The city of Madrid is no less essential to the films of Pedro Almodóvar than kinky sex, crimes of passion and gasp-inducing plot twists. Though born out in Castilla-La Mancha – Don Quixote country – Almodóvar made his punkish early movies here in the capital, where the death of General Franco gave rise to a buckwild creative scene.
Later, soberer melodramas like the recent Julieta (2016) have shown his adoptive hometown in a more nostalgic, melancholy light. Now one of the most widely admired auteurs in world cinema, the director has become a Spanish brand, says Sacha Azcona, while his Madrid stands as the centre of the “Almodóvarian universe”.
Azcona is the author of a new travel guide, El Madrid de Almodóvar, that maps out walking routes around locations used in the director’s films. “But I wanted to go a step further,” he says. “Once you see where a scene was shot, where do you go next?”
So, Azconaalso flags up surrounding landmarks, adds notes on local history, and recommends spots to eat and drink nearby. For now, the book is only available in Spanish, though he hopes an English translation will follow soon. In the meantime, we used his guide to visit 10 vital locations in Almodóvar’s Madrid.