Organisers Neil Clements, Dr Guillem Colom Montero, professor Sally Faulkner and Rachel Beaney

Celebrating Pedro Almodóvar’s Birthday in Style at a Local Film Festival

Twenty-two students styding the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar were taken on a field trip to Chagford film festival. The students, Dr Guillem Colom-Montero, Professor Sally Faulkner and new ML Phd student Rachel Beaney offered introductions to the three Almodóvar's films screened.

On a gloriously sunny afternoon in Week 1, Dr Guillem Colom-Montero and Professor Sally Faulkner took the students studying the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar with them on a Field Trip to Chagford Film Festival (https://chagfordfilmfestival.com/events/pedro-almodovar-day ). Guillem, Sally and the 22 students studying MLS3066 ‘Almodóvar’s Spain: Cinema and Society’ (http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/modernlanguages/modules/MLS3066/ ) were accompanied by Rachel Beaney, a new Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD student who is supervised by Sally for a project on the representation of children and orphanhood in Spanish cinema.

Guillem, Sally, Rachel and the students offered introductions to the three films screened and chaired lively Question-and-Answer discussions, which ranged from Almodóvar’s treatment of memory and politics in Spain to his feminist treatment of authors like Tennessee Williams in his work. The screenings of All About My Mother (1999) and Julieta (2016) were well attended, and an audience of around 100 watched the special thirtieth anniversary screening of Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, his break-through film that launched his international career.

A group of Spanish A-Level students from Newton Abbot College also attended the event with their teachers and enjoyed meeting our Exeter University students. They attended Julieta – Almodóvar’s last film. Hannah Brown, Team Leader of Modern Languages at Newton Abbot College, commented that “The students and staff alike had a great evening at the Chagford Film Festival watching Julieta. Not only did this provide a great introduction to Almodóvar for our students but they were also able to spend time chatting to undergraduates from the University of Exeter about studying languages. We also enjoyed the birthday cake provided to celebrate Pedro’s birthday!”

Local artists contributed to the event with live classical Spanish guitar music, a huge shellfish paella, as well as a stunning 69th Birthday cake in the shape of three movie reels! Katherine Stone, a Combined Honours student in Spanish and Mathematics at the University of Exeter, declared that “It was a great experience going to Chagford to celebrate Almodovar’s films with both Exeter and A Level students, and those who came just because they had an interest in his wonderful films. Different members of the community, from all different age groups, came together that day and it was really special to be involved in such an event.”

Here is a wonderful chronicle of the 'Pedro Almodóvar Day' at Chagford Film Festival written by Julia Mackay, final-year Modern Languages student: https://chagfordfilmfestival.com/2018/10/20/pedro-almodovar-day-review-exeter-university-student/

Date: 8 October 2018

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