As part of the official selection, out of competition, the great Pedro Almodovar presented his short film Extrana forma de Vida as the world premiere.
In just half an hour, the director of Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Matador, in his way, engages for the first time with this seminal genre of cinema. In such a masculine gender, how are there not more stories of desire among men? And it is answered with a drift that oozes both vintage and homage.
The characters, played by Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, already in their fifties, meet, and remember (and re-live) the passion they had 25 years ago. But both have other motives: one is now sheriff and the other is the father of a young man persecuted by the law.
You cannot advance in the story. To say yes is that Almodovar can respect and invent the genres he addresses. making them his own, contaminating them with his gaze (even when, formally, he restrains himself from straying too far into anachronism; he also largely abandons his usual color palette ).
More about a story of passion and desire (of love, perhaps) than sex, the director said in a later public talk that he was tired of explicit scenes. More subtle and suggestive, like classic Hollywood, Almodovar manages the tension of sexuality perfectly.
Ethan Hawke took part in the conversation, which was very strict: working with a teacher is the best thing that can happen to an actor.
Almodovar, suffering from frequent migraines, appeared relatively rarely in public. But the packed room (tickets sold out, and the public waited more than an hour in the rain to enter) served as the perfect analgesic and injection of enthusiasm. A unique and individual writer, as the industry pushes filmmakers towards series, he proudly presents this oddball short film. Out of the ordinary, like everything in the Almodovar universe.