Few Spanish filmmakers are as well-known and widely loved as Pedro Almodóvar, the man behind Volver, Todo sobre mi madre, and Hable con ella. With his latest film, Julieta, hitting Miami theaters on January 6th, O Cinema is launching a retrospective of his work, including seven of his features.
"For the past 30 years, Pedro Almodóvar is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in contemporary cinema on the global stage," says O Cinema Director Kareem Tabsch. "His original approach to storytelling, his use of strong and nuanced female characters, and his queer sensibility has always made his work feel relevant and forward-thinking. With the release of his 20th feature film, Julieta, coming out on Jan 6th, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to revisit some of his most beloved films on the big screen."
Since the 80s, Almodóvar has been dishing out a ton of excellent features, embracing genres from melodrama to screwball comedy and noir. His polished aesthetic is instantly recognizable. The retrospective at O Cinema Miami Beach, kicking off at the end of the year and continuing into early next year, presents a balance of films from each era, in their newly digitally restored forms.
Tabsch continues, "It was hard paring the list down to just seven films, but in doing so we identified some of his most beloved and critically acclaimed films while at the same time focusing on works that exemplified his style and tonal shifts. In some ways, the films are also a celebration of the Almodóvar femme fatale - those remarkable leading ladies who helmed his casts like Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril, Cecilia Roth, Penelope Cruz, and most notably Marisa Paredes, who stars in four of the seven films featured in this retrospective."
The series kicks off on Friday, December 30th, with two of his most popular films: Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother) and Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown). The former, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, is one of his best; while the latter, Oscar-nominated over a decade earlier, stars Carmen Maura as one of the title mujeres.
Penelope Cruz in Volver.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Alongside Mujeres, the retrospective features 80s-era works including Entre tinieblas (Dark Habits) and La ley del deseo (Law of Desire). With wild nuns and love triangles between three men, there's something for everyone.
The 90s, from whence Todo sobre mi madre hails, are further represented by Tacones Lejanos (High Heels) and La flor de mi secreto (The Flower of My Secret), both of which star the irresistible Marisa Paredes. Of the bunch, the latter of these might hail closest to what audiences should expect from his latest feature, Julieta; a beautiful and ambitious adaptation of three Alice Munro short stories centered around one protagonist.
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Of his 2000s output, only one film is featured: Volver. The film earned lead actress Penélope Cruz her first Oscar nomination.
"The world of Pedro Almodóvar is weird and wacky but never dull. If I had to choose a cinematic universe to enter, it wouldn't be Star Wars or Harry Potter - it would be the complex, tongue-in-cheek, wicked and wild world Almodovar's cinematic ouevre has brought to life," Tabsch says.
Pedro Almodóvar Retrospective
December 30 to January 6 at O Cinema Miami Beach, 500 71st St, Miami Beach. A weeklong pass costs $65 and includes entry to one screening of each of the seven films. General admission costs $11. Showtimes vary by film. Visit o-cinema.org.