Sixth Form Spanish language pupils were treated to a unique insight into Almodóvar’s cinematography by Dr Olga Gomez-Cash from Lancaster University. Dr Gomez-Cash, discussed her studies on two films by Pedro Almodóvar: Todo sobre mi madre and Volver.

We focused on the director’s ability to take us to a parallel universe, to lift us out of day-to-day life and experience wacky, outrageous and zany stories through plot twists, characters and camera angles. Gomez-Cash highlighted how this is conveyed by allowing scenes to flow into one another, creating dreamlike scenarios. This in turn encourages the audience to become immersed in the experience and believe in what they are viewing. She pointed out to us how Almodóvar really does make the unimaginable possible.

Beyond the magical and majestic realism that he has created, we discussed his importance to Spanish culture and values. When comparing these two works, we see the importance and strength of female solidarity with almost an entirely female cast overcoming emotionally traumatic events to emerge as fierce survivors. Additionally, the colourful nature of his films has played an important role in ‘La movida madrilleña’, contributing to a society’s expulsion of oppression after the 36 years of the Franco dictatorship.

Sienna Rushton (Sn)