The Secret of My Flower Pedro Almodóvar
Sexual obsession or humanist morality? Misogyny or woman’s liberation? Kitsch humor or profound empathy? Pedro [...]
Sexual obsession or humanist morality? Misogyny or woman’s liberation? Kitsch humor or profound empathy? Pedro Almodóvar’s oeuvre is a rich amalgam of contradictions whose charm and power have seduced the audience.
A great synthesizer, he blends disparate strands of his admired masterpieces into his own vision. The discreetly charming surrealism of Luis Buñuel is emulated in his fantasy; Alfred Hitchcock’s bravura shots are adapted to create rising tension. A tribute to Hollywood classicism, he asked his character to dub Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1954) in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), referencing his beloved movies to the themes close to his heart.
From the bawdy, transgressive sexual comedies, to the subtle, intricate high melodramas, Almodóvar’s films are not bound by genres, much as the fluid identities of his characters. His cinematographic universe consists of homosexuals and transvestites – anything but stereotypes. Fearless in delving deep into desire and obsession, and exposing extreme emotional intensity, he is concerned about his characters – under an observational camera critical of human nature yet compassionate, and forgiving.
Screaming colors, flamboyant costume design and pop-art inspired interior mix with the eccentric mood of his comedies. Images and objects are integrated into complex metaphor – Penélope Cruz and a knife in Volver (2006) exemplified what Godard said of filmmaking, “all you need for a movie is a girl and a gun” – his brilliant imagination brings to life the surviving power of women whom he adores.
“When you put your heart and genitals into something, it’s always personal.” Pain and glory, it’s all about Almodóvar – and every soul ever touched by his films.