Author Topic: Pedro Almodovar  (Read 13725 times)

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wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2011, 01:27:35 PM »
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NYFF: Pedro Almodóvar Told Antonio Banderas To Watch Cary Grant Movies To Prep For ‘Skin I Live In’
The Director Reveals He’s Not Doing A Biopic On Mina; Tension, Twists & More From The Team Behind The Film

via The Playlist

DEFINITE SPOILERS

Pedro Almodóvar crafts a creepy Frankenstein-esque tale of rape, revenge, and survival in “The Skin I Live In” – a polarizing film which is one of his most ambitious yet. Because the movie features an unexpected twist halfway through the film, discussing it becomes difficult – how do you debate the themes, the issues and the meaning without giving it all away? We leave that task to the esteemed director and his cast that includes Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya, who hit NYFF this week to present this latest concoction, a tale unlike anything Almodóvar has put on the big screen before. Covering everything from the twist in the movie (don’t worry, we won’t reveal it here), the reason why Antonio Banderas had to watch Cary Grant movies to prepare for the film, and the themes of identity that run through the story, the trio were happy to discuss in detail the quirky, provocative and unforgettable film.

1. Almodóvar first read the story on a plane – and took flight with it.
While looking for a bit of light reading for a one-hour plane trip, Almodóvar came across a trashy hardboiled noir novella by Thierry Jonquet called “Mygale,” also known as “Tarantula,” also known as “The Skin I Live In,” depending on which language you read it in. After reading the story of a plastic surgeon’s revenge against a man who raped his daughter, Almodóvar decided to transform the story into a little something extra. “I got the idea that this man was trying to create a new skin, and when the skin became the big idea, I was abandoning the original idea of the book,” he said. “I was just creating something different. We have the rights, so it’s good to mention the book, I was inspired by the book, but I created my own way.”

Consequently, Almodóvar asked his cast not to read the original story, which was darker in some areas. (A woman isn’t just kept prisoner, she’s pimped out as a prostitute; a man doesn’t just commit rape, he unknowingly rapes his own friend, whom he doesn’t recognize). “Pedro first told me about the story in 2002,” Banderas said. “And he said, ‘Don’t read the book. It’s not going to help you. It’s going to take you in a different direction, and I don’t want that. I just want you to use the material we have, and I don’t want you to get confused by information that you can’t use.’” Of course, now that the film is completed, Banderas is “very curious” and plans to read it right away.


2. Pedro Almodóvar says the twist gets more satisfying on subsequent viewings
While elements of the surgeon’s revenge have changed and take on broader meaning, one detail of the revenge is the same in the book and the film – and one we won’t give away just yet. Suffice to say, like “The Crying Game,” “The Skin I Live In” bears repeat viewing just to get one of the characters straight. “There are two movies here,” Almodóvar said. “There’s the first time you see it, and the second time you see it, when you are familiar with the plot, with the twist of the plot, and you can enjoy it more. I invite you to see it a second time.”

Banderas explained, “The whole entire first hour of the movie is a question without an answer. You don’t know anything about why this woman is there as a prisoner. What did she do? You’re mostly learning about the doctor. You see how he’s lost his wife. You learn that his daughter is in a mental institution. You start feeling for him. But then Pedro takes the rug out from under your feet, and says, ‘OK, but look at it from here.’” When the point of view shifts, Banderas says, “then the movie takes off.”

3. In casting the movie Almodóvar wanted a reunion with an old friend – and possibly also found a new muse.

When the director thought about who should play his central characters – which include the surgeon Dr. Robert and his prisoner Vera – he immediately knew who he wanted, since he had worked with them before, and in a sense, had discovered them both. Banderas got his start as a young actor in a series of five Almodóvar films in the 1980s—“Labyrinth of Passion,” “Law of Desire,” “Matador,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” – before Hollywood beckoned. But the two hadn’t collaborated in 22 years.

