Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is a Spanish film director and screenwriter. He established his own film production company, El Deseo, in 1986 with his brother Augustin. He won the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award Oscar for All About My Mother (1999) and the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Talk to Her (2002). His current film is Julieta (2016).
Pedro Almodóvar (1949-) is most noted for his ‘cinema of women’ as he calls it. That’s because he chooses to feature strong female characters in his movies, no matter their age. And his females are memorable. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York is currently paying tribute to Almodóvar’s works to December 17, 2016.
He says to The New York Times ‘I feel that I can tell a richer and more entertaining story with women.’ He finds male characters restrictive – ‘they are either a lover, a macho hero, or the man of the house.’ However, he finds women ‘to be more vivacious, more direct, more expressive, with a lot less of a sense of being fearful of making a fool of themselves.’ Which is the reason why female actors love being in his movies.
La Frances Hui, associate curator in the film department of MOMA said, ‘He has an unusual ability to observe women with a real sense of empathy. He is able to highlight their emotions and their strengths, and his is often very funny. He shows women in a very different way than we usually see in cinema.’
Penélope Cruz (42) has appeared in five of his movies. She says of Almodóvar that he was raised by his mother and her sisters, so he has a ‘fascination with the female universe, he’s constantly paying homage to that.’ Many of his characters are inspired by his mother Francisca, who died in 1999.
Rossy de Palma (52) also appeared in several of his films. She said that unlike many directors in Hollywood, Almodóvar’s appreciations of female beauty are not restricted to younger women. ‘It’s much more deep. Beauty is in the eye.’
Marisa Paredas (70) said that her character’s age adapted to reflect her own age in each of Almodóvar’s films, who appeared in Dark Habits (1983) and The Skin I Live In (2011).
Emma Suárez (52), who appears in Julieta, said, ‘He’s a man with a great sensitivity and with a tragic sense of life. I think women end up serving as a vehicle to express all these feelings for him.’
Photographs: Pedro Almodóvar by city life.com (top); in his youth by nytimes.com; and current image by lyonmag.com