Though he may have been eclipsed by his fellow countryman Pedro Almodóvar, José Luis Garci is one of the most influential filmmakers ever to come out of Spain. Four of his features have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Oscars, with "Volver a empezar" ("To Begin Again") winning the country's first in 1983. The multiple nominations put Garci in the company of legendary directors like Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. Garci, who as a child was urged by his father to spend time in the cinema rather than on the streets, grew up enamored with American popular films. By 1991, he had seen more than 8,000 of them. ("Casablanca" and "Manhattan" are two of his all-time favorites.) "We used to say there were American films and foreign films," Garci told the "Los Angeles Times" in 1985. "American films weren't foreign films--the American stars were our stars, our friends. If Spencer Tracy comes to your door and knocks, you would say, 'Hi, come in and have a cup of coffee,' like a friend."