“At the beginning of the process, I thought about Antonio,” Almodóvar said. “I talked to him at Cannes. I went to L.A. and talked to him. And let’s say when I decided I was ready to make this movie, I knew I wanted him. I wanted someone who was 50, who was attractive, and who doesn’t give the feeling of looking at him that he’s a psycho.”

As for the part of the psycho’s prisoner, Almodóvar remembered an actress he had given a small part to in 2002’s “Talk to Her” – Elena Anaya.  Back then, he called her asked her to do the part as a favor.

“I said, ‘Of course,’ because I’d play even a microphone for him, I’d be so happy,” Anaya recalled. “It was like biting the forbidden apple to act for him, so delicious.” Ten years later, he called her again. “He was offering me this amazing character, so complex, so many layers, for such an amazing story,” she said. “He wanted to tell a story that is much farther than he’s ever gone, so we follow him, of course.”

“I really love her,” Almodóvar said. “I’m sure that I’m going to work with her again.” Could she be his next muse, given his penchant to collaborate with actresses over a long period of time? “I hope so!” he said. “I’ll sign up tomorrow!” she said.

Banderas is game to team up with Almodóvar again as well. “I know for a fact that we will work together again,” he said. “I don’t know when or in what context, [but] we will. I personally would love to make a comedy with him again. I was telling him in the middle of this movie, ‘Pedro, we need to laugh like in the old days! Let’s do something light and fun.’”

4. Almodóvar told Banderas to watch the iconic noir “Le Cercle Rouge” to help prepare for the film.
Despite their long history, Almodóvar wanted something out of Banderas he hadn’t seen before – something cold and calculating, but not obvious. “For this character, I wanted him to hide everything,” Almodóvar said. “No emotion in the face. For me, the movies I have with Antonio couldn’t be better, but I wanted to explore something we didn’t do in the ’80s. I wanted him with a surgeon’s precision, a kind of tone we didn’t do before. Something that was the opposite of Antonio himself.”

This was no easy task. Banderas said he struggled to throw away his usual style and techniques and to make his face a mask. “This can make you very insecure,” he said, “because you’re starting from zero, from scratch.”

Even things that Banderas didn’t pay as much attention to before were thrown into focus – such as the position of his eyebrows. “It’s the quantum physics of acting,” he said. “Pedro would say, ‘Don’t do that with your eyebrow.’ ‘Don’t do what?’ ‘When you pronounce that word, your eyebrow moves. You did it three times.’ I wouldn’t have even known about that, those little details.”

To help Banderas get into character, Almodóvar pointed him to chilly classic French crime flick “Le Cercle Rouge” with Alain Delon, noir films starring Robert Mitchum, and anything with Cary Grant. (For Anaya, he asked her to watch Hitchcock, “Double Indemnity” and pre-code classic “Baby Face”).

“He wanted me to reflect back to a type of acting from the ‘40s and ‘50s, so we played the game like that,” Banderas said. “The idea was how after you discover someone’s a serial killer, everyone always says on the news, ‘Oh no, he was so nice and charming, so polite and well-mannered,’ and yet he had five people mutilated in the fridge for five years. These characters have to melt into society and be undetectable.”

5. After finally seeing the movie at TIFF, Melanie Griffith understood why her husband was tense for three months when making the movie.
Getting into character was difficult. So was getting out. After finally seeing “The Skin I Live In” at the Toronto International Film Festival, Banderas’ wife Melanie Griffith was pensive the whole night, even after attending a few parties. Then he said, they had the following conversation:

Melanie: Now I understand.
Antonio: What do you understand?
Melanie: Now I understand certain behaviors you’ve had for the last three months.
Antonio: You can’t be serious?
Melanie: I’m not saying you’re a bad person or you want to cut somebody’s parts off, but there was something you were carrying these past three months and I didn’t know where it was coming from. Now I do.

“That really scared the shit out of me!” Banderas said. “I wasn’t conscious of how the film affected me, but it stays with you. Even when you think you’re fine. I was kind of creepy, and I didn’t know it.”

“This movie remains in your gut,” Anaya agreed. “How bad people can be. How crazy people can be.”

