‘Bad Education’ filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar quotes: Confronting Catholic Church anti-gay bigotry
Below are a couple of Pedro Almodóvar quotes that are, however obliquely, connected to his controversial mix of film noir (in color), romance, comedy, and drama: Bad Education / La mala educación, the opening night presentation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Besides featuring Gael García Bernal as a femme fatale-ish “Mexican-Caribbean” transvestite (see image above and Bernal quote further below), a pedophile gay Catholic priest, some near-explicit gay sex, Sara Montiel’s unexpected effect on impressionable boys, and an homage to the power of cinema, Bad Education also features quotes such as:
Recently, Pedro Almodóvar came up with his own (off-screen) quotes about the Catholic Church’s fight against equal rights for gays in Spain, where the socialist government of prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has paved the way for the legalization of gay marriage.
“What the Church is doing – really badly – is fighting against citizens. As secularism grows stronger and stronger every day, the role of the Church is growing smaller and smaller.”
July 2005 update: Gay marriage became legal in Spain on July 3. The Netherlands (2001) and Belgium (2003) are the only two other countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Canada should soon follow suit.
At the time of the Spanish decision on same-sex marriage, Pedro Almodóvar shared a few more thoughts:
“I don’t like marriage. I am not going to get married. But it is important for this to be called marriage so people know that it is the same thing for everyone.”
In addition to Gael García Bernal, the Bad Education cast includes Fele Martínez, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lluís Homar, Francisco Maestre, Francisco Boira, and, in brief/not-so-brief cameos, Talk to Her actors Leonor Watling and Javier Cámara.
Pedro Almodóvar quotes: first quote via Time magazine; second quote via NBCnews.com.
Bad Education quote via the IMDb.
Another notable ‘Bad Education’ quote: Gael García Bernal & every person’s ‘inner transvestite’
Gael García Bernal has discussed reports claiming that he had a tough time during the making of Bad Education because, as the film’s mysterious homme/femme fatal(e), he had to dress up in drag and play several near-explicit gay sex scenes.
In the New York Times Magazine, the Mexican-born Bernal clarified the issue:
“Everyone has their inner transvestite, but my inner transvestite is Mexican-Caribbean, and that’s a very different way of putting on a show than Pedro’s. Making this film was very hard, but in Bad Education, as in all of Pedro’s movies, we see a world we have never seen.”
Gael García Bernal, by the way, is no stranger to – however more chaste – gay physical intimacy on-screen. Check out Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También, co-starring Diego Luna.
- Alfred Kinsey Scale of Facts vs. Fiction.
- Sexually Explicit Ed Wood Film ‘Necromania’ Unearthed.
- ‘9 Songs’ Sex Scenes Uproar.
- Sex Research & Oscar Wilde: Toronto Diversity.
‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ star George W. Bush voted scariest movie villain
From Bad Education-related Gael García Bernal and Pedro Almodóvar quotes to not-all-that-flattering comments about the current leader of the United States: Total Film editor Matt Mueller has attempted to explain why U.S. President and Fahrenheit 9/11 star George W. Bush – who may or may not have a mysterious Jesus Christ connection – has been chosen by the magazine’s readers as the most frightening movie villain of the year:
“It is possible that people have been a little bit tongue in cheek here, but they are also saying that Bush was very scary in Fahrenheit 9/11. He was absolutely terrifying in that film. He looked like a man who had lost control – the famous scene where he sits there in a school, absolutely paralyzed, after being told about the twin towers, is just one example.”
A reported 10,000 people took part in the Bush-topped poll.
Matt Mueller’s George W. Bush quote via The Register.
Michael Moore quote: Iraq’s ‘human face
For the record: At a July speech in Phoenix, Arizona, Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker Michael Moore referred to a few brief scenes in his controversial blockbuster documentary, which shows brutal dictator Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a place of peace and happiness until the American-led invasion turns the country into a living hell.
“I wanted to put a human face on the people there. Those Iraqi people – those people – they are human beings with souls and they have every right – every right – to live the same as you or I. They are no different. … We all pay our taxes and that means we paid for those bombs. That means your name and my name is [sic] on those bombs.”
Michael Moore quote via CNSNews.com.
See also: Iraq War Movies.
John Sayles berates U.S. media’s Iraq War coverage
Independent-minded (indie) director John Sayles, whose latest film, Silver City, is an exposé of the American political system, recently discussed the dangerously acquiescent U.S. media coverage of the Iraq War. At Today.com, the Eight Men Out and Lone Star filmmaker is quoted as saying:
“These miniseries were running on the American news that just seemed liked pep rallies. Despite reporters being embedded, we felt like we were watching Armed Forces Radio and TV. It didn’t feel like there was any perspective at all, any analysis, or even any facts, in some ways. So we felt like, we’ve got to get into the conversation.”
