Un film de Almodóvar: whether appearing in his stylish opening credits or on the suggestive poster that invariably accompanies each of his films, this announcement triggers a range of expectations. Sexy and subversive, colorful and controversial, passionate and provocative, Pedro Almodóvar’s world is unlike any other director’s. Thanks to his remarkably cohesive and consistent œuvre, the Manchegan maverick has become a reliable brand, his name a byword for the visual opulence, experimentation and eroticism of post-Franco Spanish cinema.
Almodóvar found fame with self-penned, gender-bending plots depicting the often comic misfortunes of junkies, nuns, housewives, whores, transvestites and transsexuals. Praised by critics, championed by fellow film-makers, adored by actors and adorned with international awards, he is the most successful Spanish film-maker since Luis Buñuel, with films such as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, and Volver.
A self-taught auteur, Almodóvar draws on influences as diverse as Douglas Sirk, Frank Tashlin, Andy Warhol and John Waters. His feature films borrow liberally from, and frequently invert, traditional genres of classic American cinema—including film noir, melodrama and screwball comedy. Yet they remain unmistakably Iberian, rooted predominantly in the director’s beloved Madrid, exploring Spanish myths and modernity to the rhythms of bolero-laden soundtracks. Most recently, the enfant terrible of the 1980s arthouse scene has matured into the Academy Award-winning director of All About My Mother, a film universally acknowledged for its emotional resonance, sophistication and craftsmanship. Almodóvar’s distinctive, once marginalized world has finally entered the mainstream.
For this unprecedented monograph, Pedro Almodóvar has given TASCHEN complete access to his archives, including never-before-published images, such as personal photos he took during filming. In addition to writing captions for the photos, Almodóvar invited prominent Spanish authors to write introductions to each of his films, and selected many of his own texts to accompany this visual odyssey through his complete works.