I was able to do about 20 minutes with the legendary Pedro Almodovar a bit after 6 pm yesterday, or just before heading over to the depression of Tintin. Our talk happened in a hilltop bungalow attached to the Chateau Marmont. I love talking to Almodovar because he’s so open and expansive. Ask him a tiny little question and he’ll give you a big sprawling answer. He’s also a huge film buff and a Bluray fanatic, and can go on and on about any film, actor, director, Bluray…anything.
Pedro’s English is easy and precise and fluent, but every now and then he relies on an interpreter, a dark-haired woman in her early 30s who really knows the language of film and Almodovar’s work in particular. I love this recording because Pedro says what he says in English and Spanish, and this brilliant woman fills in the occasional gaps.
I loved what Pedro said about liking thrillers more and more, and that getting to this place of admiration required a certain maturity. Most people, I think, would probably say that a mature movie fan is one who has found his or her way into introspective personal films, foreign-language dramas, quirky indie stuff, documentaries, silent films. Thrillers are generally thought to attract unsophisticated viewers…no?
We didn’t even talk about the new Almodovar Taschen book, which I got to leaf through a bit before our sitdown.
The subject at hand was The Skin That I Live In, of course. “See it at a midnight screening with a hip gay crowd,” I wrote last May, “and prepare for doses of exceedingly dry humor and strange-itude in the general vein of David Cronenberg‘s Dead Ringers and Georges Franju‘s Eyes Without A Face.
“For this is a highly perverse and, typical for Pedro, lusciously sensuous film about a mad plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas), a man with wealth and elegance to burn, recreating his dead wife and daughter with…well, let’s not say.”
I helped myself to an apple in the kitchen of Pedro’s bungalow. I placed it in front of me as we spoke. As I was leaving and making my farewells, Pedro pointed to the apple and said, “You want another? Is one enough?”