooned on an island, where they are forced to seek food, water, shelter, and a place to plug in their hairdryers. Plenty of sex, bitching, giant ice cream cones and a climactic act of cannibalism.