CANNES, France – Pedro Almodovar recalled his childhood, love for cinema and regret at not kissing Antonio Banderas and Leonardo Sbaraglia at the Cannes Film Festival reception for his latest film Pain and Glory.
“We are very, very happy even if it is raining, I have not known a rain as happy as this morning, I think I will not be able to forget last night, as the boleros say,” the filmmaker said in a press conference to present the movie, accompanied by Banderas, Sbaraglia, Penelope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia and Nora Navas.
He appeared relaxed and joked with the press, saying that his main addiction “is to sleep eight hours every day and to know that I am going to make a new movie.”
Almodovar said that his great ambition has always been to make films “in the most personal way possible.”
“That they responded to my miniscule mentality, that’s a big risk and it has to be assumed, but for me the meaning of success is that I’ve been able to make the films I wanted to make,” he added.
“The wonderful night of yesterday means nothing more or nothing less than having experienced that wonderful night, the problems in life are the same as before.”
What you have to feel to tell stories, he said, is “that your life goes on telling them.”
Film also evoked memories of childhood, similar to the character Banderas plays in Pain and Glory, a filmmaker from a small town, who has experienced success but then goes through a period of forgetfulness and pain.
He recalled the way his mother used to look at him when he was little “and it was not exactly with pride” and how he first discovered himself in the eyes of his schoolmates.
“A look that has a lot of rejection, criticism and humiliation it’s a very hard experience for a child, as hard as your mother looks at you as a strange being. But I was a very strong child and they could not with me with that look of strangeness,” he said.
He joked that he would have liked to be between Sbaraglia and Banderas when they shot a passionate kiss.
“I would like to have kissed the two with the same intensity but it has not occurred to me to ask them as a director or as a man,” Almodovar said.
He added that he was proud of the scene and said that a passionate kiss between two men over fifty is something unusual in cinema.
Almodovar spoke about the experience of a love cut short in a moment in his own life.
“Due to circumstances you have to separate yourself from that person and it’s very painful, it’s like cutting an arm,” he added.
“I have not had the reconciliation and that’s why I would have liked to be in the middle of the two and kiss passionately Leonardo Sbaraglia and Antonio Banderas.”
He said he feels close to Brazilian culture, which is always present in his films.
“Most of the music I listen to is Brazilian when I write, it’s the one that best goes with the rhythm I write,” he added.
And he remembered his first visit to Brazil, with Caetano Veloso, in which he identified with the colors and vitality of the neighborhoods.
“I am very sorry that now you are going through such a bad period and I hope that the Brazilian people find the solution by changing the direction of the country,” he said.