Still, Banderas said, he knows where his character ends and he begins. “I have daughters. If someone did this to one of my daughters, yes, I might take revenge and take an axe and cut his head off,” the actor said. “But to do this for every day for six years? This is something deeper than revenge. There’s something suicidal in the action he’s taken. Pedro might disagree.”

6. The movie has a message: “Beauty is only skin deep, identity goes even deeper.”
Issues of identity are key to “The Skin I Live In.” Almodóvar wants us first to think about how our skin – our largest organ – is not fixed but malleable. “Up until recently, our skin has been a way of identifying us,” he said. “It says what race we are. It can betray whether we slept badly. It’s supposed to be a mirror of the soul, but I don’t think we can say that anymore.”

Plastic surgery is the primary reason why, and both Banderas and Anaya are concerned with how prevalent it’s getting, especially in Hollywood. “Unfortunately, plastic surgery is nothing but a symptom. It’s not the real problem,” Banderas said. “The problem is in society, which is heavily pushing everyone to be better than they are on the exterior. And there is something sick about it, because they don’t only want you to look more beautiful, but also look younger, and that is against nature. And so we are always trying to bend nature.”

“Most plastic surgery is going a little far,” Anaya said. “We live in a society that doesn’t accept growing up, getting older. And that’s anti-natural. All the time we are being pushed by commercials to be young, to be beautiful, so people start changing their faces, their skin, and that should be forbidden. Sometimes with the photographs , they change your face, and it’s like, ‘Thank you, but don’t do it.’ I hope to have a face full of wrinkles when I get old.”

Anaya’s character’s flawless on-screen skin wouldn’t be possible in the real world, surgery aside. “You cannot create that kind of beauty in the real world,” Banderas said. “Maybe in thirty years, it will be possible.” (It took a lot of lighting tricks and post-production magic, Anaya said, so her skin looked baby new.)

Almodóvar is also concerned with the rapid progress made in the fields of transgenesis and genetic modification, and not just because he always gains weight when he eats GMO food on trips to the U.S.!  “Most of the food here is transgenic,” he said. “And while transgenesis has its pluses, the diseases that disappear, we’re moving beyond curing disease and into determining the characteristics a human being can be born with. There are limits placed on transgenesis by the scientific community, but if they’re not already, they will be skipped over, because science is not something that is going to limit itself.”

The director predicts that eventually, science will create an artificial, synthetic human being, at which point “our relationship to creation, to God as creator, will change drastically. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but it is scary.”

7. Long a champion of transexuality, in “The Skin I Live,”  Almodóvar uses it as a gruesome punishment.
Almodóvar has featured transgendered persons and defended issues of transexuality in many of his films, but this is the first instance in which sex reassignment is forced. “Of course, surgery can save lives, and make people feel comfortable in a body that didn’t feel like their own,” Anaya said.

“But this is the opposite of what’s going on in this film,” Almodóvar said. “Transexuality is used as a punishment here, and it’s hard to imagine anything worse.”

Almodóvar said attitudes about transsexuals have changed drastically since he first addressed the issue on film, because they’re no longer thought of as “freakish figures,” at least in Spain. In his brother’s apartment building, a family invited him to a party to meet their “new daughter” – because their 18-year-old son had a sex change operation and was now female.  “This girl was a boy my brother used to see go up and down the stairs,” the director said. “And now the boy is being presented as a girl, by the family, and not as a strange thing.”

As a side note – the dilators given to a character in the film, in increasing sizes so to gradually enlarge a new vaginal opening post-op, are the real deal. “That was one of the more horrific sequences to shoot,” Almodóvar said. “I told Antonio, ‘You have to tell her how to insert them like a doctor, very cold, very mechanical.’ And those things are completely and absolutely real. You cannot and should not invent that.”

