The 3 questions - May 03, 2017
Pedro Almodóvar is considered a one of a kind director with an incomparable talent, and although many forget it (or just don’t know about it), it’s within the cultural movement of movida that the filmmaker has carved out such a unique identity. Jean-Max Méjean, Almodòvar French specialist, tells us everything about the movement.
Orange Pop: Pedro Almodóvar is described as a child of the movida. But what exactly is the movida?
Jean-Max Méjean: La movida is a cultural movement that emerged suddenly after the death of Franco in the mid 70s. From the very beginning, this movement was a drastic departure from Franco’s Spain, which was very Catholic and full of restrictions. Madrid’s movie store didn’t have the movies Pedro was interested in. So he had to go to France to watch them. That was the time when Salvado Dalì said that Perpignan was the center of the world because a lot of Spanish people were crossing the borders to watch more subversive movies in France. Movida has had a huge impact on Almodòvar’s early work like The Labyrinth Of Passion or What Have I Done to Deserve This?. It was. It was like a revolt of some sort, a little punk, anticlerical and fascinated with the transgender identity, which is a recurring theme in the filmography of Almodóvar.
O. Pop: What role did Almodóvar play within the movida?
J.M.M: At first, he was linked to the movement through music. Let’s not forget that he started out as a musician with his band Almodòvar & McNamara. That’s why he can be compared to Emir Kusturica who’s also a musician and a director. In The Labyrinth Of Passion that was released in 1983 – which marks the very beginning of the movida – he interprets a song that is rather symptomatic of its time. The lyrics go “Voy a ser mama” which means “I will be a mother”. He says that he wants to have kids. That too is a recurring theme of his filmography
O. Pop: In time, has his role evolved in any capacity?
J.M.M: Soon enough he became the self-proclaimed pope of the movida. People compared this movement to New York’s underground scene – for better or for worse – so Almodòvar jokingly used to say that he was Andy Warhol with a dark wig. Rumor has it one day, at a party in Madrid, Almodòvar met Warhol who said to him : « Im happy to meet my brunette doppelganger ». I would have loved to be there on that night