Editorial — Cover of the Month – September – V Spain – issue 10

The current issue of V Spain sees a sprawling and rather lateral homage to the acclaimed Spanish film director and all-round enfant terrible, Pedro Almodóvar. It manifests itself in a number of different ways. For example, it includes individual features on numerous talents and muses that we have come to associate with Almodóvar’s world; Antonio Banderas, Marisa Paredes, Elena Anaya, etc. Some – Antonio Banderas being perhaps the most obvious example, have gone on to achieve a global fame. All, however, inhabit a special place in the substantial international Spanish-speaking world, whether hurtled into the limelight by the famous Spanish auteur or initially attractive to him because of their particular cult status and unique talent.

V Spain 10 Photo: Sebastian Faena

V Spain 10 Photo: Sebastian Faena

Of the more playful takes on Pedro Almodóvar’s mindset and contributions to international culture, the most stunning is covergirl Naomi Campbell shot by Sebastián Faena inspired by Almodóvar’s film ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!’ Faena’s cover offers up a stunning Naomi tightly bound in a nifty leather jacket that accentuates the fetish and bondage undertones of the image. Even Naomi’s notoriously vociferous mouth gets restricted with a well placed piece of gaffer tape. Rather than indicating Naomi’s foray into a whole new market, this Betty Page styling of the legendary supermodel isn’t merely a dislocated experiment with kink, but rather a recreation of the role that propelled Spanish actress Victoria Abril into the international limelight in 1989. The zingy bright colours of the props and location for V Spain’s issue dedicated to the famed Spanish cineaste are also drawn from Almodóvar’s oeuvre. His highly stylised use of colour in his films with their famously chic costumes, often designed by leading designers, not only put him on the map, but effectively created an image of vibrant post-Franco Spain that the world simply couldn’t get enough of in the early 1990’s.

Pedro Almodóvar continues to be admired for his talents as a filmmaker that have shown that he is capable of constantly reinventing his own approach to film as the slick and stylish dark comedies of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s have given way to a more mature – or at least restrained- way of constructing wonderful cinematic narratives. Never one to shy away from difficult topics, his films have broached every subject from HIV and child abuse to disability and mental health problems. What makes this achievement even more notable is that these have often be the very subjects tackled with humour.

However, perhaps one of the side-effects of his own prolific cinematic output that sometimes gets overlooked is that he is, intentionally or otherwise, something of a star-maker. Cinema fans will certainly remember that it was in his Spanish-language films that huge international stars such as Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz first gave some glimmer of both their acting talent and that screen presence that goes hand-in-hand with Hollywood star status.

Between the covers of the issue, even the strategically placed strip of tape can’t prevent Naomi from contributing her glowing admiration for Pedro as she joins the others in adding her praise for Almodóvar’s unique ability to tackle serious and rather dangerous topics with an irreverent sense of humour.

V Spain 10 Photo: Sebastian Faena

V Spain 10 Photo: Sebastian Faena