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Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar offers a new sneak peak of the upcoming queer western, Stranger Way of Life.
In a recent episode of Dua Lipa’s podcast, At Your Service, the filmmaker said the 30-minute short has “the kind of dialogue that I don’t think a Western film has ever captured between two men.”
“This is a queer Western in the sense that there are two men, and they love each other,” Almodóvar elaborated in an interview with Lipa. “And they behave in that situation in an opposite way.”
The film follows two men who reunite after 25 years of not seeing each other. Also starring Ethan Hawke as Sheriff Jake and Pedro Pascal as Gunslinger Silva.
“One of them travels through the desert to find the other,” Almodóvar said in a June interview with IndieWire. “There will be a showdown between them. But really, the story is very intimate.”
Stranger Way of Life also explores some of the genre’s key tropes.
“It’s about masculinity in that deep sense because the Western is a male genre,” Almodóvar stated on the podcast. “It has the gunslinger. It has the ranch. And it has the sheriff. It has the town. It has the showdown.”
Although the genre has long had a queer subtext, it is only recently that Westerns have gained prominence. This genre consists of movies such as Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Power of the Dog (2021).
Stranger Way of Life: Genre and Key Tropes
However, both films drew criticism from particularly aged cowboys. For example, Sam Elliot openly criticized Jane Champion’s The Power of the Dog for its homoerotic scenes. However, he later apologized for his statements.
Almodóvar shared that he’ll uncover the final work at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The film is still in the process of editing.
“It’s something very different,” he shared with Lipa. “I mean, it’s another genre that I’ve never done before.”
Furthermore, he said Pascal and Hawke served as the perfect cowboys for the film.
“I’m very happy with both of them,” he said.
Stranger Way of Life also stars Manu Rios, Jose Condessa, Jason Fernandez, Sara Salamo, Erenice Lohan, Pedro Casablanca, and George Steane.
In August 2022, principal photography happened in Southern Spain – in the Tabernas Desert section of Almeria. Almodóvar filmed the movie in his own production company El Deseo in collaboration with Saint Laurent.
Moreover, SL head designer Anthony Vaccarello served as associate producer and costume designer.
Additionally, the film’s title is the same as an old Portuguese fado tune by Amalia Rodrigues.