Lead actor Antonio Banderas and director Pedro Almódovar attended the premiere of Pain and Glory at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Saturday, Sept. 28.
After winning awards and garnering accolades at the Cannes Film Festival, the Spanish drama, Pain and Glory premiered at the 57th annual New York Film Festival (NYFF).
Starring Antonio Banderas as filmmaker Salvador Mallo, the film was mostly autobiographical for director Pedro Almódovar, who created its plot to reflect scenes from his own childhood in Spain and lifetime as an acclaimed director.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, Banderas and Almódovar walked Alice Tully Hall’s red carpet along with Agustin Almodóvar, the film’s producer, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, the co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics, and Kent Jones, the director of NYFF, Chair of the Selection Committee.
With scenes depicting drug usage, addiction, sexual awakenings, regret, and lifelong trauma, Pain and Glory contemplates the true price of success, and how multifaceted relationships with family and friends shape one’s life years after they end.
“I think that the thing that connects people all around the world with this movie is the fact that we all travel through life with a backpack filled with miseries, with pain and glory,” Banderas told The Knockturnal. “It doesn’t matter what the narrative of the movie is, or how that is told to you, anybody identifies with that. Nobody is perfect.”
Pain and Glory marks the seventh film Banderas and Almódovar have worked on together. Banderas won the award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his emotive portrayal of a character based on his old friend.
“As you move in life, there are open wounds you want to come to terms with, to close those things. That is what I think made people connect very strongly with this movie,” said Banderas.
When asked about the film’s message, Almódovar also explained how being open about one’s life can resonate with viewers, and finding the strength of vulnerability within filmmaking.
“It means not to hide anything, to be very direct, talking about your feelings, your sufferings, and even your failures,” Almódovar told The Knockturnal. “Also, that life is not perfect. The relationship with your mother is not perfect.”
“I think what touches spectators is that I’m very open to talking about these issues, that they are very human, and perhaps it’s not so usual to find this in movies,” said Almódovar.
Promptly at 6 p.m., the film was shown in Alice Tully Hall’s theater. Banderas and Almódovar welcomed the audience, thanked them for attending, and were met with overwhelming applause.
Pain and Glory has been selected as the Spanish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, set to be broadcast nationwide on Feb. 9, 2020 on ABC. It will be in theaters on Friday, Oct. 4.