Friday, September 4, 2020

Almodóvar, from Venice: "I have written a western and I want to shoot it in Almería"

The filmmaker reveals to Julia Otero his intention to film a Western short film in the province

La Voz de Almeria
By Evaristo Matinez
September 3, 2020

Pedro Almodóvar presented this Thursday at the  Venice Film Festival his new work, the first shot in English: 'La voz humana' (The Human Voice), a short film of about 30 minutes in which he directed the Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, honored with the León de Oro for his career, the same one that the manchego received last year. And at a press conference he revealed his intention to shoot two other shorts with which he would form a sort of triptych and which would have a "theatrical air": one of them will address, as a dystopia, the closing of movie theaters and the another will be a western.

Although during the appearance before the international press he did not delve further, the filmmaker did reveal a few minutes later, in the Onda Cero program 'Julia en la onda', some details about that history of the West. "I have already written it and I want to shoot it in Almería, where some of the sets where Sergio Leone and many others filmed are still preserved," he has advanced to Julia Otero.

The project is, to this day, just that, a project, although in the mind of the director of 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' it is very well drawn and seems very solid: "There is something new that I can't tell but I am clear that all the visual and geographical part will take place in Almería", he said. And for those who doubt the tone of the short, Almodóvar is clear: "It will be a spaghetti western."

In June 2019, during the inauguration at the Andalusian Center of Photography (CAF) of the exhibition 'Flores de periferia', where his images merged with the painting of Jorge Galindo and his own, the greatest Spanish filmmaker alive today, praised the virtues of the land of the Indalo as a film setting:" The landscape of Almería is very inspiring, I would shoot any story here. No wonder Sergio Leone fell in love with this," he said in a statement that is gaining more strength today.

In Agua Amarga and Mónsul

In fact, although fleetingly, the director of 'Pain and glory' has visited locations in the province to set some sequences for two of his feature films: 'Laberinto de pasiones' (Labyrinth of Passions) and 'Habla con ella' (Talk to Her).

'Laberinto de pasiones', his second film after a dozen short films and his debut feature 'Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del monton', brought him to Agua Amarga in 1982. Although it was a film set almost entirely in Madrid (It was an emblem of the Movida and was on the bill for ten years in the Alphaville cinemas in Madrid), the Almeria beach served as the setting for a couple of 'flashbacks', one of them fundamental in the story to understand the character of Cecilia Roth.

And twenty years later, in 2002, he returned Mónsul on the Jordanian coast into a small fragment of 'Habla con ella', for which he won the Oscar for best original screenplay, starring Dario Grandinetti.

If the same time schedule is met, perhaps in 2022 Pedro Almodóvar will be able to step on the Almeria desert for this project. For now, after the premiere in Venice of his first experience in English, his new feature film, 'Parallel Mothers', awaits him, where he will once again direct Penélope Cruz.

And according to David Martos, special envoy of Onda Cero to the Mostra and in charge of 'Kinótico', a podcast on cinema, series and audiovisual culture, wants to present 'La voz humana' by taking the short through Spain on a presentation tour in movie theaters. Maybe then we can also see it in these lands.

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