Almodóvar celebrates 50 years of filming through the streets of Madrid: photographic journey of the city in the Conde Duque

Doctor Esquerdo’s apartment, Pepi, Luci, Bom and the Plaza Mayor in The law of Desire: The Conde Duque Center in the capital hosts photos of his films in Madrid to celebrate Pedro Almodóvar’s 50 years in cinema.

Madrid, Almodóvar girl. Three words that give the exhibition its title and summarize the presence, footprint and soul of the capital in the director’s filmography manchegor over 50 years. As Pedro himself once said: “I grew, I enjoyed, I suffered, I gained weight and I developed in Madrid. And I did many of these things at the same pace as the city.”

It is half a century since his career in cinema, when he began filming in the capital. To capture the Almodovarian universe, this photographic exhibition is inaugurated at the Conde Duque Center, which invites us to explore the streets and corners that the man from La Mancha immortalized in his films. Without going any further, a memorable scene of The law of desire (1987): on the façade of the building, at number 11 of the street of the same name, the mythical moment in which a water hose waters Carmen Maura. Clad in a butane orange sheath dress, the actress smiles through clenched teeth. That Plaza Mayor is also mythical, deserted and nocturnal, the scene of a romantic scene.

On Hortaleza Street

Each film includes a collection of photographs, some incunabula, such as the album of Pepi, Luci, Bom (1978), with Maura, Alaska and Javier Furia dressed as chulapos, in Doctor Esquerdo’s apartment. More examples: In darkness (1983), with snapshots of the locations in the convent of Recambios de Santa María Magdalena at number 88 Hortaleza Street. In What have I done to deserve this (1984) we see Pedro Almodóvar in the film leaving San Francisco el Grande. This film was filmed in the beehives of the Concepción neighborhood, built in the 50s next to the M-30. The curator of the exhibition, Pedro Sánchez Castrejónauthor of All about me Madridtakes us on a tour through the most recognizable scenes of the man from La Mancha’s career.

The attic of ‘Women’

If there is an unforgettable terrace, it is the one on the attic of Women at the edge of a nervous attack (1988), with those exotic plants and that beach aesthetic at the edge of the sea. Sánchez Castrejón tells us that the building where Carmen Maura lives in the film is at Montalbán 7. But the views of that monumental Madrid belong to the roof of the Círculo de Bellas Artes. In the sample you can see the forillo (bottom) of Women, by Félix Murcia, thanks to the Spanish Film Library and Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts. Since we are in the Circle, his coffee, La Pecera, comes out in Reading (1993).

On the Segovia Bridge

More scenarios: how to forget the EMT bus, where Penélope Cruz’s character gives birth in Tremulous Flesh (1997). Also, the Segovia Bridge, in The passing lovers (2013). The same historical place of Las Vistillas that María Cardenal frequented, the character obsessed with death in Matador. A film from 1986 in that late Movida, with Assumpta Serna and Antonio Banderas on the immortal poster designed by the musician Carlos Berlanga.