Director Almodovar's 'emotionally naked' retrospective

Pedro Almodovar.
Pedro Almodovar.

MADRID • •Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar has long vowed never to publish an autobiography, but admits he is "emotionally naked" in his 21st film.

Called Pain And Glory, it is about a melancholic film-maker played by Antonio Banderas. Rolled out in Spain last Friday, it is the most retrospective work in his 40-year career.

"I felt the need to provide a very introspective look, including into my darkest parts and to mix that with the brightest memories of my childhood," the 69-year-old said.

The movie cuts back and forth in time as it follows the film-maker in his twilight years reflecting on the choices he has made in life.

Almodovar picked Banderas, 58, who rose to Hollywood stardom after starring in his movies, to play his double. The actor sports the director's trademark spiky white hair and bright clothes but does not imitate the mannerisms.

While reviews in Spain for Almodovar's recent movies have been mixed, this time around, critics have been mostly positive about Pain And Glory.

Almodovar has won two Oscars - for Best Foreign Language Film in 2000 with All About My Mother and Best Original Screenplay in 2003 with Talk To Her.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2019, with the headline 'Director Almodovar's 'emotionally naked' retrospective'. Subscribe