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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Spain

Pedro Almodóvar set to finally shoot in English

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- The Spanish director is working on an upcoming short film starring Tilda Swinton plus a film adaptation of five Lucia Berlin stories, included in her book A Manual for Cleaning Women

Pedro Almodóvar set to finally shoot in English
Director Pedro Almodóvar and actress Tilda Swinton

Ever since Pedro Almodóvar attended the Oscars ceremony for the first time, in 1988, with his nomination for Best Foreign-language Film for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Hollywood’s film industry has been trying to tempt him. Stars such as Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep and even Angelina Jolie, among others, have offered themselves up to work with the filmmaker. After he eventually scooped the Oscars for All About My Mother and Talk to Her [+see also:
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, there was even talk of the Spaniard making a film adaptation of the sexually charged western The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer and shooting it in the USA. He also got several commissions, such as the adaptation of the Peter Dexter novel The Paperboy (which eventually ended up being directed by Lee Daniels). None of these projects have come to fruition over the last few decades, but now it seems that the successful Manchegan helmer is finally going to shoot a short in the English language.

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In April, British actress Tilda Swinton is set to become the latest “Almodóvar girl” when she heads to Madrid to star in a short film based on La voix humaine, a play by Jean Cocteau that Pedro previously paid tribute to in the aforementioned comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown as well as in Law of Desire, where Carmen Maura, giving a magnificent turn as the transsexual Tina Quintero, performed it on stage, directed by her fictional brother, a gay filmmaker played by Eusebio Poncela. The work consists of a dramatic monologue delivered by a woman who is talking to her lover on the phone after he has just got married to another girl. Swinton, who has recently been in Colombia filming the latest movie by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Memoria, previously came to Madrid for a brief spell, during the shoot for Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control (2009).

In addition, the next feature by Almodóvar will be shot outside Spain: specifically, in the USA and Mexico. It will be his own personal reinterpretation of the book A Manual for Cleaning Women, a heavily autobiographical work by late US author Lucia Berlin, a wandering alcoholic who tried her hand at all sorts of jobs. She is also a woman that Pedro is absolutely fascinated with, much like Alice Munro (whose bibliography spawned the plot of Julieta [+see also:
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) and Djuna Barnes, whom Pedro paid tribute to in a scene from The Flower of My Secret.

As always, the company run by the Almodóvar brothers, El Deseo, will take care of production duties on both of these projects.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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