Fecundity and Almodóvar?
Sexual Ethics and the Specter
of Catholicism

by Christopher McMahon

Group Notes

1. David McCarthy Matzko, “Homosexuality and the Practices of Marriage,” Modern Theology 13 (1997): 371-397; idem., “The Relationship of Bodies: A Nuptial Hermeneutics of Same-Sex Unions,” Theology and Sexuality 8 (1998):96-112; David Matzko McCarthy, “Sexual Utterances and Common Life,” Modern Theology 16 (2000): 443-459; idem., Sex and Love in the Home: A Theology of the Household (London: SCM, 2001).

2. McCarthy Matzko, “Homosexuality and the Practices of Marriage,” 376.

3. McCarthy Matzko, “Homosexuality and the Practices of Marriage,” 372.

4. Guy Rittinger, “(Dys)figuring Notions of Family: Hegel, Lacan, Almodóvar, and the Post-Nuclear Family,” Vanishing Point 2 (1996): 33-51, 49; see also Paul Julian Smith, Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar (New York: Verso, 1994).

5. Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International (London: Routledge, 1994); see also, The Work of Mourning ( Chicago: University of Chicago, 2003).

6. Specters of Marx, 9-10.

7. Live Flesh , written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar (MGM: DVD release 2004).

8. All About My Mother, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Columbia/Tristar: DVD release 2000).

9. The title of the film as well as several references ties the film to All About Eve, the Bette Davis film about women and the theater. At the conclusion to All About My Mother the dedication: “To Bette Davis, Gena Rowlands, Romy Schneider, to all actresses who have played actresses, to all women who act, to all men who act and become women, to all the people who want to be mothers, to my mother.”

10. The film also references Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding which explores themes similar to Streetcar (i.e., the violence inherent in traditional notions of marriage) but includes a mother’s mourning of her dead son.

11. Talk to Her, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Columbia Tri-Star: DVD release 2003).


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