Almodovar settles the debt that some of us ‘Westerners’ have with ‘Strange Way of Life’

In this western twilight wild groupdirected by Sam Peckinpah, we find what is to me one of the most moving moments in the history of cinema. Robert Ryan and William Holden were friends in the past and now find themselves on opposite sides of the law. In reality, Robert Ryan’s mission is to capture William Holden. During his escape, Holden recalls in a flash back The wanderings of their ancient times. For men of this type, and for men like Peckinpah himself, joining together (gay) was a sign of straight militancy. In this flash backHolden remembers those days as a role model. And, here’s the beauty of the snippet, when the sequence ends, instead of going back to Holden, flash back Ends with a shot of Ryan: Both remember the same thing, their blissful past melting into a shared call, This is a sequence that many of us have written about when talking about potential Weird Did western: The effect is not what it says, but what we read between the lines, what we infer or simply imagine.

of course the heroes here aren’t exactly gay, but there’s some transcends mere manhood And its customs, the backbone of the genre, and if we don’t want to call it love, it’s probably because we don’t all have hearts that are equally sensitive or labeled equally.

Small artists plagiarize, great people plagiarize, the best create what belongs to others. Almodovar comes back to this moment strange way of life and makes it his own. Here, the memory is shared by Jake, who has become a conscientious defender of the law, and the more marginal Silva, who arrives after crossing the desert. but while inside wild Bunch The bonds of homosocial camaraderie are consolidated when the penises of both men are transformed into the bodies of prostitutes, here the prostitutes fully understand the background of the scene, and this time they leave the stage and leave the young man. Are cowboy For one of the happiest moments in Almodovar’s filmography alone. Drenched with wine inside and out, young Jake and Silva set off a rampage. no it’s not the first western gay, Fans will give the titles a long tradition, some more fanciful than others. Nor is it the first time that a western homosexual relationships are included. But perhaps this is the moment in which tradition and the appropriation of certain material converge more clearly.

strange way of life is a feast of cinephagia, reinterpretations of genre themes and motifs spoken with fervor by fans, Criticism repeatedly returns to the status quo Human ErrorOf course the dialogue is present, but in reality Ang Lee’s film was a melodrama whose vision of passion publicly shared the distant vision of its director. More than that, the film’s dramatic premise has motifs coming from convergence my darling clementine, johnny guitar one of two the tin star, Quotes are sometimes just phrases that we remember from great moments, and that affect the Almodóvarian technique of re-contextualization. Even the soundtrack by Alberto Iglesias “Moriconia”, not only with touches that recall the stamp of the genre The Hateful Eightbut for the suggestive subject of Deborah once Upon a Time in America, It belongs to the past which is evoked with emotion here,

From its inception, the film plays its cards by framing it as a stylized narrative. First of all, like almost anyone western self-respecting, as johnny guitarIn Deep RootsIn bravo riverlike in desert centaursone of two The good, the bad and the ugly, A stranger comes from the wild places. This western is complete western, Soon the past and feelings will sweep into the plot: sparks will fly, reproaches will erupt. And some of these films introduced us to the world of fiction with ballads, The ballad implies something that may not be objectively true, but has a deep emotional content that draws us into the story. here is the ballad fado strange way of life In the voice of Caetano Veloso, which springs from the flowing lips of Manu Rios, who acts as master of ceremonies apart from history. may be a moment Camp And it isn’t. Partly because Rios provides an accurate portrayal of a compassionate figure that is outside the plot and the world. The lyrics, her lips, how well the hat suits her and how beautiful the light is when it caresses her face, give the story the character of an ancient ballad, like religious prints or advertising posters from Mexico in the thirties. . Manu Rios is form, color and calm, and sets the tone perfectly for what comes next.

luke and silva are incarnated by Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, two men who share a past. Although the film is only thirty minutes long, the plot would suffice for a feature film and spans a past that goes back twenty-five years, and includes two months of enjoyment, a separation, and a rivalry. The latter occurs because Silva’s son has murdered Sheriff Jake’s sister-in-law, which compels him to arrest her both because it is his duty and because he promised his father to take care of his brother. Was. In a brief development like this, the details don’t matter and they are easily handled here, Silva has something like the Almodóvarian mother who would do everything for her son, even if it puts her in a confrontation with the love of her life.

Almodovar has long expressed some ambivalence about the idea of ​​working in English, and like his previous short, human voicemust see strange way of life a test of sorts. Almodovar’s English sounds as personal as his Spanish. In the same way that Almodovar’s language sometimes evokes dubbing or the type of cinema he took in as a child, there are elements in the English that defy naturalness, sound like dubbing, second-hand language. like. It is something that, if understood well, contributes fully to making this strange short film a whole that is lavish in exquisite detail. more than just exercise, strange way of life pay off that debt western is with some of usIt gets it done, it does a little bit more of all.

(As I told you a few days ago, Cannes is insistent, but for the time being, is not suffocating: perhaps inspired by the protests of international critics, it has allowed us two additional screenings of Almodovar’s film. And when the work is good then it should also be said,

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