After the enormous success of All About my Mother, all the awards and everything, I wanted to start a movie in exactly the same place that I used to be before. I wanted to show that all of the success had not changed my perception.
All my movies are difficult to classify because they are very eclectic in mixing genres.
All my movies have an autobiographical dimension, but that is indirectly, through the personages. In fact, I am behind everything that happens and that is said, but I am never talking about myself in first person singular.
Already when I was very young, I was a fabulador. I loved to give my own version of stories that everybody already knew.
Before shooting, I prepare with the actors much more like it’s a theater play than a movie. Apparently, that way of working is very unusual.
Broadway musicals, where you sing the whole time, I really don’t like; I like alternating dialogue and music.
Cinema can fill in the empty spaces of your life and your loneliness.
Cinema has become my life. I don’t mean a parallel world, I mean my life itself. I sometimes have the impression that the daily reality is simply there to provide material for my next film.
Cukor is one of my favorite directors. He was a master at directing women.
Even though I love my mother, I didn’t want to make an idealized portrait of her. I’m fascinated more by her defects – they are funnier than her other qualities.
For there to be communication within a couple, it is enough for there to be only one person who communicates or who really wants to communicate. Even though a couple consists of two people, if one of the people in a couple puts all their effort into moving a couple along they will move along.
Hospitals are places that you have to stay in for a long time, even if you are a visitor. Time doesn’t seem to pass in the same way in hospitals as it does in other places. Time seems to almost not exist in the same way as it does in other places.
I also wanted to express the strength of cinema to hide reality, while being entertaining. Cinema can fill in the empty spaces of your life and your loneliness.
I am partly not conscious of structure with my movies, but this is when I am writing. I leave my mind very free, and then I correct it after.
I ask myself questions that journalists don’t dare to ask or don’t know how to ask.
I don’t want to imitate life in movies; I want to represent it. And in that representation, you use the colors you feel, and sometimes they are fake colors. But always it’s to show one emotion.
I remember myself at 10 years old telling stories to my sisters and brother. This is something I did through my adolescence and even through my twenties.
I think decor says a lot about someone’s social position, their taste, their sensibility, their work – and also about the aesthetic way I have chosen to tell their story.
I think it’s a change that I did not intend at the time but it is clear that, from The Flower of My Secret on, there is a change in my films. A lot of the journalists have very generously attributed this to my growing maturity.
I think my films are always political, even if I don’t put explicitly political things in them.
I think that the consciousness of passion makes you act very differently.
I think that there is always a part of utopia in any romantic relationship.
I used this line to demonstrate how important colors are in movies: It’s not a caprice.
I was born at a bad time for Spain, but a really good one for cinema.
I’m an artist, and I’m part of every decision in a movie.
If I had not been successful as a director, then I’m sure I would still be telling stories. I would have continued on 16mm or found a different medium through which to tell them.
If I make a movie in English, the money will come from Europe, so that I can keep my independence and freedom. The way they produce in Hollywood doesn’t fit me.
If I’d lived like my characters, I would have been dead before I’d made 16 films.
In fact, it was the women in our house who were in the saddle. If men are the gods, women are not only the presidents but all the ministers of the government.
It’s a pity that I can never really enjoy my movies because, after the mixing, your capacity as a spectator just disappears. I have to think about what I felt just before the mixing.
La Mancha is a very macho, chauvinistic society. I saw very clearly that my life had to be in Madrid, and I liberated myself from my mum and dad after high school.
My directors of photography light my films, but the colours of the sets, furnishings, clothes, hairstyles – that’s me. Everything that’s in front of the camera, I bring you.
My first memory is of the eyes of my brother; he was looking at me all the time.
My mother was an extremely creative woman, despite the fact that she lived the life of a rural housewife.
Of course I want my films to look really good, but every single element is chosen for a reason. It’s telling something in the story.
The 1980s really ended for me in 1992 with the film Kika.
The challenge to me as a director was for the audience to see the film as going on in a straight line, so that they did not sense all of these break-ups. I did not want a film to be a collage of all these images.
The Flower of My Secret is definitely more based in true emotions. I also wanted to make something more realistic, but not naturalistic or simple.
The life I live due to my work is difficult to share.
The problem is that I work in more than one genre. It’s impossible for me to aim for a single one because, for me, comedy is mixed with tragedy. That’s very Spanish, the way in which comedy and tragedy are inextricable from each other.
The silent film has a lot of meanings. The first part of the film is comic. It represents the burlesque feel of those silent films. But I think that the second part of the film is full of tenderness and emotion.
There’s something about uninterrupted singing that just doesn’t work for me, because at some point, I need my characters to talk. Without meaning to offend anyone, a musical like ‘Les Miserables’ would be the last thing I’d ever be interested in.
When I make a film, the mixing process is very long, and you hear and watch the material in every form, so that totally shreds your ability to perceive it. So after the mixing, there’s no way I can have the emotions or the reactions to my films in the same way.
Whenever I arrive on a real location, I have to move around and work out what the best angles are going to be.
Whenever I arrive on a real location, I have to move around and work out what the best angles are going to be. When I was moving around with the lens, I discovered things that the naked eye would not have.
With this silent film, I wanted to hide what was going on in the clinic. I wanted to cover it up in the best cinematic way and in an entertaining manner.
Yes, women are stronger than us. They face more directly the problems that confront them, and for that reason they are much more spectacular to talk about. I don’t know why I am more interested in women, because I don’t go to any psychiatrists, and I don’t want to know why.
You can make a thousand different movies about the same subject.