9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Pedro Almodóvar is the cultural symbol par excellence of the restoration of democracy in Spain after nearly 40 years of the right-wing military dictatorship of Francisco Franco. Since Almodóvar’s emergence as a transgressive underground cineaste in the late 1970s and early 1980s he has gone on to establish himself as the country’s most important filmmaker and a major figure on the stage of world cinema. Almodóvar’s hallmark is his interrogation of identity in all its multiplicity. From gender to genre, sexuality, nation, and family, are all subject to his camera’s critique. And invariably, as we will see throughout this seminar, Almodóvar’s favored site for the fluidity of identity is the human body. While he is both the most “Spanish” of cineastes he is also the most acclaimed internationally, having won two Oscars for his films. Likewise, he has exploited the traditional genres of popular film (comedy, melodrama, the thriller) to establish his own status as a transnational auteur. Subject to adoration and to vilification the cinema of Almodóvar has proven emblematic of the transformations that Spain has undergone since 1975.
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