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Pedro Almodóvar’s Strange Way of Life, an LGBTQ-themed Western starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, will have its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, the festival confirmed Tuesday.
The short, which sees The Northman star Ethan Hawke and The Last of Us‘ Pascal as two middle-aged gunslingers with a deep connection who meet up again after a 25-year separation, was widely tipped to bow on the Croisette. The film is Almodóvar’s second English-language short, after Tilda Swinton-starrer The Human Voice, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2020.
In a statement following the Cannes announcement, Almodóvar gave a cryptic description of the film’s plot:
“A man rides a horse across the desert that separates him from Bitter Creek. He comes to visit Sheriff Jake [Hawke]. Twenty-five years earlier, both the sheriff and Silva [Pascal], the rancher who rides out to meet him, worked together as hired gunmen. Silva visits him with the excuse of reuniting with his friend from his youth, and they do indeed celebrate their meeting, but the next morning Sheriff Jake tells him that the reason for his trip is not to go down the memory lane of their old friendship.”
The Spanish filmmaker wrote and directed Strange Way of Life, which takes its title from a famous Portuguese fado song by Amália Rodrigues whose lyrics, according to Almodóvar, “suggest that there is no stranger existence than the one that is lived by turning your back on your own desires.”
Almodóvar shot the El Deseo production in southern Spain and is currently in post with the film. Agustín Almodóvar produced with Esther García as executive producer and Bárbara Peiró, Diego Pajuelo and Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello as associate producers.
Pedro Casablanc, Manu Ríos, George Steane, José Condessa, Jason Fernández, Sara Sálamo, Ohiana Cueto and Daniela Medina co-star alongisde Hawke and Pascal. Alberto Iglesias composed the music.
The Cannes premiere of Strange Way of Life will be followed by a Q&A with Pedro Almodóvar and the cast.
Almodóvar is a Cannes regular. He won best director at the French festival with All About My Mother in 1999, opened Cannes in 2004 with Bad Education and won the best screenplay honor in 2006 for Volver. In 2017, he presided over the Cannes jury, handing the Palme d’Or to Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund for The Square. In 2019, Antonio Banderas won Cannes’ best actor award for his lead performance in Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, a role closely based on the director’s own life and work.
The 2023 Cannes Film Festival runs May 16-27.
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