Clearly, Silver City was John Sayles’ way of getting into the conversation. Unfortunately for those involved in the project, not many were eager to hear what they had to say. Silver City ended its run after collecting only $1 million at the domestic box office.
Oliver Stone disses Hollywood movies that glorify war
Two-time Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone (Platoon, 1986; Born on the Fourth of July, 1989) says it’s hypocritical for critics to rant at his violent 1994 murder satire Natural Born Killers while praising violent movies that glorify war.
“Natural Born Killers is a satire, whereas movies like [Ridley Scott’s] Black Hawk Down and [Steven Spielberg’s] Saving Private Ryan contribute to an aura of patriotic inevitability and an awe of the military.”
Set in Mogadishu, Somalia, the real-life-inspired Black Hawk Down (2001) earned Ridley Scott a Best Director Oscar nomination.
The World War II-set Saving Private Ryan (1998) was the runaway favorite for the Best Picture Oscar, but, in a major upset, it ended up losing to John Madden’s romantic period comedy Shakespeare in Love.
Nonetheless, Spielberg did take home his second Best Director Oscar statuette. The first one had been for another World War II-era drama, Schindler’s List (1993), which also won Best Picture.
Oliver Stone quote via The Irish Times.
Susan Sarandon quotes: Political activism & sexy older women
Below are a couple of recent Susan Sarandon quotes, apparently delivered while the liberal activist and veteran actress (The Other Side of Midnight, Pretty Baby) was taking a break from promoting Peter Chelsom’s romantic comedy-drama Shall We Dance, the Hollywood remake of Masayuki Suo’s 1996 Japanese-made international hit Shall We Dance?*
Susan Sarandon quote no. 1, referring to the U.S. presidential election and, indirectly, to the Iraq War (via The Toronto Star).
“I was talking with one of my kids, and he said, ‘You’re so involved in politics.’ I said, ‘When you’re talking about current events, that’s not politics, that’s your life. It’s easy to dismiss that as politics, but what we’re talking about is, you may be drafted depending on who wins this next election, and that’s something you should be aware of.’”
Susan Sarandon quote no. 2, about her being offered roles of sensual older women involved with younger men (via TV Guide).
“I think I’ve done just about every role [of that kind]. There are a few more that have been offered to me lately. I think I have cornered that market. Sigourney [Weaver] did [Tadpole] and I thought, ‘How did that get by me? I didn’t get offered that one?’”
* Neither the Japanese film nor its U.S. remake is related to the 1937 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical Shall We Dance? Instead, they’re named after the Deborah Kerr-Yul Brynner ballroom dancing sequence – to the tune of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Shall We Dance?” – in Walter Lang’s 1956 blockbuster The King and I.
‘The Exonerated’ & ‘Romance & Cigarettes’ + George W. Bush’s wife
Next in line for Susan Sarandon is Bob Balaban’s cable TV movie The Exonerated, based on Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank’s real-life-inspired play about several people sentenced to death row after having been wrongfully convicted of murder and other crimes.
On a lighter note, Sarandon is also scheduled to appear in John Turturro’s musical comedy Romance & Cigarettes, featuring an international all-star cast that includes Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, Mary-Louise Parker, Bobby Cannavale (also seen in Shall We Dance), Barbara Sukowa, Elaine Stritch, and Amy Sedaris.
There’s more: Playbill reports that Susan Sarandon will portray Laura Bush – that’s Fahrenheit 9/11 villain George W. Bush’s wife – in a reading of Tony Kushner’s Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, to be staged at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, on Oct. 25.
According to the play’s press release, Kushner’s exploration of “political morality and moral relativity” centers on Laura Bush reading Dostoevsky to the ghosts of Iraqi children dressed in pajamas. For more information, visit the Long Wharf Theatre website.
Aamir Khan quote: Is ‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising’ anti-British?
When asked by a Times of India interviewer whether his upcoming film, Mangal Pandey: The Rising, is anti-British, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan replied:
No it’s not. I think that’s taking a very narrow view. [Mangal Pandey: The Rising] is anti-colonization. In The Rising, it’s just that the oppressor happens to be British. It could have been anyone. Look at America’s role when they invaded countries like Vietnam or Iraq. Like all societies, the British had good and bad aspects to their history.
Directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, the 2001 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-nominated period political-romantic-musical drama Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, starring none other than Mangal Pandey: The Rising’s Aamir Khan, also depicts – at least some of – the British colonialists in an unflattering light.
Gael García Bernal “inner transvestite” Bad Education image: Sony Pictures Classics.
George W. Bush Fahrenheit 9/11 image: Lionsgate Films / IFC Films.
Chris Cooper Silver City image: Newmarket Films.
Susan Sarandon Shall We Dance image: Miramax Films.
Aamir Khan Mangal Pandey: The Rising image: Kaleidoscope Entertainment.
“Pedro Almodóvar Quotes Against Catholic Church Bigotry + Gael García Bernal ‘Inner Transvestite’” last updated in September 2019.