Pedro Almodóvar has a lot on his plate, with at least three new projects in the mix, but he’s not too busy to do his part during the pandemic and wear a mask, as seen in a recent photo out of Madrid shared by his brother and producing partner Agustín. In the photo, Almodóvar and his star Tilda Swinton are sporting their personal protective equipment while on the first day of shooting “The Human Voice,” the Academy Award-winning director’s latest short film and first screen collaboration with Tilda Swinton. See below.
“The Human Voice” is based on a one-act play by Jean Cocteau, written in 1928 and first mounted in France in 1930. It concerns one woman’s final phone conversation with her longtime lover, who has plans to marry another woman. Almodóvar previously alluded to interest in the material before, including as inspiration for his Oscar-nominated 1988 breakout “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Almodóvar told IndieWire back in February that for “The Human Voice,” he worked with Swinton to update aspects of the story, where the character attempts to convince her partner not to leave her. “We worked with her to see if it would be correct for her to say this or that,” he said. “I thought that there is not any kind of woman who can behave like this because it’s very old-fashioned. That mentality doesn’t exist.”
This is the 70-year-old Almodóvar’s first foray into a full-on English-language movie, and his first film since 2019’s Cannes-winning “Pain and Glory.” While Almodóvar was offered “Sister Act” in the early ’90s, he declined. He was also intending to direct his 2016 Alice Munro adaptation “Julieta” in English, with Meryl Streep set to star, before he opted to make the film in Spanish with Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte.
Almodóvar referred to “The Human Voice,” which he wrote in Spanish and then had translated, as “very personal” and “a kind of visual experiment for me.” The filmmaker is also working on an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s short story collection “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” which he’s finishing writing, and is in talks to reunite with “Volver” star Penélope Cruz on a motherhood drama set for 2021.
Though Madrid was hit severely by coronavirus especially back in March, with more than 73,000 cases and nearly 8,500 deaths, the Spanish city has rebounded with far fewer daily cases as the area begins to open back up.
— Agustín Almodóvar oficial (@AgustinAlmo) July 16, 2020