The Visionary Production Design in the Pedro Almodóvar Oeuvre

Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish director, writer, actor, producer, and two-time Academy Award winner has created his own highly stylised lane over the past 45 years, telling intimate stories about the lives of women & LGBTQ+ persons long before it was en vogue.  

For Almodóvar, design is just as important as narrative, cinematography and editing.  He has worked with production designer Antxón Gómez on at least 11 films, creating scenery that is almost always awash with striking colors, patterns, and art, truly making you feel like you are inside the character’s home with them. “We talk a lot about how the spaces will be,” Gomez told Architectural Digest through a translator in 2019. “It’s a pleasure to work with a director for whom the set is like another actor in his film. It’s a luxury."

In a 2020 interview with Houzz, Gómez called red Almodóvar’s “personal seal” and expanded on the director’s color philosophy. “He also uses blue gray, ash green, and apricot, usually avoiding white. There are no roses or mauves. In recent films, we have worked with masses of color. The sets are a base-color canvas where we place objects,” he said. 

In both Parallel Mothers and Almodóvar’s 2019 film Pain and Glory, the main character’s modernist apartment serves as a foil to scenes that show a past version of Spain. In the latter, there are flashbacks where the main character Salvador Mallo (played by Antonio Banderas) remembers his childhood growing up in a cave home once common in Valencia, Spain. In Parallel Mothers, Janice asks a forensic anthropologist to help her fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish: To exhume an unmarked mass grave from the Spanish Civil War where Janis’s grandfather and other men from their town were buried. In the process, we see the home Janis’s family left her in the small town, and it is a much more traditional space, with a blue and white tile backsplash and wood cabinetry in the kitchen.

The aforementioned Salvador Mallo character is loosely based on Almodóvar himself, and though Pain and Glory is not a spot-on autobiography, the set is modeled after the director’s own home. The auteur provided select pieces from his own furniture collection, resulting in perhaps the most 'Almodóvar' set to date. 

The world of Almodóvar is a huge inspiration to us here at Domestic Fantasies, visit the showroom to see a range of pieces that would all look at home in a Pedro Almodóvar film.