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Pedro Almodóvar Reveals the Spanish Films That Inspire Him Most

His latest, "Julieta," recently played in competition at Cannes.


Pedro Almodóvar is arguably the most influential Spanish filmmaker working today, but no auteur is an island. The Academy Award winner (Best Original Screenplay for “Talk to Her,” who also won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for “All About My Mother,” has compiled a list of Spanish movies that inspire him for the British Film Institute, with choices ranging from “The Executioner” to “Poachers.” Check out the full list below.

READ MORE: Watch: First Trailer For Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Julieta,’ Premiering In Competition At Cannes

Main Street (“Calle Mayor,” 1956)

“‘Calle Mayor’ is a major work that has not only stood the test of time but has consolidated its reputation.”

“It Happened in Broad Daylight” (“El cebo,” 1958)

“‘El cebo’ is one of the few examples of a film in which a diverse mix of nationalities and talents crystallises into something beautiful and personal.”

“The Executioner” (“El verdugo,” 1963)

“‘The Executioner’ is an absolute masterpiece; seen now, it seems inconceivable that it was filmed in 1963.”

“Aunt Tula” (“La tía Tula,” 1964)

“For someone like me, who would make films about lonely, courageous women, ‘Aunt Tula’ by Miguel Picazo is still a role model.”

“Strange Voyage (“El extraño viaje,” 1964)

“It is an example of that peculiar Spanish neorealism, less sentimental than the Italian version that highlights one of our distinguishing features – a grotesque and sometimes surreal black humour.”

“Peppermint Frappé” (1967)

“Some films define themselves by means of a simple dedication; Peppermint Frappé’s is to Buñuel and openly embraces the Buñuelian surrealist influence.”

“Poachers” (“Furtivos,” 1975)

“Poachers is a Goyaesque fresco that takes place on a hill and its surroundings — a microcosm of Spanish society at the precise moment Franco was on his deathbed.”

“Rapture” (“Arrebato,” 1979)

“Arrebato is an ‘accursed’ film that nobody saw back then and which is now an absolute modern classic.”

“El sur” (1983)

“Can it be that an unfinished film is one of the best in Spanish cinema history? Yes it can, and that film is El sur.”

“Jamón, Jamón” (1992)

“The film is worth watching just to see Penélope Cruz walking in front of Javier Bardem’s motorcycle. And for its humour — fresh, physical and unquenchable.”

“Thesis” (“Tésis,” 1996)

“Alejandro Amenábar debuted in style with this skilful thriller about the market for violent images, in this case videos of real murders and torture, or snuff movies.”

Blancanieves” (2012)

“Berger’s experiment is, in my opinion, the best cinematographic version of the Brothers Grimm tale, risky and brilliant in every sense.”

“Magic Girl” (2014)

“Carlos Vermut is the latest big revelation of Spanish cinema.”

READ MORE: Pedro Almodovar Renames ‘Silencio’ To Avoid Confusion With Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’

Almodóvar’s most recent film, “Julieta,” premiered in Cannes last month. See his full thoughts on the 13 films that inspire him on the BFI website.

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