6 Sizzling Shots of 'Strange Way of Life' Cast and Director
Queer desire and masculinity collide in Pedro Almodóvar’s Western short film, Strange Way of Life. The film from auteur director Almodóvar (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Break Down, All About My Mother, Volver) stars Pedro Pascal as Silva and Ethan Hawke as Jake, estranged lovers in the Old West who are still shooting off sexual sparks when they meet again decades later. Conflict arises when it’s revealed that Silva’s son is wanted for murder in the town where Jake is now the sheriff.
Ahead of the film’s release on October 6, Saint Laurent Productions has released new photos of Spain’s enfant terrible of the silver screen, Almodóvar, with José Condessa and Jason Fernández, who play the young Silva and Jake in a literally wine-soaked flashback to the beginning of their love affair.
Known best for his take on the melodrama genre, Strange Way of Life is Almodóvar’s first Western with hints of melodrama shining through in Silva’s desire for domesticity with his long-ago love.
With any queer cowboy movie, comparisons to Brokeback Mountain are inevitable, and Strange Way of Life is indeed Almodóvar’s “answer” to Ang Lee’s film that starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as Montana sheep herders who fall in love. Almodóvar’s name was discussed before Lee became attached to Brokeback. Ultimately, Almodóvar, who is gay and has been making queer movies since the 1980s, passed on the project.
“I think Ang Lee made a wonderful movie, but I never believed that they would give me complete freedom and independence to make what I wanted,” Almodóvar told IndieWire.
“The relation between these two guys is animalistic. It was a physical relationship. The punch of the movie comes when they have to separate, and Heath Ledger discovers that he can’t think about leaving,” Almodóvar added about Brokeback. "That’s a strong discovery. But until that moment, it is animalistic, and for me, it was impossible to have that in the movie because it was a Hollywood movie. You could not have these two guys fucking all the time.”
Considering Strange Way of Life is Almodóvar’s “answer” to the movie he passed on, one can anticipate that animalistic desire is intact.
Strange Way of Life limited theatrical release starts Oct. 6, along with his Tilda Swinton-led short, The Human Voice.
Check out photos of the cast and Almodóvar as well as the trailer below.