Sure, we all love Pedro Almodóvar. For nearly four decades, the 66-year-old Spaniard’s stylish, campy melodramas have made us laugh and moved us to tears, all while subtly breaking down the barriers between high art and entertainment. But rarely do we stop to consider how truly revolutionary the Manchego auteur has been in the history of film. So New York’s Museum of Modern Art has decided to give us a gentle reminder in the form of a major career retrospective later this year.
The sweeping film series will kick of with a preview screening of Almodóvar’s latest, Julieta, on November 29th. And in case you don’t realize how big of a deal this actually is, MoMA’s presentation will take place nearly a month before the Julieta’s scheduled nationwide release on December 21st. For those of us who didn’t have a chance to make it to Cannes this year, or just missed the Barcelona premiere in April, this will probably be the best opportunity to annoy your friends with spoilers ahead of the film’s official holiday release.
From there MoMA will walk us through the entire 20-title filmography of Spain’s modern master, starting with his rough and raunchy 1980 feature debut Pepi, Luci, Bom – a no-budget celebration of female friendship that showcased many of the filmmaker’s longstanding obsessions – and moving through classics like 1988’s Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,) and 1999’s Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother).
For younger audiences who discovered him closer to his artistic peak, it’s an unparalleled opportunity to observe Almodóvar’s entire development. From the decidedly unpolished, guerrilla style of Pepi, Luci, Bom through the glossy pop aesthetic of recent hits like Los amantes pasajeros (I’m So Excited!), MoMA’s retrospective will show us how Almodóvar has expanded, contracted, transformed, and evolved over the years without losing the distinctive creative stamp of a true artist.
“Pedro Almodóvar” will run at The Museum of Modern Art’s Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters from November 29 – December 17, 2016.