Tuesday 13 March 2012

Archives and the filmmaker - Pedro Almodóvar

Sticking to the same format as their previous '..Archives' books on the Ingmar Bergman and Stanley Kubrick Archives, Taschen have released 'The Pedro Almodovar Archives'.  This book came out in October 2011 according to Amazon but somehow it managed to pass me by.  All three of these books look very beautiful, are well laid out with high quality reproductions and very well researched.  However I'm only going on having seen them online as at roughly £100 a pop I can't afford to buy one!

It's an interesting concept, particularly in the case of Almodóvar, as the film director himself is authorising and controlling the use of his archive to project an image of himself which, we assume, is the image which he wants people to believe in and buy into.  Here's a quote I found from the Taschen web page for the book:
For this unprecedented monograph, Pedro Almodóvar has given TASCHEN complete access to his archives, including never-before-published images, such as personal photos he took during filming. In addition to writing captions for the photos, Almodóvar invited prominent Spanish authors to write introductions to each of his films, and selected many of his own texts to accompany this visual odyssey through his complete works.
It's not that I think the use of personal archives in the construction of self-image is a new idea, or a bad idea.  It's just interesting to see it in this form.  As well as constructing self-image these books really seem to glorify the archives (would fetishises be too strong a word?) in a way that equates their uniqueness with something exclusive that can be yours if you can afford the asking price.  With the added incentive to get in there quick to ensure you get an' actual piece of the archive' in the form of a piece of film strip, in the Almodovar book from 'Volver' (2006).  I'm all for glorifying archives, it's just a shame when there's such a price tag attached.  However I'm happy it's available online for a browse through, and, you know, if anyone wanted to buy me a copy I certainly wouldn't say no!

No comments:

Post a Comment