Presented by Linda DeLibero, director, Program in Film & Media Studies, Johns Hopkins University
The release of Almodóvar’s most personal film also saw him reunite, after nearly a decade, with renowned actor Antonio Banderas, whose life and career are inextricably tied to the director’s (they’ve made eight films together, including Banderas’s debut). Banderas’s indelible turn as Salvador Mallo, an aging film director in creative and physical free fall, is the first of many splendors in this raw, confessional work. Unabashedly autobiographical, the film explores the director’s artistic roots, including his childhood in rural Franco-era Spain (with Almodóvar regular Penelope Cruz as his young mother), his first love affair, and his first artistic triumph, all of which he revisits in a bid to rekindle his passion for life. The film is Almodóvar’s bittersweet valentine to cinema and to the act of creation, a gift that promises both torment and salvation.
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