Well, that was fast. Pedro Almodóvar just finished shooting his English-language debut, a short film adapting Jean Cocteau’s one-act play The Human Voice and starring Tilda Swinton. Now, it’s set to world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival and the first image has arrived for the project, which is around 30 minutes in length.
“I am very excited about coming back to Venice in such a special year, with Covid 19 as involuntary guest,” said Pedro Almodóvar. “Everything will be different, and I am looking forward to discovering it in person. It is an honour to accompany Tilda in a year in which she is receiving a very much deserved award. As a matter of fact, The Human Voice is a festival of Tilda, a display of her infinite and assorted registers as an actress. It’s been a spectacle to direct her.”
It’s not the first time he’s visited this material as an early iteration of his 1988 classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown began as an adaptation of this text, featuring a phone call in which a woman attempts to convince their partner not to leave. Working on the English-language short film was testing ground for the director to adapt Lucia Berlin’s stellar short story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women, but that shoot has been delayed and he’ll instead reteam with Penélope Cruz for his next feature Madres Paralelas.
See the first image below, along with on-set photos.