ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER
TODO SOBRE MI MADRE
1999, Sony Pictures Classics, 101 min, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

The night a car ran over her son Esteban (Eloy Azorín), Manuela (Cecilia Roth) read the last lines written in a notebook that he always kept by his side; they were about the father he had never met. In memory of her son, Manuela leaves Madrid and goes to Barcelona in search of his father. She will have to tell him that, when she abandoned him 18 years earlier, she was pregnant, they had a son, and he has just died. She must also tell him that she named their son Esteban, like his biological father, before he changed his name to Lola (Toni Cantó). The search for a man with that name cannot be simple - and indeed it isn’t. Penélope Cruz costars in this Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar winner.


PAIN AND GLORY
DOLOR Y GLORIA
2019, Sony Pictures Classics, 113 min, Spain/France, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

There is no shortage of comparisons between Fellini’s 8 ½ and Pedro Almodóvar’s latest work, PAIN AND GLORY. Like Fellini, Almodóvar draws upon his own life to construct the story of a director in decline. As Salvador Mallo, Antonio Banderas is a man caught between past and present, reliving the experiences that have shaped him while he grapples with addiction and a state of creative stasis. Yet Almodóvar’s portrait of the artist in limbo is characterized by the particular blend of sexuality, nostalgia and familial attachment that the Spanish auteur has made his signature. A competitor for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival - where Banderas received the Best Actor Award for his performance - PAIN AND GLORY is a confessional exploration of the toll that human relationships take and of the restorative power of creation.


TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!
ATAME!
1989, Janus Films, 102 min, Spain, Dir: Pedro Almodóvar

Paroled mental patient Antonio Banderas kidnaps former porn star-turned-junkie Victoria Abril to save her from herself, in Almodóvar’s violently sexy take on male-female relations – and his most controversial film in the U.S., where it earned a hotly contested X-rating. “In a country like Spain I don’t have to explain that TIE ME UP! is a love story, or defend myself against accusations that it could turn you into a psychopath!” – Almodóvar.


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