This Is What the Most Iconic Madrid Locations From Pedro Almodóvar’s Movies Look Like Now

Lead Photo: Photo: Carlos Pina
Photo: Carlos Pina
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For the better part of a century, cities like New York, Paris, and Los Angeles have reigned supreme as the symbolic capitals of our global collective consciousness. Their parks, avenues, and monuments are instantly recognizable for anyone with access to a movie theater or TV screen thanks to the vision of filmmakers like Woody Allen, Jean-Luc Godard, and Quentin Tarantino. But there are a few cities across the world that come in a close second to these recurring icons of big-screen representation – and largely due to the prolific output of Spain’s own cinematic master, Pedro Almodóvar, Madrid is doubtless one of them.

Of course, Almodóvar isn’t himself a native of the Castilian capital, but rather a small and eminently ordinary town in the central region of La Mancha known as Calzada de Calatrava. At age 18, the budding artist made a decision that any restless creative mind would make in his position, and left home for Madrid against his parents wishes. There, Almodóvar quickly staked out his place in the history of the capital city as part of the countercultural Movida Madrileña, which upended the city’s underground scene following the death of dictator Francisco Franco.

RELATED: MoMA Is Screening Every Pedro Almodóvar Film in December. Here’s How You Can Buy Tickets

Since then, Almodóvar has made Spain’s largest city the backdrop for some of his most recognizable master works, and his intimate familiarity with Madrid’s plazas, parkways, and back-alleys has given films like Todo sobre mi madre and ¡Átame! an unmistakably authentic sense of place. In fact, Madrid’s cityscape is so important to the master’s 20-strong filmography, that writer and photographer Carlos Pina was recently inspired to revisit some of the most iconic locations from Almodóvar’s back catalogue.

Using 13 stills from some of the director’s most-beloved films, Pina does an enviable job of matching the camera’s original angle and lighting to the same setting in contemporary Madrid, revealing a city that in many ways has remained remarkably constant despite the transformations of the last three decades. As Pina states in a brief introduction to the photos: “Spain’s capital is [Almodóvar’s] paradise and his nemesis, from which he draws his light and where he sketches out his darkest scenes. From the gloomiest nights… to observations of the city’s comings and goings from its balconies, Almodóvar’s films have always incorporated Madrid as a protagonist rather than a mere papier mâché decoration.”

Check them out below.

[h/t: El Huffington Post] All photos by Carlos Pina.

Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón (1980)

The edificios AZCA

¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? (1984)

Las Colmenas, next to the M-30

Matador (1986)

El viaducto de Segovia

La ley del deseo (1987)

Conde Duque

Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988)

Calle O’Donnell next to the maternity ward of the Hospital Gregorio Marañón.

¡Átame! (1990)

Plaza de la Villa

La flor de mi secreto (1995)

Plaza Mayor

Todo sobre mi madre (1999)

Teatro de Bellas Artes, calle Marqués de Casa Riera

Todo sobre mi madre (1999)

La calle Marqués de Casa Riera

Hable con ella (2002)

The Filmoteca Española at the Cine Doré

Volver (2006)

Tetuán district, next to calle Tenerife

Los abrazos rotos (2008)

El Museo Chicote

Julieta (2016)

Calle Fernando VI 19