* Spanish film “Pain and Glory” (Dolor y Gloria, 2019) nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Thanks to him, Antonio Banderas expects to receive the award for Best Actor. Oscar results will be announced on February 10, 2020
The locations in the films of Pedro Almodovar are worked out as carefully as the characters of his characters. Remember the living room of Pepa Marcos (this role was played by Carmen Maura) in “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (1988): the orange walls literally matched the color of the fatal gazpacho soup prepared by the main character. Or the house in Barcelona that Manuela (Cecilia Roth) is shooting in All About My Mother (1999), with the famous 1970s-style wallpaper. Or the kitchen from the movie “Juliet” (2016) – with the service of the Galician company Sagardelos on one of the shelves. And of course, the director’s latest film Pain and Glory, where Gomez recreated the Madrid interior of Almodovar – with the same furniture, books and art objects.
“All because of the influence of classic Hollywood cinema: the environment where the action unfolds is always important to him. In his films, Pedro seems to be trying to revive and rethink the golden age of Hollywood … In addition, he is a subtle man who, in principle, is interested in art, ”says Antkson Gomez.
The production designer devotes about six months to work on each film; he is one of the first to whom Pedro Almodovar shows the script. “My job is to design the shooting space: both the existing locations and the scenery that we are building in the studio,” says Gomez. “Interior design is a big part of my work, I am even more closely connected with the world of design than with cinema.”
Pedro Almodovar has shot more than twenty films, and it is easy to trace the director’s special approach to interiors: eclectic, bright, but at the same time typical of his era … However, in the last films of Almodovar, interiors have become calmer.
In Pain and Glory, Salvador Maglio (the director’s alter ego), played by Antonio Banderas, lives in a house filled with art objects (such as Maruja Maglio’s surreal painting Diagonal Masks from 1951, which we see in the photo ) and design art objects. There is a story behind every piece of furniture or accessory that only reinforces the emotional message. For example, the director fell in love at first sight with the work “A Bunch of Grapes” – a small oil painting by Maruja Maglio – at the artist’s exhibition in the Guillermo de Osma gallery in Madrid in 2017.
“Obviously, there is a personal mark in all of Pedro’s films. First of all, it is red. And also gray-blue, ash-green and apricot. Usually Almodovar avoids white, he does not have either pastel pink or purple shades. In the last pictures we worked with large masses of color. Each scene is a canvas of the main shade, on which we placed objects that created meaning, ”says Antkson Gomes, the best director of the European Film Academy in 2019.
It’s not only about creating a colorful interior, but also about giving it a symbolic meaning. In addition to red and art objects, typical Spanish household items appear here, local kitsch – like crocheted rugs, lush baroque furniture or the familiar floor cleaning solution.
“All of Pedro’s films feature vases – with or without flowers – and soft sofas in warm shades like reds or oranges. We try not to repeat ourselves. If the subject was filmed in one of the films, it will definitely not be in the next one, ”says the production designer.
Of course, the buildings chosen for the main scenes also give an impression of Spanish architecture. The lens also captures the cave huts in Paterna near Valencia, the Picasso Tower – the most famous skyscraper in Madrid, and panel hive houses along the M-30 motorway, and buildings in the style of Catalan modernism in Barcelona, and, of course, houses the region of La Mancha, where the director himself comes from … But this, as they say, is a completely different story.
Have you already seen Pedro Almodovar’s new film Pain and Glory? What do you think about the interiors in this and other films of the master? Are you curious about what objects appear in the frame?