8. Banderas has two more sci-fi films on the way that he’s making back-to-back
Next up for Banderas is a sci-fi film called “Automata,” about robots in a future world which start to develop a consciousness, leading to a possible war. “It’s not a Hollywood movie,” he cautioned. “It’s about singularity. The robots don’t jump from building to building. They’re just supposed to be performing tasks, but they break the second law famous in [Isaac] Asimov’s world, and they’re better than us, so they take over.”

Anaya is not joining Banderas in Automata, however. “You know, this is something we need to erase from IMDB!” Anaya said. “This is a mistake on there. A friend of mine gave the script to Antonio, he loved the script so much he’s also going to produce it, but I’m not in the film. I would love to, though.”

Besides “Automata,” Banderas is prepping his next directorial effort, called “Solo.” “I’m doing these two movies back to back,” he said. “Solo is a reflection on solitude and war environments. It’s the story of a lieutenant colonel from the Spanish army who comes home from Pakistan and he’s messed up about events that happened to him in the war, during an experiment. Ultimately, something’s happening in his head.”

9. Almodóvar is planning an English language movie, but not a Mina biopic.
Like Anaya, Almodóvar wants IMDB to make a correction. Despite previous reports, he has no plans to direct a biopic about the Italian singer Mina. “That is something that someone invented, and it wasn’t me,” he said. “My office called IMDB and said it was not true, and Mina’s son was in contact to say it wasn’t true, either. I like her very much, but I don’t have this project at all. I’ve never even talked about it, but do you know how many people ask me about it?”

However, Almodóvar is planning to proceed with another previously reported project – an English language film. It won’t be his next film – he’s choosing one of four others in development first – but perhaps his second one.

“My English is very poor, but I wrote the script in Spanish, and after the promotion of ‘The Skin I Live In,’ I’ll try and look for an English writer,” he said. “It happens here, in America, with American characters. They are not Latin people living here. So I need a good writer to finish the script in English. I don’t want to give away any details, because it’s in the process right now, but I really like the subject, so it’s a real possibility. Just don’t tell anyone!”
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:21:40 PM by RegularKarate »

RegularKarate

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2011, 03:20:50 PM »
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OH MY!  Don't read that at all if you haven't seen it!  It's very spoilery!

MacGuffin

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #62 on: November 02, 2011, 07:28:25 PM »
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Pedro Almodóvar Launches Career Anthology With L.A. Book Signing
Source: THR

The Spanish director will sign copies of "The Pedro Almodóvar Archives" Nov. 9 at the Taschen store in Beverly Hills.

Pedro Almodóvar, the acclaimed Spanish director, is launching The Pedro Almodóvar Archives, a new book chronicling his career, at a special book signing at the Taschen Store in Beverly Hills on November 9 at 7 pm.  The book will be published by Taschen in December.  During his appearance, Almodóvar will sign a limited number of early print copies, about 150, to those who pre-order through the Taschen Beverly Hills store.

Almodóvar gave Taschen unprecedented access to his personal archives to produce the book, including many never-before-published images and personal photos.  

Almodóvar personally wrote the captions for the photos in the book.  Prominent Spanish authors contributed short essays about each of his films.  In total, The Pedro Almodóvar Archives contain over 600 images, including some from his new film The Skin I Live In and a never seen film strip from Volver.

Almodóvar ’s new film The Skin I Live In is a psychosexual thriller about a plastic surgeon who has unique plans for a woman he has imprisoned in his basement.  Almodóvar calls it "a horror story without screams or frights.”

The movie reunites Almodóvar with Antonio Banderas.  Although the two have not worked together in nearly two decades, Banderas made his name with appearances in Labyrinth of Passion, Law of Desire and Matador.

Almodóvar’s films include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, and Volver.  
He won the Academy Award in 1999 for the Best Foreign Language Film for All About My Mother.  His feature films play with classic American genres—including film noir, melodrama and screwball comedy—to explore the rhythms of modern Spain and its cultural history.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #63 on: November 02, 2011, 08:16:26 PM »
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Rad.

wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #64 on: April 17, 2012, 08:08:05 AM »
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Pedro Almodovar To Reunite With Cecilia Roth & Lola Duenas For 'The Brief Lovers'; Comedians Carlos Areces & Raul Arevalo Also Join
via The Playlist



After doubling his cast to two just yesterday, Pedro Almodovar's latest cinematic venture is now shaping up very quickly with four more actors added to the cast today. The helmer has set up a reunion with "Volver" star Lola Duenas and "All About My Mother" actress Cecilia Roth for the pic while Spanish comedians Carlos Areces ("Extraterrestrial") and Raul Arevalo are also on board.

