Laws of Desire: The Films of Antonio Banderas

Adept at portraying machismo alternately rock-solid and fragile, Spain’s Antonio Banderas gained cinematic cachet via his collaborations in the 1980s with writer/director Pedro Almodóvar; the iconoclastic filmmaker had seen the actor taking risks onstage and correctly intuited that he had found a leading man who could join him in upending the cinema of their home country—and around the world. Audiences swooning over Banderas’ smoldering good looks were quickly startled by his ability to skillfully flip the script in Almodóvar’s LGBTQ tales—historically favorites at the Quad!—subverting and then adding dimensions to his sex appeal. The young Banderas soon attained international movie stardom, segueing to roles in big-budget Hollywood fare from steamy romantic comedies to sword-wielding adventures. Banderas was named Best Actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his performance as an aging film director in Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, which marks the dynamic duo’s eighth movie together. With roles in two highly anticipated fall films – the aforementioned Pain and Glory and Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat – we bring Banderas to the Quad for a victory lap with this sampling of career favorites.


Past Screenings