The Venice Film Festival presented a Golden Lion on Thursday for the work as a whole to Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, who received the prestigious award as an "act of poetic justice".
The Spaniard, whom the event's director, Italian critic Alberto Babera, considers "Spain's biggest and most influential" filmmaker since Luis Buñuel, has never been awarded at any of the major European shows such as Cannes and Venice.
"Thirty years later they give me the Golden Lion for a 1988 movie. It's an act of poetic justice," Almodóvar commented happily during a press conference before the tribute ceremony.
The reactor referred to the film "Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown", which competed at the time in Venice and which had excited the then jury president, Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone.
In his honor, the festival showed precisely the film that launched it internationally.
Almodóvar, who turns 70 on September 25, has gained worldwide prominence with the color and boldness of his films and started his international career from the festival of the Italian city.
"My baptism was here, at this festival, in 1983, with the movie 'Bad Habits'," he recalled.
"Participating in an international festival for me was a miracle," he said as he recalled his film career.
"I was very proud of the actresses, they were wonderful. They represented an ultra-modern Spain," he said.
Spain, your inspiration
"Spain awoke from a long dictatorship of 40 years. […] The most important thing about 'la movida' [o movimento artístico durante os primeiros anos da transição pós-Franco] it was the fact that fear was lost and we could enjoy enormous freedom, "he said.
The "injured lion," as the Italian press called him, was thrilled to receive the award, which will keep the two Oscars company for "All About My Mother" and "Talk to Her."
The renowned filmmaker, known for the laid-back and corrosive films and who has evolved into a more introspective cinema, has recognized that his cinema is the "product of Spanish democracy".
"My movies are a demonstration that it's real," he said.
"When I started making movies, we didn't talk about diversity. Life was very different," he said.
"As a director, I put in all my films all the variety in life," he confessed, referring to "Almodovarian" themes: masochism, homosexuality, masturbation, drugs, pornography, attacks on religion.
"For me it was life itself," he added, alluding to his homosexuality.
"All sexual orientations were welcome. My characters have moral autonomy, whether they are transsexuals, nuns or housewives," he explained.
"The change that happened in those years in Spain was what fascinated me," he said.
"Madrid's street and night were endless. It was a great diversity and I graduated from that university," he admitted.
The filmmaker confessed that color reigns in his films as a kind of "reaction" against his homeland.
"It was like a reaction against the place where I was born, La Mancha, so extremely conservative, Calvinistic, with little color and very arid. The opposite of how I felt," he said.
"I don't remember seeing the color red in my childhood. Just the black of mourning," he concluded with his traditional ironic style.