entertainment

Pedro Almodóvar never sees himself as an activist but wants to reflect ‘the story of real life as it is’

The Spanish filmmaker has brought many queer stories to cinemas

2019-10-03

Words: Steve Brown

Pedro Almodóvar never thinks of himself as an LGBTQ activist but he knows society has a problem with the community.

The Spanish filmmaker has brought many queer stories to cinemas including Bad Education, Julieta, I’m so Excited and Law of Desire.

And while speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Almodóvar admits he never sees himself as an activist but wanted to reflect ‘the story of real life as it is’.

He says: “I’ve never thought of myself as an activist, right? I wanted to put this on screen, but someone who just tells the story of real life as it is.

“I happened to be surrounded by queer people, transgender people, people who also lived their lives in full acceptance of themselves.

“And this is what you then see reflected in my films. What I of course was aware of is the way that society perhaps had a problem with these people.

“And therefore what I really gave them was the ample room of a story for them to be able to explore this.”

His latest film, Pain and Glory, stars Antonio Banderas as a film director whose body has failed him making him unable to work.

While dealing with his ailments, he looks back at formative moments in his life — his childhood, his first love, and his career. 

And Almodóvar says his new film does something other queer films don’t. It shows two older men kissing and says it’s still ‘passionate and exciting’.

He continued: “But there’s also something in Pain and Glory that you hardly ever see in queer cinema, which is these two older men in their 60s kissing and it’s still passionate and exciting.

“I don’t really consider myself or want to be the pioneer of anything, but what I take very seriously is to be able to portray the very different gamuts of sexuality that exist for all kinds of human beings, and to represent that as honestly as possible. And not from the lens of activism, but from the position of being true to life.”