Features and Columns · Movies

The Center-Framed Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar

Arguably one of the most visually identifiable directors working today, here’s a quick celebration of the center frames of Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodovar Centered Cinematography
By  · Published on September 24th, 2021

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay on the center-frames of Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar.

What directors spring to mind when you think of center-framed compositions? Wes Anderson is certainly a noteworthy proponent of the “putting things in the middle of the shot” school. The same is true, of course, for Stanley Kubrick, whose notorious perfectionism often manifests in meticulously crafted shots that skirt naturalism in favor of unnervingly symmetrical visuals.

But I’ll admit, when it comes to center-framed cinema, the work of Pedro Almodóvar never sprung to mind. As a fan of center frames and of Almodóvar’s work, this is a sin on multiple fronts. Perhaps I was dazzled by the tomato-reds and enthusiastic embrace of kitsch and camp. But as the video essay below emphatically proves, the Spanish auteur’s work deserves a plaque on the same wall as many of his symmetry-loving peers. Letting the frames speak louder than words ever could, the essay offers up emphatic evidence that when it comes to center-framing, from 1980’s Other Girls Like Mom to 2019’s Pain and Glory, Almodóvar is toe-to-toe with the best of ’em.

Now, a word of caution to those who clicked on this article with little (or no) knowledge of Pedro Almodóvar’s work. First off: Hello, welcome. Always a pleasure to meet a fellow admirer of symmetrical composition. But be warned: Almodóvar has plenty of directorial hallmarks. One of them is aesthetically even composition. Another is a wantonly provocative attitude towards nudity and sex. So, for those in need of a warning: this video is NSFW. Now that all the prudes are gone, on with the center-framed show:

Watch “Pedro Almodóvar Centered”:

Who made this?

This video essay on why rhetorical questions make for such iconic movie quotes comes courtesy of the fine folks at Little White Lies, a film-obsessed magazine based in the United Kingdom. This video is directed by Luís Azevedo directed and produced by Adam Woodward. You can follow Little White Lies on Twitter here. And you can check out their official website here. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).