Faculty Publications

Masculinity, Creativity, and Successful Ageing in Pedro Almodóvar's Pain and Glory (2019)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Ageing Masculinities in Contemporary European and Anglophone Cinema

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Pedro Almodóvar’s Dolor y gloria (Pain and Glory; 2019) presents spectators with a layered representation of male ageing in which protagonist Salvador, who shares clear parallels with director Pedro Almodóvar, and offers a queer and disabled iteration of ageing is played by international star Antonio Banderas, who has aged on-screen during his long career. The film follows Salvador as he confronts anxieties about ageing and irrelevance. Through mental fortitude, Salvador overcomes physical and emotional pain, allowing him to engage once again in the creative and productive work of filmmaking. Salvador becomes an example of “successful ageing” by the end of the film, a term Rowe and Kahn (1987) use to describe those ageing individuals with high cognitive and physical capability and an active engagement with life. While Pain and Glory reveals the powerful potential of creativity and successful ageing for Salvador/Almodóvar/Banderas, the film works to age “successfully” primarily by rejecting age and returning to the memories of youth as a source of rejuvenation.


Department of Languages and Literatures

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