Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage.
Grace Jones, Kristen Scott Thomas and Miranda Richardson were amongst the guests to hear tributes to the Oscar-winning filmmaker (Original Screenplay for Talk To Her) from the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Almodovar’s brother Agustin, Stephen Frears and Sally Potter. Quentin Tarantino was piped in by video to thank Pedro Almodovar for his “heart as big as the Grand Canyon” and “a filmography to beat.” The director came armed with a clip from his new film I’m So Excited (watch below), which Sony Pictures Classics will release next year. He also revealed that he’d tried and failed to nab the rights to books like The Hours, Silence Of The Lambs, The Human Stain and The Reader. Any one would have been his first foray into English-language film, which he said was a bridge he’d likely not cross anymore. “But you have to respect destiny. Perhaps I was not the one to make the movies that I now admire so much.”
Frears enthused about Almodovar’s ability to make everything seem natural. “He creates a coherent world in which all of the elements fit,” he said. “It comes out of his imagination complete. I met him in New York when I was with My Beautiful Laundrette. I felt like an impostor; here was the transgressive real thing. Mine was a charade.” He provoked much laughter from the audience by confessing his contradictory jealousy of Almodovar. “He makes me spit. He’s got everything: repression, a loving family…” Almodovar admitted to being terribly embarrassed by the kind words of his friends and colleagues. “Tonight I know more about myself than ever,” he joked. “I’ve always strived to try and make life more liveable with my films. It’s the homework of any kind of artistic expression. That was the lesson I learned from my mother.”