Pedro Almodóvar was born in 1951 in Calzada de Calatrava (Spain).
From Pepi, Luci, Bom (Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, 1982) to Julieta (2016), his 20 films form an incandescent work, a legacy of his punk, protest-filled youth, and driven by an insatiable passion for female figures and the history of film itself. Ever surprising and eclectic but always coherent, the director from La Mancha can turn his hand to any genre – vaudeville, farce, tragedy, fantasy, musical or thriller – while never losing sight of his pet themes: passion, filiation, destiny, guilt and buried secrets.
In the 1980s, Pedro Almodóvar embodied the spirit of Movida with his comedies, whether wacky (Labyrinth of Passion), irreverent (Dark Habits), grating (What Have I Done to Deserve This?), or provocative (Law of Desire), all of which perfectly captured the moral liberation and extravagance that marked the end of the Franco dictatorship.
These days, Almodóvar hoovers up the world’s most prestigious prizes, but it was his 1989 work, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, that first brought him international acclaim. Between the steamy Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down (1990) and Flesh and Blood (1997), he turned his hand to melodrama with High Heels (1991) and The Flower of my Secret (1995). His direction also gave us the most scintillating portraits of women in film (All About My Mother and Volver). On the same vibrant theme of life and death, desire and feelings, Talk to Her (2002) and Broken Embraces (2009) juxtapose the taboo and the sacred, the spirit and the flesh. More recently, apart from the madcap exception of I’m so Excited (2013), his work has taken on a darker tone with Bad Education (2004), the poisonous gothic of The Skin I Live In (2011) and the sober gravity of Julieta.
In films full of physicality and with a big heart, a troupe of actors faithfully follows the director and breathes life into his wonderfully human characters, including Penélope Cruz, Marisa Paredes, Antonio Banderas, Rossy de Palma, Javier Bardem, Javier Cámara, Carmen Maura and Victoria Abril.