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Pedro Almodóvar is a Spanish Oscar-winning director and screenwriter known for films like All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Bad Education, Volver and I'm So Excited.
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Born on September 25, 1949, in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain, Pedro Almodóvar went on to become an internationally recognized filmmaker who's directed more than a dozen movies, some of which have been controversial. After the hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Almodóvar won Academy Awards for All About My Mother and Talk to Her. His more recent films include Volver, Broken Embraces and I'm So Excited.
"I really am fascinated by actresses, by everything they do, even by the dressing room, which is the sanctum sanctorum of any actress. And I am especially fascinated by actresses who play actresses."
"Transsexual people feel that they don't identify with their nature. Similarly, I feel very tall. I think there is a tall guy inside of me."
"[Penelope Cruz] is a muse for me in the sense that a muse is someone who makes you better than you are. I think I am a better director with her, because she believes that I am better than I am, and that blind faith gives me a lot of strength."
"No biopics, no prequels, no sequels, no hero movies, no antihero movies, and definitely no superhero movies. Anything else I can handle."
Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar was born on September 25, 1949, in Calzada de Calatrava, a hamlet of La Mancha, Spain. His father was an oil and wine trader who did a variety of additional jobs and his mother, whom he was closer to, earned money by writing letters for neighbors who couldn't read or write. Almodóvar attended a Catholic boarding school for a time and decided to move to Madrid by the end of the 1960s, going against his father's directive that he work at a bank.
Almodóvar had developed a love for movies and watched an assortment of international directors. He worked at phone company Telefonica while making short films with a Super-8 camera and honing his craft as a writer of short stories and satirical media. After the death of Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco, in 1975, the citizenry experienced newfound freedom which could be found in the movida madrileña movement, a countercultural wave in which Almodóvar is seen as an icon with his erotic, irreverent work.
Having previously created a Super-8 feature-length work, Almodóvar's first commercial film was the madcap Pepi, Luci, Bom y Otras Chicas del Montón (1980), adapted from a story he wrote for a fanzine. It was followed by 1982's Labyrinth of Passion, which marked actor Antonio Banderas's film debut. Banderas went on to collaborate with Almodóvar in several more features over the next decade, including Laws of Desire (1987), Banderas's first lead role with the director.
Almodóvar continued his explorations of the flesh with What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984), Dark Habits (1984), Matador (1986) and the aforementioned Desire before his big international breakthrough, the comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). The madcap, apartment-based farce, focusing on the interconnected lives of a female cast and their lovers, was Spain's top grossing film for several years and was nominated for a foreign film Academy Award. The movie was later turned into a 2010 Broadway musical.
Almodóvar provoked major outcries over his next feature Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, with its plot of an actress being held captive by and falling for a mentally unhinged man, and the MPAA also giving the film an X rating for its sex scenes. The director followed up with High Heels (1991) and Kika (1993), which was controversial as well over its treatment of women.
Yet 1995's Flower of My Secret showed the director in a more subdued and serious light (though humor still came through): The story focused on a pseudonymous romance writer who suffers over a dead marriage while finding a stronger sense of self.
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