If true art is born of irreverence, Spain’s greatest contemporary director Pedro Almodóvar, is an artist. His cinema, with its trademark defiance of the excesses of religion (read Catholicism), gender (read patriarchy), mainstream sexuality (read ‘heterocracy’), and even the medium itself (read form over narrative; melodrama over realism; spectacle over sombre introspection; a non-judgemental, non-committal auteur over an omniscient father figure). All this, coupled with his layered characterization and use of cinematic language, has stunned art house film lovers the world over.
In a too-good-to-believe opportunity for Indian cinephiles, seven of his works including his last, Volver, starring his muse Penelope Cruz, will be screened in the Capital through February. “The reason why he appeals to audiences the world over is that he picks original and extraordinary situations not entirely drawn from real life and yet his films retain an essentially Spanish character,” says Gonzalo Ortiz, cultural counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in New Delhi, which is organizing the retrospective. Ortiz’s favourite is All About my Mother, a perfectly stimulating date opportunity on Valentine’s Day.
(At the India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. At 6.30pm. Passes can be collected from the Embassy of Spain, Prithviraj Road, New Delhi.)