Ana María Sánchez-Arce
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All about Almodóvar, or how to become a Spanish auteur
in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
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Whereas Pedro Almodóvar fits the main requirements to be considered an auteur, not least because his co-ownership of the production company El Deseo, S.A., gives him substantial autonomy in the production process, this introduction explores how this bias originates in conventional ways of thinking about Spanish cinema. It analyses how the Spanish government’s policies to promote ‘quality cinema’ prompted the Almodóvar brothers to start their own production company and explains how the Almodóvar construct hides a team of collaborators. It further outlines how Almodóvar does not fit the labels of auteur, postmodern, or gay activist filmmaker. Outside of Spain, he is seen as an auteur to the detriment of a more collaborative view of filmmaking and his cinema is generally considered highbrow. In Spain, media coverage of his cinema and emphasis on his biographical legend means his persona is something between an auteur and a celebrity. This has been detrimental to his reputation in Spain since many there think of his work as middlebrow. Similarly, Almodóvar’s relationship with LGBTQ+ activism is complex and grounded in his socio-historical context. Almodóvar’s cinema intervenes at the more fluid level of fantasy, constituting new cinematic subjects in a metamodern way.

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