100 Essential Directors celebrates directors of distinct vision, who have honed their respective crafts, who have brought something new and exciting to the medium, and who continue to push the boundaries of the form.
Pedro Almodóvar is one of the most important directors currently working in film, a true legend. What is it about the great Spanish director that resonates so profoundly with spectators worldwide? His signature, colorful visual style? His keen awareness of and sensitivity to the issues of women? His audacity when portraying a large cross-section of sexuality in new, thrilling ways?
Though Almodovar's work seems to have penetrated the xenophobic American critical monolith, winning Oscars and scoring major points with stateside critics, he has often been taken to task by the European press. Bringing a special insight into Almodovar's place in the world of European filmmaking is a correspondent from Madrid, who turns a microscope on Pedro's role in post-Franco Spanish cinema, and the importance of his work as a European auteur.
Almodóvar’s insistence on pushing boundaries and transcending confining definitions of acceptability, gender, sexuality, and narrative structure place his body of work amidst (among others) a queer cinematic canon that acknowledges and appreciates his placement of queer bodies and characters in essential strands of the narrative structure.
A true passion for cinema is something that effortlessly shines through the work of the greatest filmmakers. We've seen homages to classic films, in this year alone, in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds, Judd Apatow's Funny People and Lee Daniels' Precious, but no contemporary director references film history as commandingly as Almodovar.
Almodovar 101 takes a look at some of the Spanish auteur's greatest hits - from Pepi, Luci and Bom up through Volver, a crack team of PopMatters film writers/Almodovar experts from New Jersey to Madrid are on hand to guide readers through the vivid world of the director.