In a previously-released statement, Pedro Almodóvar explained where the title “Strange Way of Life” came from and hinted at the ways it embodies the short film’s themes of masculinity and unrealized yearning:
“The strange way of life referred in the title alludes to the famous fado by Amalia Rodrigues, whose lyrics suggest that there is no stranger existence than the one that is lived by turning your back on your own desires.”
Filming “Strange Way of Life” took place in Almeria, Spain, which is also the same spot where Sergio Leone shot parts of his iconic Dollars trilogy with Clint Eastwood, including the films “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” That certainly adds a whole extra layer of meaning to Almodóvar’s investigation of the Western tropes and motifs popularized by Leone’s trilogy (not least of which is Eastwood’s Man With No Name archetype). Toss in the filmmaker’s rich, pleasing tones and some scenes of Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke as scruffy buckaroos getting hot and heavy and, really, what’s not to get excited about here?
“Strange Way of Life” will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2023. Its official synopsis reads as follows:
A man rides a horse across the desert that separates him from Bitter Creek. He comes to visit Sheriff Jake. Twenty-five years earlier, both the sheriff and Silva, 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….