Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodovar Césars 2017.jpg
Almodóvar at the 2017 César Awards
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero

(1949-09-25) 25 September 1949 (age 69)
OccupationFilmmaker, former

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpeðɾo almoˈðoβaɾ kaβaˈʝeɾo]; born 25 September 1949),[1] credited professionally as Pedro Almodóvar, is a Spanish filmmaker, director, screenwriter, producer, and former actor. He came to prominence as a director and screenwriter during La Movida Madrileña, a cultural renaissance that followed after the end of Francoist Spain. His first few films characterised the sense of sexual and political freedom of the period. In 1986, he established his own film production company, El Deseo, with his younger brother Agustín Almodóvar, responsible for producing all of his films since Law of Desire (1987).

Almodóvar achieved international recognition for his black comedy-drama film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and went on to more success with the dark romantic comedy film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990), the melodrama High Heels (1991) and the romantic drama thriller Live Flesh (1997). His subsequent two films won an Academy Award each: All About My Mother (1999) received the award for Best Foreign Language Film while Talk to Her (2002) earned him the award for Best Original Screenplay. Almodóvar followed this with the drama Volver (2006), the romantic thriller Broken Embraces (2009), the psychological thriller The Skin I Live In (2011) and the drama Julieta (2016), all of which were in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. His films are marked by his employment of certain actors and creative personnel, complex narratives, melodrama, pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humour, strong colours, and glossy décor. Desire, passion, family, and identity are among Almodóvar's most prevalent themes.

Noted for being one of the most internationally successful Spanish filmmakers, Almodóvar and his films have gained worldwide interest and developed a cult following. He has won two Academy Awards, five British Academy Film Awards, six European Film Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, nine Goya Awards and four prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1997, Almodóvar received the French Legion of Honour, followed by the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1999. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001[1] and received an honorary doctoral degree in 2009 from Harvard University[2] in addition to an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Oxford in 2016[3] for his contribution to the arts. In 2013, he received an honorary European Film Academy Achievement in World Cinema Award.[4] In January 2017 he was named as President of the Jury for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[5]

Early life and career beginnings

Early life

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero was born on 25 September 1949 in Calzada de Calatrava, a small rural town of Almagro, Ciudad Real, a province of Castile-La Mancha in Spain.[6] He has two older sisters, Antonia and María Jesús,[7] and one brother Agustín.[8] His father, Antonio Almodóvar, was a winemaker,[9] and his mother, Francisca Caballero, who died in 1999, was a letter reader and transcriber for illiterate neighbours.[10]

When Almodóvar was eight years old, the family sent him to study at a religious boarding school in the city of Cáceres, Extremadura, in western Spain,[2] with the hope that he might someday become a priest. His family eventually joined him in Cáceres, where his father opened a gas station and his mother opened a bodega where she sold her own wine.[9][11] Unlike Calzada, there was a cinema in Cáceres.[12] "Cinema became my real education, much more than the one I received from the priest", he said later in an interview.[13] Almodóvar was influenced by Luis Buñuel.[14]

Against his parents' wishes, Almodóvar moved to Madrid in 1967 to become a filmmaker. When caudillo Francisco Franco closed the National School of Cinema in Madrid, he became self-taught.[2] To support himself, Almodóvar had a number of jobs, including selling used items in the famous Madrid flea market El Rastro and as an administrative assistant with Spanish phone company Telefónica, where he worked for twelve years.[15] Since he worked only until three in the afternoon, he had the rest of the day to pursue his film-making.[2]

Career beginnings

In the early 1970s, Almodóvar became interested in experimental cinema and theatre. He collaborated with the vanguard theatrical group Los Goliardos, in which he played his first professional roles and met actress Carmen Maura.[16] Madrid's flourishing alternative cultural scene became the perfect scenario for Almodóvar's social talents. He was a crucial figure in La Movida Madrileña (the Madrilenian Movement), a cultural renaissance that followed the death of Francisco Franco. Alongside Fabio McNamara, Almodóvar sang in a glam rock parody duo.[17]

Writing under the pseudonym Patty Diphusa, Almodóvar also penned various articles for major newspapers and magazines, such as El País, Diario 16 and La Luna as well as contributing to comic strips, articles and stories in counterculture magazines, such as Star, El Víbora and Vibraciones.[18] He published a novella, Fuego en las entrañas (Fire in the Guts)[19] and kept writing stories that were eventually published in a compilation volume entitled El sueño de la razón (The Dream of Reason).[20]

Almodóvar bought his first camera, a Super-8, with his first paycheck from Telefónica when he was 22 years old, and began to make hand-held short films.[21] Around 1974, he made his first short film, and by the end of the 1970s they were shown in Madrid's night circuit and in Barcelona. These shorts had overtly sexual narratives and no soundtrack: Dos putas, o, Historia de amor que termina en boda (Two Whores, or, A Love Story that Ends in Marriage) in 1974; La caída de Sodoma (The Fall of Sodom) in 1975; Homenaje (Homage) in 1976; La estrella (The Star) in 1977; Sexo Va: Sexo viene (Sex Comes and Goes); and Complementos (Shorts) in 1978, his first film in 16mm.[22] He remembers, "I showed them in bars, at parties… I could not add a soundtrack because it was very difficult. The magnetic strip was very poor, very thin. I remember that I became very famous in Madrid because, as the films had no sound, I took a cassette with music while I personally did the voices of all the characters, songs and dialogues".[23]

After four years of working with shorts in Super-8 format, Almodóvar made his first full-length film Folle, folle, fólleme, Tim (Fuck Me, Fuck Me, Fuck Me, Tim) in Super-8 in 1978, followed by his first 16 mm short Salomé.[24]

Other Languages
asturianu: Pedro Almodóvar
Bân-lâm-gú: Pedro Almodóvar
беларуская: Педра Альмадовар
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пэдра Альмадовар
български: Педро Алмодовар
brezhoneg: Pedro Almodóvar
čeština: Pedro Almodóvar
davvisámegiella: Pedro Almodóvar
Esperanto: Pedro Almodóvar
français: Pedro Almodóvar
Bahasa Indonesia: Pedro Almodóvar
latviešu: Pedro Almodovars
Lëtzebuergesch: Pedro Almodóvar
lietuvių: Pedro Almodóvar
македонски: Педро Алмодовар
Bahasa Melayu: Pedro Almodóvar
Nederlands: Pedro Almodóvar
português: Pedro Almodóvar
Runa Simi: Pedro Almodóvar
sicilianu: Pedro Almodóvar
Simple English: Pedro Almodóvar
slovenčina: Pedro Almodóvar
slovenščina: Pedro Almodóvar
српски / srpski: Педро Алмодовар
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pedro Almodóvar
українська: Педро Альмодовар
Tiếng Việt: Pedro Almodóvar