Pedro Almodóvar brought a gay western to Cannes, starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke

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Pedro Almodóvar it doesn’t change, even if I film a crazy love story, a comedy, a film noira drama or even a western queerwhich is what he did in strange way to livejust presented in Cannes.

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“Cannes is the best place” live cinema, said the director of La Mancha to the crowd that packed the Sala Debussy, where the Appointment with Pedro Almodovarmeeting in which the medium-length film was screened followed by a series of questions and answers.

Look at the beauties who are with me Pedro said, pointing Ethan Hawke and the four young men who accompanied him on stage in the Sala Debussy-, are very good actors, and are very good in their roles”.

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And he continued: “I want to give a special thanks to Ethan, who came from the United States. I have wanted to work with him for a long time and I have succeeded. Now we are friends (friends). Thanks for coming on a rainy day,” he told the audience, who cheered whenever Almodóvar’s name appeared on the screen.

“We are now ‘friends’ (companies),” Pedro Almodóvar said of his relationship with Ethan Hawke. Reuters photo

Half an hour of cinema, with two bandits

strange way to live is a 30-minute feature film starring Ethan Hawke and Peter Pascalthe actor we lately see him brandishing weapons, being like The Mandalorian or in the series The Last of Us. Peter, born in Chile and naturalized Americanit’s Silva, riding his horse to the town where Sheriff Jake (Ethan Hawke) isn’t exactly waiting for him.

Their eyes meet. They were banned 25 years ago, together, and they had an affair in Mexico, for at least two months. A story that for Silva was a love story, but for Jake maybe not so much.

From the sheriff’s office they go to Jake’s house. AND from the dinner Jake prepares, they go to bed. Jake, with that green jacket that we have seen Almodóvar wear so many times at festivals, bears witness to it if there is a character inspired by the director of The law of desireit’s Silva.

Pedro Almodóvar, the director born in La Mancha, and Ethan Hawke, the Texan actor, were exultant.  photo by AFP

Pedro Almodóvar, the director born in La Mancha, and Ethan Hawke, the Texan actor, were exultant. photo by AFP

After the screening, the director and Ethan Hawke participated in a question and answer session. “I believe that success consists in always doing what everyone wants. For me it was more interesting to make a short film rather than a feature film or a series. This is what success is about, being able to decide”, began Pedro, who alternated answers in Spanish with English.

“The last question Pedro Pascal asks, and his answer, ‘what could two men do together on a ranch’: ‘protect themselves’, the most basic and humane things, well in that paragraph, Silva replies to Heath Ledger of Secret in the mountains

“In everything else, the film is independent of other westerns, and also of the European western, the spaghetti western started with Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone, which totally changed the rules of the western…

“My thing is a classic western, the desire of two cowboys, which the genre had never shown. And that despite being an absolutely masculine genre, with women in secondary roles, the desire of men was never talked about, the gender had not allowed it… Even if they fucked, ”he said, and when they translated it there were several laughs.

A sheriff with authority

“I knew Ethan (Hawke) had done westerns, and I was confident he could ride,” joked Pedro Almodóvar.

“I knew Ethan (Hawke) had done Westerns, and I was confident he could ride horses,” joked Pedro Almodóvar.

“Ethan has all the makings of a sheriff’s authority,” he continued monologuing. On the other hand he is Texan, very American, but he is not the typical American actor, he goes where they call him, and this gave me the confidence to be able to call him …

“And by the way, I really admired him as an actor. Throughout his career he’s been versatile, and I’d seen him in westerns, I was sure he could ride (laughs). And also it can be very cold, distant, secretivequalities that are the opposite of the trilogy he did with (Richard) Linklater (the one with Before sunrise). I knew I could give that distance.”

Hawke, who was occasionally able to give a few bites, recounted how Almodóvar contacted him. “I received an email with the script and an invitation to participate in the film. So I felt very grateful. I grew up with westerns, which serve to tell legends, and are often a metaphor as well. and participate in a western that doesn’t pretend to be oldwhen contemporary westerns imitate old movies…

“And Almodóvar has an original voice in front of the camera and in his storytelling. The acting is uniformly excellent. It’s so fun as an actor to put yourself in the hands of a director like him. You don’t have to worry, just do your job, it’s very exciting. As a boy I worked with Peter Weir (in The Society of the Poet of Death), who, like Pedro, is a teacher…


“It’s fun to work for a director I admire,” said Ethan Hawke of Pedro Almodóvar.

“It’s very relaxing that your job is to do your own performance, which helps tell a story, and it’s the most fun thing in the world to act for a director I admire.”

Peter spoke again. “It was my first western and I did it like any other genre I tackled, and I tried not to be anachronistic so that the Americans, who are the ones who created it, would not tell me that there were errors in any of the images we showed…

“And it’s a very abstract western, it didn’t cross my mind… Let’s see, I isolate these two characters in a very particular situation, which becomes another situation: it seemed that they had come together to love each other, but no, each had an afterthought…

Almodóvar has broken down his film almost scene by scene, arousing the enthusiasm of the audience and of the actor Ethan Hawke.  photo by AFP

Almodóvar has broken down his film almost scene by scene, arousing the enthusiasm of the audience and of the actor Ethan Hawke. photo by AFP

“Sometimes it’s completely theatrical, half when they get up from the orgiastic night It’s very theatrical, I made it based on the dialogues of the two. I decided not to show them physically naked, but rather their naked voices. What they say is much more shocking in sexuality than if he had shown explicit sex. I shot this western my way, I wasn’t going to make a spaghetti western,” said the director.

“Many of my films had explicit sex, but time goes by and I get lazier, and I want to show pleasure in another way. In the dinner scene I wanted to insinuate that there was something about these two men, and thinking about classic cinema, the utmost nudity emerged. in movies do not go I saw something more explicit than in the films of the 70s, where there were nudes…

“At dinner, Silva’s look, always trying to remember what happened 25 years ago, is the only argument he can use to beg for mercy -he’s there for another reason-. The gesture is almost feminine of Jake, telling him “please don’t look at me like that”. The other character goes, how do you want me to look at you? We see they have been in a relationship for 25 years, the looks are full of sensualityand the discussion is that of two lovers who react differently to a night of orgy.

One in white, the other in black.  Ethan Hawke and Pedro Almodóvar, on the way to Sala Debussy.  photo by AFP

One in white, the other in black. Ethan Hawke and Pedro Almodóvar, on the way to Sala Debussy. photo by AFP

“If it were possible, Jake would say no, that it didn’t happen, and the other one reacts passionately, brings him back to the past relationship, which is the last thing Jake wants to remember. These two facets have been understood very well by the actors, in the two scenes at Jake’s house,” concluded Almodóvar.

Hawke wasn’t like he had a tape on, but his answers fell short of the ace’s All about my mother.

“The whole experience of acting is acts of love, these people matter and the things they feel and think matter, and to me it’s always about love, what we want, love, desire, it makes the world, it’s always what I do, I love doing what I want with people like Pedro who are behind every detail, and it’s very exciting to be seen as an actor. Every detail, all the great directors I’ve worked with are obsessed with details.” .

And then they left together, like two friends, two new friends from any Hollywood movie.

Source: Clarin

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