The quartet, of course, join the previously cast Javier Camara (an Almodovar regular himself) and Jose Maria Yazpik for what's now confirmed to be an out-and-out comedy that'll reportedly see the helmer bring back the flavour of his '80s pics --presumably in the vein of his early comedies "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown," "Labyrinths Of Passions" and "What Have I Done To Deserve This?"

"It's going to be pure comedy [after] two darker pictures as 'Broken Embraces' and 'The Skin I Live In,'" Agustin Almodovar, Pedro's brother and producer explains. "It will be about a group of people who are on the verge of a disaster. It will be very fresh and brazen. Very much like the films that we did back in the '80s." ScreenDaily adds that there have been rumors that the whole film will be set entirely on a plane, which certainly fits the "on the verge on a disaster" description.

Lensing will take place this summer in Madrid and El Deseo with a spring 2013 release already being eyed in as many territories as possible in an effort to "avoid piracy." There are no plans for a festival premiere, as yet.

MacGuffin

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #65 on: June 04, 2012, 04:33:51 PM »
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Paz Vega Joins Pedro Almodovar's Spanish-Language Movie
She has been cast in the director’s dramedy, which shoots this summer in Spain and will be released in spring 2013
Source: THR

Paz Vega will be reunited with director Pedro Almodóvar this summer when she joins the cast of his latest movie, Los Amantes Pasajeros (Standby Lovers).

Vega, who was born in and began her career in Spain, worked with Almodóvar on 2002 Spanish language comedy-drama Talk to Her, which won the 2002 Oscar for best original screenplay and the 2003 Golden Globe for best foreign language film.

Vega made her American debut in director James L. Brook’s Spanglish. She has since starred in a number of films such as The Spirit, the independent movie 10 Items Or Less, Burning Palms, Angel of Evil and is the voice Carmen in the soon to open Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

Vega is a native of Seville, Spain, and joined a theater school right after high school at age 16. She made her debut as an actress on Spanish television and made her big screen debut in 1999 in Zapping.

Vega, who also is a model, in 2011 replaced Penelope Cruz as the face of L’Oreal in Spain. She is married to Orson Salazar, with whom she had her third child in 2010.

Almodóvar’s most recent film was The Skin I Live In, which grossed about $22 million worldwide and was released by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. where it grossed about $3.2 million.

Los Amantes Pasajeros, which Almodóvar also wrote, is a comedy drama that follows a group of travelers who are placed in life-threatening situation on board a plane flying to Mexico City, according to an announcement during the Cannes festival by FilmNation, which is handling international sales. The passengers are defenseless in the face of danger, which provokes colorful confessionals that are their way to put out of mind the possibility they may be about to die. 

Along with Vega, the movie stars Javier Cámara (Talk To Her), Cecilia Roth (All About My Mother) and Lola Dueñas (Volver). Spanish comedians Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo and José Maria Yazpik are also reportedly in the cast.

The director’s brother Agustín Almodóvar is producing the film, which is expected to shoot in Madrid, Spain this summer, and be released in spring 2013 by production company El Deseo.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #66 on: June 20, 2012, 12:53:33 AM »
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Sony Pictures Classics to Distribute Pedro Almodovar's New Film
via blu-ray.com

Sony Pictures Classics has secured the North American distribution rights for Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's So Excited, starring Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, and Lola Dueñas. Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Paz Vega will also contribute to the project. Shooting will begin in July.

