On This Gay Day: Film director Pedro Almodovar was born

Film director Pedro Almodovar was born on this day in 1949

Pedro Almodovar has established himself as one of the most acclaim Spanish film directors and screenwriters and some very well-known actors have got their big breaks via his films.

His films help establish the careers of Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz and many other Spanish actors who made the crossover in Hollywood films.

Almodovar made his debut in 1980 with Pepi, Luci, Bom which was made on a meagre budget. It was about an unlikely friendship between a woman seeking revenge on a corrupt policeman who sexually assaulted her, a lesbian punk rock singer, and masochistic housewife. The film is remembered for its kitsch and camp style, and explicit sexuality. It quickly found a cult following.

Almodovar then went on to make a series of unique films including Labyrinth of Passion, Dark Habits, What Have I Done to Deserve This, Matador, Law of Desire, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! High Heels, Kika and The Flower of My Secret. 

His films found success in arthouse cinemas around the world. and often dealt with homophobia, the AIDS crisis, and gender expectations.

In 1997 Almodovar released Live Flesh, the first time he directed a film based on a story created by another author, its source material was by British author Ruth Rendell. It was his first film with actor Penelope Cruz who he cast alongside Javier Bardem. He continued working with Cruz on his next film, 1999’s All About My Mother.     

At the turn of the century, he kept up his prolific output releasing Talk to Her in 2002, Bad Education in 2004, and Volver in 2006, followed by Broken Embraces in 2009.

The next decade brought another four films The Skin I Live In (2011), I’m So Excited (2013), Julieta (2016), and Pain and Glory (2019).

Almodovar’s most recent film is 2021’s Parallel Mothers and his next film will be a feature length adaption of author Lucia Berlin’s short story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women. It will be his 23rd feature film and his first in English. Cate Blanchett is set to take on the lead role.

OIP Staff

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