by Marvin D’Lugo
University of Illinois Press, 176 pages, $19.95
FOR NEARLY A QUARTER of a century, Pedro Almodóvar has been crafting films of increasing beauty and complexity. They are films that explore the political and cultural detritus of the Spanish psyche. Like all great art, they transcend their particularities to offer a vision of the human condition that resonates with all of us.
Almodóvar once remarked, “I am not a gay director who does gay movies for a gay audience.” But he does admit that gay culture informs his films, and anyone familiar with his unforgettable explorations of sex and gender, not to mention his fascination with melodrama, Catholic iconography, and kitsch, could be forgiven for resorting to the facile description of “gay director.” Marvin D’Lugo’s Pedro Almodóvar, part of the University of Illinois’ Contemporary Film Directors series, is a concise but comprehensive analysis of Almodóvar’s work.