Pedro Almodóvar, award winning Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer was recently in Beverly Hills at TASCHEN
for a special signing of his new book entitled The Pedro Almodóvar Archives.
Antonio Banderas, handsome star of Almodóvar’s latest new film "The Skin I Live In" was on hand to introduce Almodóvar as well.
The most internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker since Luis Buñuel, Almodóvar was equally charming and engaging as he addressed the crowd and shared his thoughts, alongside Banderas who quipped along with equal wit and aplomb. The Book Signing party was complemented by free flowing wine and fancy hors d’oeuvres you wouldn't attempt at home, delivered by sequined and otherwise feathered, smiling catering staff.
The room was charged with an atmosphere of heightened excitement and emotion that only Almodóvar could deliver.
The friendly staff at TASHEN circulated the room as well, smiles a’beaming to offer assistance where needed to all attendees in order to ensure that none of the 200 or so guests in the shoulder tight room would be overlooked.
Special thanks to Rob Hudson, TASCHEN's manager, for his welcoming manner in representing TASCHEN books.
The evening began with a brief welcome to all, with Banderas speaking from the entrance door of a specially constructed magic room high above our heads so that all could see. After a brief introduction, and a few words about the most recent Almodóvar film Banderas had appeared in recently, “The Skin I Live In”, the benevolent Almodóvar emerged and greeted us all. Emotions were heightened as Almodóvar spoke, sharing a portrayal of his life that filled the room with love and hope as he encouraged us all to pursue our passions and dreams.
Sometimes referred to as The Man from La Mancha, Almodóvar was born in a small town in the province of Castile-La Mancha. His parents sent him to a religious boarding school at eight years old, with aspirations of becoming a priest. Years later, against their wishes he moved to Madrid and got his early beginnings working odd jobs, such as selling used items in the El Rastro flea market. This famous bazaar still flourishes in Madrid as a popular tourist attraction today. Thereafter, he spent 12 years working for Telefónica as an administrative assistant, determined to support himself in order to pursue his dream of directing.
The Pedro Almodóvar Archives reveals an in-depth exploration into Almodóvar’s life, including many previously unpublished creative works. This exciting one of a kind memento features personal photos that Almodóvar took himself during filming. Small wonder all 200 advanced copies of “The Archives” were sold out in the space of an hour. The Archives also includes introductions to each of his films, penned by numerous prominent Spanish authors. An original film strip from “Volver” (2006) cut from Pedro's personal Archives also graces the inside cover page.
With films such as “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, “All About My Mother”, “Talk to Her”, “Volver”, and his most current release, “The Skin I live In”, to name just a few, Almodóvar’s all encompassing career spans a lifetime of achievements marked by genius talent and a knack for the female POV.
“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (1988) not only gained him international success but established Almodóvar as a “women’s director” where he once stated that “women are more spectacular as dramatic subjects”….”they have a greater range…”
“Volver” began as a story of the conservative part of the country, or “La España Negra” (Black Spain) often associated with violence. Almodóvar’s film conversely reveals a “White Spain” where women attain solidarity and fight fiercely to survive.
The Pedro Almodóvar Archives features over 600 images inviting one to journey through the rich life that is uniquely Pedro Almodóvar's.
Pedro said it best, “I was born at a bad time for Spain, but a really good one for cinema.”