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As Spain’s narrative of itself has changed through the late 1990s and the twenty-first century due to its engagement with historical memory and an interrogation of the country’s democratic credentials, analyses of Almodóvar’s cinema have changed to accommodate this. This book explores the evolving way in which the cinema of Pedro Almodóvar is employed to read Spain within the country and abroad. It focuses on how Almodóvar’s cinema engages with the narrative of the nation and the country’s twentieth- and twenty-first-century history through a metamodern (rather than postmodern) aesthetic. Whereas Almodóvar’s cinema does not wear politics on its sleeve, this book argues that, through using postmodern techniques with an ethical intent, a foregrounding of cinematic excess, and the poetic function, it nevertheless addresses Spain’s traumatic past and its legacy in relation to gender, class, and the precarious position of the LGBTQ+ community. The political nature of Almodóvar's work has been obscured by his alignment with the allegedly apolitical Spanish cultural movement known as la movida, but his cinema is in fact a form of social critique disguised as frivolity. The book offers a comprehensive film-by-film analysis of the cinema of the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, from early transgressive comedies of the 1980s like Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón and Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios to award winning dramas like Todo sobre mi madre, Hable con ella, and Dolor y gloria. In doing so, it shows how Almodóvar's films draw on various national cinemas and film genres.

Talking cures
Marvin D’Lugo

extended flashback sequence in Pedro Almodóvar’s Los abrazos rotos/Broken Embraces (2009), a brief dialogue between the film’s amorous couple, the would-be actress Lena (Penélope Cruz) and filmmaker Mateo Blanco (Lluís Homar) crystallises essential aspects of the film’s complex narrative structure. Lena has been brought in a wheelchair to the movie set to discuss the resumption of the filming of Mateo

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
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Popular song in the films of Pedro Almodóvar
Eric M. Thau

Since his films were first analysed in the early 1980s, Pedro Almodóvar’s use of music has been duly noted as an essential element of his filmic vision. Indeed, his intimate, even emblematic participation in la movida , Madrid’s countercultural liberal arts movement of the late 1970s, signalled the close association between music and a punk/kitsch attitude toward cultural markers of all kinds

in Screening songs in Hispanic and Lusophone cinema
Almodóvar’s, Amenábar’s and de la Iglesia’s generic routes in the US market
Vicente Rodriguez Ortega

Anticipating the release of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest effort, Volver , Sony Pictures Classics launched the ‘Viva Pedro!’ series in 2006. The retrospective, which played in art cinemas and repertoire houses all over the US, included those films that Sony previously held the theatrical rights to and two other films, Matador (1986) and La ley del deseo/Law of Desire (1987

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
‘Performing’ la crisis
Maria M. Delgado

a homage to the decade of the 1980s and the way we lived in Spain at that time. There was an explosion that came with democracy. I don’t like the word nostalgia but Madrid was more interesting than it is now. It was living through a moment of great euphoria. It’s not just Spain that has changed, the world has changed, I have changed. We can’t all live like we did in the 1980s. But I miss the liberty of that time. Madrid was a fiesta then 24/​7, now it only parties 7 hours a day. (Almodóvar 2013a) The playful opening credits of Pedro Almodóvar’s Los amantes

in Performance and Spanish film
Pedro Almodóvar’s transnational imaginary
Carla Marcantonio

the global landscape is the reconfiguration of the body in relation to narrative and genre. In his films, Pedro Almodóvar has always made connections to the world beyond Spain’s border. Laberinto de pasiones/Labyrinth of Passions (1982), for example, begins with the arrival of the son of the Emperor of Tiran in Madrid and ends with his departure from Madrid’s airport, along with his female companion

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
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Mechthild Fend

Introduction Pedro Almodóvar’s 2011 film La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In) is about a person who does not live in their own skin. The title itself distances the ‘I’ from ‘the skin’ inhabited. It disconnects the metonymic association of a person’s skin with their life or identity made in many languages, for example in English when a person is called a ‘good skin’. Almodóvar’s film suggests a number of themes around skin that are pertinent to this book: skin and identity; the relations between inside and outside; the nude and its colour; artificial skin and

in Fleshing out surfaces
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All about Almodóvar, or how to become a Spanish auteur
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

When I first thought of writing this book, I provisionally titled this introduction ‘All about Almodóvar, or how to become a Spanish auteur’. As I sit down to write it, I realise that this title embodies an insurmountable task, for many reasons. An introduction to a book is often a relatively gentle exposition of its main ideas, a tool to help readers decide how to use it. This introduction will do some of this. But as I re-read the provisional title, I realised that I was thinking of the introduction in terms of a person, of Pedro Almodóvar as someone I was

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
Silence, historical memory and metaphor
Maria M. Delgado

–Argentine co-production, uses a romance-cum-thriller with the structural conceit of an unsolved murder as the hinge for a probing examination of historical memory, vigilante justice and modes of interrogating the abuses of the past in a country scarred by the collective memory of a brutal military dictatorship. 9 Even Pedro Almodóvar has acknowledged a political inflection to his recent work grounded in issues of historical memory

in Spanish cinema 1973–2010
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Entre tinieblas
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema in relation to his ambivalent attitude towards Spanish popular cinema and traditions encouraged under General Franco’s dictatorship. The chapter challenges the film’s sidelining because of its use of Catholic ritual and iconography, identifying it as a lesbian romance that draws on Spanish folkloric religious films, religious baroque paintings, and melodramas such as those of Douglas Sirk rather than a sexploitation or anti-clerical film. Through melodramatic pastiche, the film shows how Almodóvar’s cinema exposes the contradictions of Spanish society at the time. In addition to this, this chapter considers Almodóvar’s appropriation of Latin American music to tell a story of lesbian desire.

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar