12 November 12
Pedro Almodóvar delivered BAFTA’s annual David Lean Lecture on Sunday 18 November, exploring the profound influence cinema has had on his life and work.
The 2012 David Lean Lecture took place on Sunday 18 November 2012 at BAFTA's Headquarters, 195 Piccadilly.
The talk, entitled 'The Cinema Inside Me', took place in the form of conversation between Almodóvar and curator, writer and educator Maria Delgado. Following the talk, actor Miranda Richardson presented Almodóvar with his BAFTA for The Skin I Live In, which he had been unable to collect at the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards.
Spain’s most influential director since Luis Buñuel, Pedro Almodóvar has made a name for himself on the world stage with his penchant for bright colours, labyrinthine narratives and bold splashes of melodrama.
Born in 1949 in the quiet Spanish town of Calzada de Calatrava, Almodóvar moved to Madrid in 1967 to escape the poverty of his rural upbringing. With the country’s film schools closed under the Franco regime, Almodóvar became a self-taught filmmaker, exhibiting his first shorts in alternative underground clubs around the city.
In the late Seventies, the fall of the Franco regime brought about a wave of counter-culture and hedonism in a movement known as La Movida Madrileña. Almodóvar became a figurehead of the movement, creating films that came to characterise the era. His first feature, Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980), was very much a product of the time: a campy comedy of unbridled excess, sexual liberation and amped-up melodrama.
As writer and director of his films, Almodóvar has retained complete creative control over his work, carving out a niche that is very much his own. His later films, including All About My Mother (1999), Talk To Her (2002), Volver (2006) and The Skin I Live In (2011), revolve around the same grand themes of family, identity, desire and death, treated with an artful balance of comedy and drama. Laced with love, sex and obsession, his films are notable for their strong female leads and his long-term collaborations with actors such as Carmen Maura, Victoria Abril, Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.
At the time of writing, Almodóvar is working on his latest release. The film, titled I'm So Excited, stars Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas and is currently in post-production.
Almodóvar has won five BAFTA Awards: three for Film Not in the English Language (The Skin I Live In, Talk To Her, All About My Mother), one for Original Screenplay (Talk To Her) and the David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction.
He has been nominated for a further six: five for Film Not in the English Language (Broken Embraces, Volver, Bad Education, Live Flesh, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and one for Original Screenplay (All About My Mother).
His recognitions also include two Oscars for Talk to Her and All About My Mother, Cannes Festival nods for Volver and All About My Mother as well as numerous Goya Awards in the director's home country.
The Academy's annual David Lean Lecture is generously funded by The David Lean Foundation. Delivered by some of the world’s best and most compelling filmmakers, these lectures are designed to educate, inform and inspire practitioners by providing an insight into their work and creative achievements.
The lecture series also serves to carry on the legacy of the great director David Lean, one of the founders of the British Film Academy (as it was then known) in 1947 and a continuing inspiration to many through his exceptional body of work.
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