So Excited is expected to arrive in theaters in the summer of 2013.

wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #67 on: November 15, 2012, 09:04:59 AM »
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For One Week Only - Documentary about Almodovar

Part 1

Part 2

(Part 3 unavailable)

Part 4

Part 5


wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #68 on: November 19, 2012, 05:04:33 PM »
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Inspired By 'Body Snatchers,' Pedro Almodovar Plots Sci-Fi Movie
via The Playlist

So what's next? There was talk last year that his next project would be a biopic titled “Mina” about the life of the Italian pop singer of the same name, based on a novel by Paolo Limiti. That could still be the case, but in an interview with Variety that ran today, Almodovar brought up his desire to go into a world previously uncharted for the filmmaker: sci-fi. And evidently his inspiration is his love for the 1956 version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

"I am still young enough to make a science fiction movie. I have ideas for this genre," the director said this weekend. "The way I would like to do it is present something impossible in a real, domestic way. One of the scripts on my desk is of that genre, so I hope to make that."

One note of caution, Almodovar doesn't seem to have a timetable yet. "I live with my stories for many years. I write more like a novelist than a screenwriter," he said. But with a sci-fi screenplay in his hands, hopefully he can tweak it to his needs and make it work. Much like "The Skin I Live In," we assume a sci-fi film by Pedro Almodovar wouldn't be a traditional sci-fi film to say the least, but in delving into genre, it simply allows the filmmaker to keep things fresh -- something he's done for over thirty years with hardly any clunkers in the bunch. No small feat. Pencil in Almodovar untitled sci-fi project conservatively for 2014 or later?

wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2015, 01:38:48 AM »
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Pedro Almodovar Announces 'Silencio' as Next Film
via The Hollywood Reporter

Pedro Almodovar has picked his next film.

The director told the Financial Times that his next project is a film called Silencio.

"It’s a return to the cinema of women," he said of the film, "of great female protagonists, and it’s a hard-hitting drama, which excites me."

Almodovar, whose last film was 2013's I'm So Excited, revealed that the Silencio script has been completed, with the film set to begin shooting in April. He said that the film is currently casting but that the parts don't quite fit for the actors with whom he typically works.

"It’s called Silencio because that’s the principal element that drives the worst things that happen to the main female protagonist," he continued.

The Spanish director won the best foreign-language film Oscar for 1999's All About My Mother and the original screenplay Oscar for 2002's Talk to Her.

wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2015, 02:08:08 PM »
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Cast And Plot Details Emerge For Pedro Almodovar's 'Silencio'
via The Playlist

While not prolific in the vein of Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar usually doesn't let two or three years pass without delivering a new movie. And right on schedule, his next effort, "Silencio," is gearing up. Word first emerged on the project at the beginning of the year, and now much more has been revealed as casting has been put in place. And this time around, Almodovar is choosing new faces to work with instead of his usual ensemble roster of players.

Emma Suarez and Ariadna Ugarte have been cast in the lead roles, with Inma Cuesta, Rosy de Palma, Nathalia Pozo, Pilar Castro, Dario Grandinetti, Daniel Grao, Joaquin Notario, and Blanca Pares in support. Here's the synopsis via THR:

The film tells of a 30-year time span in Juliet’s life, starting from 1985 when it seemed like everything was much better than in the present, 2015, when everything seems beyond repair and she is on the verge of madness.

Suarez and Ugarte will both play Juliet, with the story told through the eyes of the character's daughter, played by Pares. Production will start in May.

wilder

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Re: Pedro Almodovar
« Reply #71 on: May 26, 2015, 04:44:40 PM »
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First images from Silencio






Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte lead the movie with Inma Cuesta, Rossy de Palma, Nathalie Pozo, Pilar Castro, Dario Grandinetti, Daniel Grao, Joaquin Notario, and Blanca Pares in support, in the story of the tumultuous life of Juliet, tracking the character across thirty years from 1985 to 2015.

"It’s a return to the cinema of women, of great female protagonists, and it’s a hard-hitting drama, which excites me," the director said earlier this year about the movie. "It’s called 'Silencio' because that’s the principal element that drives the worst things that happen to the main female protagonist."

 

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