On the evening of Monday January 16th Dr Duncan Wheeler, who is currently an associate professor at Leeds University and formerly studied his Doctoral Thesis at Oxford University, came to talk to those doing Spanish A-level, amongst others.
Dr Wheeler expressed his vast knowledge of Almodóvar, speaking about Almodóvar’s initial ‘punk’ lifestyle and his journey to the meticulous director he is today. He engaged the audience throughout and gave everyone an interesting insight towards the charismatic man and leader of Spanish cinema. Furthermore he gave those formerly less aware of Almodóvar an appreciation for Spanish films in general.
Report by Ben Broughton, J Social 6.1
Further information by JM Sumner, Head of Spanish:
Radley College Spanish Society was privileged to welcome Dr Duncan Wheeler from the University of Leeds to give boys in Fifths, 6.1 and 6.2 an introduction to the work of Spain's most commercially successful, and arguably most revered, film director, Pedro Almodóvar. We were joined by sixth form girls from St Helen's and St Katherine's (SHSK) in Abingdon, with whom boys enjoyed some tapas and a chance to discuss their Spanish course before the lecture. Dr Wheeler went on to explore Almodóvar's career in his talk entitled "From Pedro the Punk to Almodóvar the auteur: Changes and continuities from Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios to Volver".
Students from both Radley and SHSK listened to Dr Wheeler's insights into the transformation in Almodóvar's work, and were particularly struck by a discussion about how his films are not always as warmly received in Spain as they are internationally. Having been treated to clips from his films, 80s music videos, and anecdotes from Dr Wheeler's interactions with the director, we finished the talk with a chance for students to ask questions about the director.
It was a fantastic first meeting of the Spanish Society this term, and certainly whetted boys' appetites for study of film in the A Level course and beyond. Many thanks go to the head of the Spanish Society, Harry Rogers (k), and to Dr Wheeler himself.