June 16, 2019
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Banderas: Almodóvar's latest film is the most autobiographical to date

Madrid, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- Pedro Almodóvar's movies always contain an element of autobiographical study, but the Spanish director's latest work "Dolor y gloria" was his most intimate to date, actor Antonio Banderas, who plays the lead role in the feature, told EFE during an interview with the cast on Tuesday.

Leaping back and forth through time, "Dolor y gloria" (in English, "Pain and Glory") follows the childhood and the adult trials and tribulations of struggling director Salvador Mallo (Banderas), 69-year-old Almadóvar's alter ego, heaping focus on some of the most formative occasions and relationships dotting the Castile-La Mancha-born filmmaker.

"He's used cinema as a way to communicate very complicated themes, which is the only way he communicates with the world and with himself," Banderas, who has long been affiliated with Almadóvar, said.

"He said that this is his most autobiographical film, but they all have an element of that. This is even more intimate," he added.

Almodóvar agreed that it was his most sincere and personal movie so far.

In fact, it almost resembled his life. The film is narrated from a point in the character's life wrought with personal, physical and emotional crisis.

"It's not a documentary," the Oscar-winning director said, laughing. "I started the script with myself in mind, but immediately the use of fiction took me down another path that does not exactly reflect reality, which is not to say that they are lies, but it is not literal, I am not what Antonio does," he added.

"There are many things in my film from my life, yes, and the film intimately represents me, but I have not gone down the same paths that Antonio went down," he said.

An example of the use of fiction includes the use of heroin, which Almadóvar said he had never tried in his life.

"What I wanted people to see was that heroin was very present in the 1980s, which is when it developed its personality, as did I," he said.

"Dolor y gloria" was due to show in Spanish cinemas on Mar. 22.

His mother, a role played by Penélope Cruz during his childhood flashbacks and by Julieta Serrano in the later years, is a recurrent figure in the film.

"I knew his mother and she was a wonderful woman who loved her son," Cruz told EFE.

Serrano, who starred in Almodóvar's 1983 dark comedy "Entre tinieblas" ("Dark Habits"), said the director removed any pressure of taking on the personal role by making her feel secure.

Banderas has featured in eight of Almodóvar's movies, the first being "Matador" (1986) when the actor was just 28.

Almodóvar has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Foreign Language Film for his 1999 movie "Todo sobre mi madre" ("All About My Mother") and another for Best Original Screenplay for his 2002 work "Hable con ella" ("Talk to Her").

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