Book Review – The Pedro Almodóvar Archives

We’re rather fond of Taschen’s coffee table books over here at Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second, having covered last year’s book on Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon; The Greatest Film Never Made upon its release (check that out here). The publishing house have followed up that work with an examination of the films of Pedro Almodóvar, with The Pedro Almodóvar Archives, which is written by the spanish director himself, and edited by Paul Duncan.

The Pedro Almodóvar Archives is a film by film exploration of the work of Almodóvar, from 1980’s Pepi, Luci, Bom through to last year’s career apex The Skin I Live In, and follows in the vein of the publishing giant’s tomes on Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman; each film is essentially represented as a chapter, filled with notes on the film in question from Almodóvar himself alongside words from such Spanish literary luminaries as  Gustavo Martín Garzo and film scholars like Ángel Fernández-Santos. The archives ooze passion on every level; the heartfelt reminiscence from the director placing in to perspective just how formidable a body of work Almodóvar has created across the past three decades, with his own spin on the melodrama being one of the key late-20th century cinematic phenomena, and wonderful, bright photographs, which capture the filmmaker’s unique style perfectly taking pride of place and on occasion occupying whole pages of the substantial book. 

The Pedro Almodóvar Archives presents the tale of each movie from both sides of the camera, with several hundred photographs (both film stills and behind-the-scenes snaps) sitting alongside promo material, contextual ephemera and critical evaluation. This first edition of the book, which is limited to 12,500 copies also comes complete with a strip of film from the directors own personal 35mm copy of 2006’s Volver to boot, ensuring that never has a more personal exploration of the great filmmaker’s work ever been made available. 

The Pedro Almodóvar Archives retails for £135, and is available now. 

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