Spanish director Almodovar to make western

Venice (AFP) –

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We have had spaghetti westerns, now the world must brace itself for an Almodovar paella western.

Legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodovar said Thursday that he is working on a western, a surprising career turn for the master of female-friendly melodrama who made his name with "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown".

The Oscar winner told reporters at the Venice film festival that he has written the cowboy flick, but that it was "a different kind of western, which will be very colourful... very theatrical."

The director premiered his latest film, "The Human Voice" at the festival, with British actress Tilda Swinton in the lead as a desperate and vengeful woman waiting for her estranged lover to ring her.

Shot last month, the 30-minute film was very freely adapted from Jean Cocteau's classic play.

Almodovar, 70, admitted that he has started moving in a new direction since his 2016 film "Julieta".

"I am working towards a leaner narrative with fewer elements, which I analyse very deeply," insisted the director once famous for his visual and emotional flamboyance.

"The experience of sobriety and austerity accompanied me also in 'Pain And Glory'," his last and hugely autobiographical film, where Antonio Banderas played a film director suffering from chronic back pain, as Almodovar also does.

He said he is hoping to start his next feature, "Madres Paralelas" in October and then make the western and another film called "A Manual for Cleaning Women".