Pedro Almodóvar

"What Almodóvar has achieved through his ravishing work is a kind of liberation for us all. He stuck a frock on his native Spain when it needed it most, transforming a country and then the movies with a spritz of glamour for which Hollywood misplaced the recipe ages ago." - Andrew Bailey (Cinema Now, 2007)

Pedro Almodóvar

Director / Screenwriter
(1949- ) Born September 24, Calzada de Calatrava, Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
Top 250 Directors / 21st Century's Top 100 Directors

Key Production Countries: Spain, France
Key Genres: Drama, Melodrama, Comedy Drama, Black Comedy, Comedy, Sex Comedy, Thriller, Psychological Drama, Ensemble Film, Erotic Thriller, Gay & Lesbian Films, Tragi-comedy
Key Collaborators: José Salcedo (Editor), Alberto Iglesias (Composer), Augustin Almodóvar (Producer), Chus Lampreave (Character Actress), Carmen Maura (Leading Actress), Antxón Gómez (Production Designer), Rossy de Palma (Character Actress), Marisa Paredes (Leading Character Actress), Antonio Banderas (Leading Actor), Esther García (Producer), José Luis Alcaine (Cinematographer), Julieta Serrano (Leading Character Actress)

"Exploring his gay sensibility, Almodóvar appeals to straight audiences, who share his appetite for the resurrection and re-invigoration of old movie clichés. In overlooked works like Kika, characters literally die for love, and this slick director understands that classic escapism has undying appeal for a reason. The genius of Almodóvar lies in succumbing to the absurdity of Hollywood romanticism, while recognizing it as an impossible ideal. After enduring bloodless Oscar winners and critically correct masterpieces, the audience rushes to Almodóvar’s movies because they act like a tonic." - José Arroyo (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"A maverick talent, he worked in the theatre before beginning to make short films on Super 8, and graduated to features in 1978. He took full advantage of the post-Franco cultural freedom to develop a distinctive directorial style, and has matured from the 'bad boy' of Spanish cinema into a sophisticated European auteur. He is noted for creating sublime melodramas and writing superb roles for women." - Chambers Film Factfinder, 2006
"Luridly improbable plotting may evoke Buñuel's surrealist legacy, but Almodóvar's vision of Spain is determinedly post-Franco: more concerned with the heady pursuit of pleasure than politics, and gleefully amoral - rather than genuinely shocking - in its celebration of all forms of sexual preference (his early films were mostly bawdy sex comedies)." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)
"Pedro Almodóvar's outrageous and provocative films have made him the most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since the death of Franco in 1975... Almodóvar's forté is in incorporating elements of underground and gay culture into mainstream forms with wide crossover appeal, thus redefining perceptions of Spanish cinema and Spain." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"Pedro Almodóvar is often compared to Luis Buñuel, but Almodóvar is both more of a populist and a humanist filmmaker. Almodóvar himself has remarked, "The characters in my films are assassins, rapists, and so on, but I don't treat them as criminals, I talk about their humanity." And that is true, but he does so in the most playfully outrageous ways imaginable. Almodóvar's films are very much movies that are filled with colour and spectacular moments, and that revel in the sheer joy of filmmaking. Many of his early films are set in Madrid but things that happen in his films are invariably glamorized into the fabulous à la Hollywood form." - Ken Hanke (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"There have always been significant directors who have made the transition from rank outsider to treasured institution, but perhaps no one has travelled so far along this axis as Pedro Almodóvar. A self-taught, openly gay man from the sticks, Almodóvar started out making kitsch, slapdash Super 8 shockers in the early 1970s. Since then, he has matured and refined his craft over a busy three decades to become arguably Spain's most influential, internationally respected and exportable living filmmaker." - Leslie Felperin (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Yes, women are stronger than us. They face more directly the problems that confront them, and for that reason they are much more spectacular to talk about. I don't know why I am more interested in women, because I don't go to any psychiatrists, and I don't want to know why." - Pedro Almodóvar
"I also wanted to express the strength of cinema to hide reality, while being entertaining. Cinema can fill in the empty spaces of your life and your loneliness." - Pedro Almodóvar
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
All About My Mother (1999)
Recommended
The Flower of My Secret (1995), Live Flesh (1997), Talk to Her (2002) , Volver (2006) , Broken Embraces (2009) , The Skin I Live In (2011) , Julieta (2016)
Worth a Look
What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1985), Matador (1986), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989), Bad Education (2004)
Approach with Caution
Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980), Dark Habits (1983), Law of Desire (1987), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) , High Heels (1991)
Not Recommended
Kika (1993)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Pedro Almodóvar / Favourite Films
All About Eve (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, 8½ (1963) Federico Fellini, The Godfather & The Godfather Part II (1972-74) Francis Ford Coppola, North by Northwest (1959) Alfred Hitchcock, The Red Circle (1970) Jean-Pierre Melville, Some Like it Hot (1959) Billy Wilder, Taxi Driver (1976) Martin Scorsese, El Verdugo (1963) Luis García Berlanga, Viridiana (1961) Luis Buñuel.
Source: El Pais (2010)
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