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A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

Marvin D'Lugo (Editor), Kathleen M. Vernon (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-9582-9
584 pages
April 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar (1405195827) cover image


Edited by leading authorities on the subject, and bringing together a stellar cast of contributors, this detailed appraisal of Pedro Almodóvar’s unique cinematic art examines the themes, style, and aesthetics of his oeuvre and locates it in the context of the profound cultural transformations in Spain since the 1970s.

  • Brings together a stellar cast of contributors from across the globe  including recognized and established specialists as well as talented younger scholars
  • Features contributions by Spanish film historians, where studies of Almodóvar’s work have been underrepresented in the academic literature
  • Deploys new approaches to the analysis of film authorship by exploring contextual issues such as Almodóvar’s transnational appeal and the political dimensions of his works
  • Traces the director’s fruitful collaborations in the areas of art and design, fashion and music
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: The Skin He Lives In 1
Marvin D’Lugo and Kathleen M. Vernon

Part I Bio-Filmography 19

1 Almodóvar’s Self-Fashioning: The Economics and Aesthetics of Deconstructive Autobiography 21
Paul Julian Smith

2 Creative Beginnings in Almodóvar’s Work 39
Francisco A. Zurian

3 Almodóvar and Hitchcock: A Sorcerer’s Apprenticeship 59
Dona Kercher

4 A Life, Imagined and Otherwise: The Limits and Uses of Autobiography in Almodóvar’s Films 88
Alberto Mira

Part II Spanish Contexts 105

5 El Deseo’s “Itinerary”: Almodóvar and the Spanish Film Industry 107
Marina Díaz López

6 Almodóvar and Spanish Patterns of Film Reception 129
Josetxo Cerdán and Miguel Fernández Labayen

7 Memory, Politics, and the Post-Transition in Almodóvar’s Cinema 153
Juan Carlos Ibáñez

8 The Ethics of Oblivion: Personal, National, and Cultural Memories in the Films of Pedro Almodóvar 176
Adrián Pérez Melgosa

Part III At the Limits of Gender 201

9 Our Rapists, Ourselves: Women and the Staging of Rape in the Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar 203
Leora Lev

10 Paternity and Pathogens: Mourning Men and the Crises of Masculinity in Todo Sobre Mi Madre and Hable Con Ella 225
Dean Allbritton

11 Domesticating Violence in the Films of Pedro Almodóvar 244
Noelia Saenz

12 La piel que habito: A Story of Imposed Gender and the Struggle for Identity 262
Francisco A. Zurian

Part IV Re-readings 279

13 Re-envoicements and Reverberations in Almodóvar’s Macro-Melodrama 281
Marsha Kinder

14 The Flower of His Secret: Carne trémula and the Mise en Scène of Desire 304
Celestino Deleyto

15 Scratching the Past on the Surface of the Skin: Embodied Intersubjectivity, Prosthetic Memory, and Witnessing in Almodóvar’s La mala educación 322
Julián Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla

16 Almodóvar’s Stolen Images 345
Javier Herrera

Part V Global Almodóvar 365

17 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: From Madrid (1988) to New York (2010) 367
Isolina Ballesteros

18 Almodóvar’s Global Musical Marketplace 387
Kathleen M. Vernon

19 Almodóvar and Latin America: The Making of a Transnational Aesthetic in Volver 412
Marvin D’Lugo

20 Is there a French Almodóvar? 432
Jean-Claude Seguin

21 Almodóvar in Asia: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and LGBT Film Culture 453
E. K. Tan

Part VI Art and Commerce 469

22 To the Health of the Author: Art Direction in Los abrazos rotos 471
John D. Sanderson

23 Making Spain Fashionable: Fashion and Design in Pedro Almodóvar’s Cinema 495
Gerard Dapena

24 Almodóvar, Cyberfandom, and Participatory Culture 524
Vicente Rodríguez Ortega

Index 551

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Author Information

Marvin D'Lugo is Professor of Spanish and Adjunct Professor of Screen Studies at Clark University, Massachusetts where he teaches courses on Spanish and Latin-American cinema. He has published a number of books including Pedro Almodóvar (2006) in the University of Illinois Press’ Contemporary Film Directors series.

Kathleen M. Vernon is Associate Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is author and editor of numerous studies on Spanish cinema and culture including Post-Franco, Postmodern: The Films of Pedro Almodóvar (1995).

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“Well researched and clearly organized, the volume boasts a helpful scholarly apparatus.  Almodovar scholars will want to keep this companion handy, and all advanced students of film will appreciate it.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Graduate students, researchers, faculty.”  (Choice, 1 December 2013)


“Marvin D'Lugo and Kathleen M. Vernon give us the ideal companion to Pedro Almodovar's films. Established and emerging writers offer a rainbow of insights for fans as well as academics.”
Jerry W. Carlson, Professor of Film Studies, The City College & Graduate Center CUNY

“Rarely has a contemporary film artist been treated to the kind of broad, rich discussion of their work that can be found in A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar.”
Richard Peña, Professor of Film Studies, Columbia University

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