Skip to main content

Alejandro Daza


Pedro Almodovar released last year a film called Pain and Glory (Spain,2019) and according to him, this is the final installation of a trilogy that explores the concept of desire. The remaining two films are: Law of desire (Spain,1987) and Bad education (Spain, 2004). Having seen them carefully I find similarities among them in form and content, for instance, some of the characters in the trilogy, some situations, and scenes, seems to merge or to belong one into the other.

Similar themes also converge: Films within films linked to the concept of representation, creation (in the figure of the author) and a desire that transgresses the moral code.

To avoid confusion among the three films with heavy plot lines and levels of representation, the development of this thesis will deal with each of the films separately, they will be exposed chronologically and each of them will have a proper image breakdown of the analyzed sequences. The films will have the following breakdown although the order may change according to the logical development of the film: As a way of understanding how art is reflected on the author, I will explain the plot and include (when relevant) several facts from Almodovar’s life gathered form interviews and speeches, that translate or gain significance in the reading of trilogy. The inclusion is meant to be used as a way of illustration and not with the purpose of making a biographical statement or to imply that any of the films were made with such purpose.

I will make a detailed description on each of the films pointing out the similarities among them as the trilogy progresses, and also refer to creative choices undertaken by Almodovar in the aim of depicting desire on each of the films. Desire here will be treated from a psychoanalytical framework and will be applied both to the films and to the films within the films.

The concept of authorship will be also stated since the films show a concern to explore the creative drive and the line that separates reality from fiction, in this particular case, creative drive will be reviewed form the perspective of screenwriting, adaptation and film direction.

As a way on understanding Almodovar as an author, I will focus my attention on the editing techniques, his use of the voice(and voice over), the use of transitions to disguise or to exhibit the cinematic apparatus and the effect this devices may have on the audience.

Lastly I will deal with the idea of creation and the idea of emotion as a conclusive stamens of the trilogy. To better understand Almodovar’s notion of the creative drive I will examine the different screenwriters on the trilogy and the implications of the emotion (expressed as truth) behind the stories. I will also include some of the literary references made by Almodovar that can provide a better understanding for his oeuvre.

Keywords: Desire, creation, apparatus, montage, representation, authorship, gender, semiotics