First Look at Strange Way of Life, premiering Oct 6 in theatres! – TRAILER

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Debutta nelle sale il 6 ottobre il nuovo film di Pedro Almodòvar, Strange Way of Life, con protagonisti Pedro Pascal, Jason Fernandez e José Condessa. Diamo un primo sguardo!
Strange Way of Life CR: Sony Pictures Classics

Premiering October 6 in theatres is Pedro Almodòvar’s new half-hour movie Strange Way of Life, starring Pedro Pascal, Jason Fernandez and José Condessa. Let’s take a first look!

Strange Way of Life CR: Sony Pictures Classics

PLOT

José Condessa and Jason Fernández play the younger versions of Silva and Jake, the characters primarily depicted in the half-hour film Strange Way of Life as adults by Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, respectively. In their youth as hired gunmen, the pair succumb to their sexual passion for each other. Twenty-five years later, with the gents now in their 50s, Silva arrives in the desert town of Bitter Creek, where Jake now serves as sheriff. Their spark rekindles, though Silva’s primary concern is saving the life of his son (George Steane), who Jake suspects is guilty of a heinous crime.

Almodóvar takes the iconography of the classic American Western and offers a new take. All the machismo of the genre is now infused with a queer story about two men that’s both physical and emotional, and the standard muted cowboy tones are now vibrant colors, courtesy of a wardrobe assembled by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello.

“It’s a completely male genre,” the Oscar winner, 73, says generally of Westerns. “The cinema in this 120 years made a lot of wonderful masterpieces, but I found that there is something that they never explored: They never say anything about the desire between two men in a genre full of male characters. So, I tried to make something not new, not modern. I didn’t want to make any anachronism. I tried to respect, for the first time in my career, the rules of the genre, but to include this kind of conversation that you never have listened to before in a Western.”

Condessa and Fernández appear only briefly in a flashback: While drinking wine straight from a wineskin they had littered with bullet holes, the younger Silva and Jake quickly turn their attention away from the female prostitutes in the room and begin to aggressively fondle each other in a giddy haze.

Still, the actors underwent multiple rounds of auditions. Fernández recalls reading 15 pages of material for one of Pascal and Hawke’s scenes, the awkward morning-after conversation following their orgasmic night — the first scene Almodóvar wrote that would become the short.

“This is not a little casting where you can read a couple of lines and see what happens,” Fernández says. “This is: We want to see if you can act. Even if you’re in one scene for 30 seconds, [Almodóvar’s] going to make sure that you won’t lose your temper or you’ll do what he asks you to do.” Condessa felt at ease with Fernández in the face of such intimate material. “It’s really good when all the vibes are the same and you can feel in that case what Jason is feeling,” he recalls of that audition. “I can look in the eyes of Jason, I can feel we are doing the same thing and we are together in this. It’s not very common, but it was beautiful when it happened.”

For their actual scene in the film, which was roughly a page long in the script, Fernández remembers having seven or eight meetings with Condessa and Almodóvar to find the truth of the moment.

Almodóvar says he was inspired by a scene from the 1979 Western The Wild Bunch, in which the cowboys enter a cellar filled with Mexican prostitutes. “I wanted to recreate that scene,” the filmmaker continues, “except I did it a little bit differently because the prostitutes [in Strange Way of Life] at some point realize they have nothing to do there and they leave.”

Condessa felt at ease with Fernández in the face of such intimate material.

“It’s really good when all the vibes are the same and you can feel in that case what Jason is feeling,” he recalls of that audition. “I can look in the eyes of Jason, I can feel we are doing the same thing and we are together in this. It’s not very common, but it was beautiful when it happened.”

The two actors took the task seriously.

Fernández listened to audiobooks that Hawke had narrated to help emulate his acting counterpart, even though they have no spoken lines in the piece. The younger pair also rehearsed with Hawke and Pascal, even though the two sets of stars don’t share the screen together.

“We had to deliver so much information without words,” Fernández notes of the scene. “We had to deliver that animal feeling of two men fighting against one another, followed by that passion and ending with love. It’s beautiful when a director knows what story he wants to tell, and Almodóvar had already seen the film before it was created in his magnificent mind. All you have to do is be present, feel emotions, look at Jose’s eyes, and just go in.”

“They’re getting very drunk, and they start almost devouring each other,” Almodóvar remarks through a translator. “I don’t know if this is clear in the film, but they can’t quite consummate that desire at the time. They don’t get to f—. They get to make out and they’re hot for each other, but even from the very beginning, the relationship is not necessarily based on sex.”

Despite the runtime, Strange Way of Life marks one of the biggest achievements of Condessa and Fernández’s careers, not just because it now brings their talents to a more international audience, but because they were able to work with one of the most prolific filmmakers of the age. There was a moment when Condessa truly felt like he and his costar were taken seriously as actors.

He had an idea, a small tweak to the scene he thought of in the moment. He began to express his thoughts but receded back into himself.

After all, it’s Almodóvar. “I don’t want to say something wrong,” Condessa exclaims. The filmmaker eventually coaxed it out of him. Before Silva and Jake fire the shots into the wineskin, releasing the alcohol within, Condessa suggested the characters count down from three. “It’s like a friendship,” he says. “It’s something that they always are doing every day.” Almodóvar took to the idea and paused filming to incorporate the moment. “It’sreally cool because you feel like, I’m part of the movie. I’m not just an actor. I’m not just a stand-in,” Condessa adds.

TRAILER

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Source: EW

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