Without a doubt, Pedro Almodóvar has earned an important place in Spanish-language cinema worldwide throughout his years of career. Although he has a defined style and something that makes the audience feel the film is a work by Almodóvar and not just another film, at 71 years of age he continues to explore new paths. Something that has identified this filmmaker’s cinema is the connection that exists between the female characters in each film.
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According to his words, he has always had a particular taste for the portrait of a woman on the brink of the abyss, and although he also has films starring men (such as Pain and Glory – 96%), femininity is still present in some way. Despite the fact that in his filmography the Spanish language has stood out, now he has ventured to make a 30-minute short film spoken entirely in English: La Voz Humana – 100%.
The film stars Tilda Swinton, an actress who has earned an important place in the film industry as well as commercial cinema (Constantine – 46%, Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme – 89%, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – 76%), as well as in independent cinema and sometimes deeper. During an interview with The Guardian, the Spanish director spoke about what it was like to work with Swinton on this project.
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The Human Voice, based on a monologue by Jean Cocteau, is perhaps one of the stories that has resonated the most in Almodóvar’s head for more than 30 years, and several of his films even have small moments inspired by this work, which he also does. reference in the short film. According to his words, he decided to make this project completely spoken in English because he needed a fresher air, since the Spanish language would have added melodrama.
The director of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – 89% assured that the project would not have been possible without Tilda swinton, who, according to his words, made everything flow better. Although the original character was quite submissive, the presence of the actress gave her more autonomy, which she sought for the modern woman to better identify with her by making a declaration of independence at the end.
[…] Tilda was the key. His presence, his faith in me, it was all due to his talent that I still felt he was the same person in English as in Spanish. And I had a complete knowledge of my work! I hadn’t realized that she knew him so well.
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Tilda, meanwhile, commented that the first film she saw of Almodóvar was Women at the edge of a nervous attack, ensuring that even though he had already started his career in film studios, the film had a great impact on his work. Swinton and Almodóvar had already met before, coinciding in some important events, and although the filmmaker seemed shy in the presence of others, the actress remembers how she approached him saying that she was willing to learn Spanish so that they could work together.
The Human Voice It is a film that was filmed in the middle of the pandemic, so the entire production was done in a different way with social distancing and constant testing, at a time when there were still doubts about whether it could continue to make films as before. It will premiere in the next few days and is expected to have space in some theaters outside of film festivals.