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Summer on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Spanish films in London

August 5, 2016

Press release by the Instituto Cervantes


Spanish cinema will become one of London´s summer focuses: BFI Southbank will show filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar´s films and 13 other Spanish movies that have inspired him. The season will include an extensive events programme

The British Film Institute (BFI), the lead body for film in the UK, will launch this summer, in collaboration with Instituto Cervantes, an unprecedented initiative in which Spanish cinema will become a major focus of its summer programme. The BFI’s 4 screen cinema BFI Southbank will host screenings from 1 August to 5 October of Pedro Almodóvar´s complete filmography. In addition, Almodóvar has personally selected 13 Spanish movies which have inspired him and are included in the programme. Londoners and tourists will have the opportunity to attend screenings of 32 Spanish movies overall.

Pedro Almodóvar is one of contemporary cinema’s most unique and talented filmmakers. He has won two Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards and seven Goya Awards. His work embraces melodrama, screwball comedy, noir and sci-fi, all worked through with a magical imagination that has produced a genre all of its own. The University of Oxford conferred him honorary degree at the annual Encaenia ceremony on 22 June 2016.

Together with this most popular Spanish filmmaker´s movies, including Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), adapted as a musical in the London East End last year; All about My Mother (1999); Volver(2006); What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984); Pepi, Luci, Bom (1980); Matador (1986) and Law of Desire (1987); Julieta, his 20th feature film, will be released. It will preview on Thursday 11 August, introduced by Almodóvar himself and actress Rossy de Palma, before screening on an extended run from Friday 26 August, when it will be released in UK cinemas.


from JULIETA by Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodóvar himself will assume an active role in the events and will, on 12 August, talk about his career, his love of cinema and the influences that have shaped his unique cinematic language. Additionally, among the personalities who will participate in this retrospective event are award-winning film composer Alberto Iglesias, Spanish filmmaker Pablo Berger, Cambridge University professor Brad Epps, urban designer Marc Funda and writer and curator María Delgado.

Simultaneously BFI Southbank will screen 13 Spanish movies that have been inspirational to Almodóvar’s screen career. British audiences and tourists visiting London in the summer will be able to enjoy movies as prominent as Main Street (Juan Antonio Bardem, 1956), It Happened in Broad Daylight (Ladislao Wajda, 1958), The Executioner (Luis Garcia Berlanga, 1963), Aunt Tula (Miguel Picazo, 1964), Strange Voyage(Fernando Fernán Gómez, 1964), Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura, 1967), Poachers (José Luis Borau, 1975), Rapture (Iván Zulueta, 1979), El sur (Víctor Erice, 1983), Jamón, Jamón (Bigas Luna, 1992), Thesis(Alejandro Amenábar, 1996), Blancanieves (Pablo Berger, 2012) or Magical Girl (Carlos Vermouth, 2014).


from ATAME by Pedro Almodovar

Across the river Thames, Somerset House, one of the highlights of London’s cultural scene, will screen the premiere of Julieta, starring Emma Suarez, Adriana Ugarte and Rossy de Palma, on 10 August. Pedro Almodóvar himself will attend the event. It is going to be the filmmaker’s third UK premiere at Somerset House.

Meanwhile, Curzon Cinemas, a chain specialising in art house films, will launch a mini-retrospective of recent movies by Almodóvar to celebrate the release of Julieta from late July to late August. Every feature will have a special introduction. The programme includes Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989), Live Flesh (1997), Volver(2006), Broken Embraces (2009) and Julieta.

British Film Institute read more

Somerset House read more

Curzon Cinemas read more 

Santiago Díaz Bravo

Press Advisor
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