Almodóvar, Julieta and me

Spain's most famous director, Pedro Almodóvar lives in Madrid and it's no secret that he likes the place. He's been associated since the beginning with La Movida Madrileña of the 80s and while I'm not sure if all of his films have scenes set in the city, it's certainly close. Even "Los Amantes Pasajeros", which takes place almost entirely onboard a plane, cuts briefly to Madrid. 

So given the long list of places in Madrid that he's immortalised on film, perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised to discover that for his most recent movie Julieta he'd even filmed in my local park, a 2 minute walk away.

I saw it in the cinema (the first time I watched a film in Spanish without subtitles!) but was completely oblivious at the time to any local landmarks. To be fair, this was last year when I hadn't been in the neighbourhood very long, and the scenes aren't particularly prominent. But the other day I stumbled upon this picture and I realised.

So I went out and drew these on location, then added in the actresses afterwards using stills from the movie (the bench on the court doesn't exist in real life).

Only a few weeks ago, Emma Suárez won a Goya award for Best Actress for her performance as Julieta. I really enjoyed the film, and now that I know that that's my tennis court in the background it might be time for a rewatch!

A good way to see "the real" or at least less touristy side of Madrid is to do your own walking tour of some of Almodóvar's film locations. For inspiration, check out this collection by photographer Carlos Pina.