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All About Almodóvar’s Men

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Edited By Juan Rey

Pedro Almodóvar is an internationally acclaimed Spanish director. The national and international fascination over Almodóvar’s cinema lies in his ability to reflect the problems of contemporary society, his lucidity in combining the urban and the rural, his ability to express the frustrations of modern man, as well as his freshness and spontaneity. Although the vast majority of studies on this Spanish director have focused on women and the gay world, his films are crowded with many types and archetypes of heterosexual men. This groundbreaking edited volume studies the men in the cinema of Almodóvar from a broad yet comprehensive and complementary perspective. Each chapter of All About Almodóvar’s Men methodically dissects these male characters—their misery and their greatness, their frustrations and their desires—offering a kaleidoscopic view of man that goes beyond the narrow framework in which many studies have locked the rich cinema of Almodóvar.

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9. The Son: From Corporeal Representation to the Indelible Memory (Alberto Hermida / Sergio Cobo-Durán)

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9. The Son: From Corporeal Representation to the Indelible Memory

Alberto Hermida and Sergio Cobo-Durán

University of Seville

One of the trademarks of Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema is its evident or suggested autobiographical nature, capturing (im)possible portraits of his own family from different angles or perspectives on film.1 In this sense, the child as character and his take on childhood in his filmography, arise from the director’s life experience and personal context, which was characterized by the difficult post-Civil War years and the humble economic condition of the rural environment in which he was raised. They were years during which ration coupons, censorship and sexual and religious repression became elements central to the social structure of the filmmaker. Pedro, the third off our brothers, is a child forced to behave as an adult. Fraternal relationships have been a key factor in his life, as exemplified by the role of producer in the filmography of his younger brother, Agustín. Thus, not by chance, his work could be examined on the basis of a complicated past, which like a “mirror” projects a reflection in his films. In his cinematographic work, the fraternal and maternal/paternal-filial relationships acquire a multifaceted prominence that, while transcending the characters and their particular histories, are essential in the articulation of the identities of the protagonists.

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