‘Bad Education’ filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar quotes: Confronting Catholic Church anti-gay bigotry
Below are a couple of Pedro Almodóvar’s quotes that are, however obliquely, related to his controversial mix of film noir (in color), comedy, and drama: Bad Education / La mala educación, this year’s Cannes Film Festival opening night presentation.
Besides featuring Gael García Bernal as a femme fatale-ish “Mexican-Caribbean” transvestite (see image above and Bernal quote further below), a pedophilic (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:
“I think I’ve just lost my faith at this moment, so I no longer believe in God or hell. As I don’t believe in hell, I’m not afraid. And without fear I’m capable of anything.”
Recently, Almodóvar came up with his own – off-screen – quote about the Catholic Church’s fight against equal rights for gays in Spain, where the socialist government 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, 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.
More notable quotes: ‘Bad Education’ actor Gael García Bernal & everyone’s ‘inner transvestite’
Gael García Bernal has discussed reports claiming that he had a tough time during the making of Pedro Almodóvar’s 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. Just check out Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También, co-starring Diego Luna.
George W. Bush-related quote: ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ star voted scariest movie villain
Total Film editor Matt Mueller has attempted to explain why U.S. President and Fahrenheit 9/11 star George W. Bush has been chosen by the magazine’s readers as the most frightening movie villain of 2004.
A reported 10,000 people took part in Total Film‘s poll. Here’s Matt Mueller’s George W. Bush quote:
“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 paralysed, after being told about the twin towers, is just one example.”
Matt Mueller’s George W. Bush quote via The Register. See also:
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 blockbuster documentary, which shows 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.
Sarah Michelle Gellar quotes: ‘The Grudge’ restraining order & ‘leaving Buffy’
Halloween is just around the corner. That means ’tis the season for horror movies.
Co-produced by Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, and starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Sarah Michelle Gellar as an American confronting a ghoulish entity in Tokyo, Takashi Shimizu’s low-budget horror movie The Grudge – a remake of Shimizu’s own Japanese original (Ju-on: The Grudge, 2002) – took in $39.12 million at the U.S. and Canada box office this past weekend, Oct. 22-24. That’s about twice as much as distributor Columbia Pictures – officially – had expected.
The Grudge managed to do what Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s box office dud Team America: World Police failed to accomplish the previous weekend: dethrone DreamWorks’ animated hit Shark Tale, which earned $14.3 million in second place.
Below are a couple of Sarah Michelle Gellar quotes, both via EW.com.
Sarah Michelle Gellar quote no. 1, referring to her fervor during the filming of The Grudge, as she and husband Freddie Prinze Jr. are supposed to be major fans of “Asian cinema”:
“We used to joke Sam was going to have to get a restraining order.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar quote no. 2, referring to her fear after leaving Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996–2003):
“Leaving Buffy was the scariest horror movie of my life. I was 18 when I started the show. It had been my entire life. Going straight into a Scooby-Doo [sequel: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed] felt safe. Homey. But…”
Halloween 2004 update: On the weekend of Oct. 29-31, the Takashi Shimizu-Sarah Michelle Gellar horror thriller The Grudge once again led the North American box office, with $21.81 million in ticket sales. To date, The Grudge‘s cume stands at an impressive $70.68 million.
Roger Ebert quote: ‘Team America: World Police’ lambasted
In his Chicago Sun-Times review of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s over-hyped and, in some quarters, strongly derided box office bomb Team America: World Police, veteran film critic – and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens screenwriter – Roger Ebert lambastes the South Park duo and their Paramount-distributed, Thunderbirds-like flick.
“At a time when the world is in crisis and the country faces an important [presidential] election, the response of Parker, Stone and company is to sneer at both sides – indeed, at anyone who takes the current world situation seriously. They may be right that some of us are puppets, but they’re wrong that all of us are fools, and dead wrong that it doesn’t matter.”
Several of Ebert’s colleagues also felt that Parker and Stone opted for some lopsided sneering, as anti-Iraq War liberals were their main target. On the other hand, celebrity apologists of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq mostly succeeded in escaping their derision.
Halloween 2004 update: Good thing they aren’t fighting a real war, as Team America: World Police was down another 52 percent on the weekend of Oct. 29-31, rapidly spiraling into box office oblivion. Less vomit and more wit might have lured more moviegoers into theaters. But then again, perhaps nothing would have.
John Sayles quote: Condemnation of 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 pathetic 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.”
The star-studded Silver City (see image caption above) seems to be Sayles’ way of “getting into the conversation.”
Oliver Stone quote: Dissing Hollywood movies that glorify war
Two-time Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone (Platoon, 1986; Born on the Fourth of July, 1989) says that it is hypocritical for critics to rant at his violent 1994 murder satire Natural Born Killers, starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, 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
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, referring to 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?’”
‘The Exonerated’ + ‘Romance & Cigarettes’
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:
- Three-time Oscar nominee Kate Winslet (as Best Supporting Actress for Sense and Sensibility, 1995, and Iris, 2001; as Best Actress for Titanic, 1997).
- James Gandolfini. Mary-Louise Parker. Steve Buscemi. Bobby Cannavale (also seen in Shall We Dance). Barbara Sukowa. Elaine Stritch. Amy Sedaris.
- Veteran Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, 1978).
U.S. ‘First Lady’ Laura Bush in Tony Kushner play
In other Susan Sarandon news, Playbill reports that she 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. [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‘s Aamir Khan, also depicts – at least some of – the British colonialists in a less than flattering light.
Mel Gibson quote: Fighting against stem-cell research on human embryos
Veteran actor and The Passion of the Christ director Mel Gibson (The Year of Living Dangerously, Tequila Sunrise) is one of the many privileged taxpayers with direct access to California’s Republican Governor and former Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Twins).
Here’s a recent Mel Gibson quote regarding a call to The Guv’nor:
He [Arnold Schwarzenegger] said, ‘Well, I’m very busy now. I’ll call you back. I’ve got to make a speech, you know. I’ll call you right back.’ Well, Arnold, I’m still waiting for your call.
Schwarzenegger, for his part, insists he did call Gibson back and left him a message.
The reason for Mel Gibson’s call?
As a taxpayer, he is worried that his hard-earned money will be supporting stem-cell research on human embryos, a practice the ardently Catholic celebrity finds unethical. Schwarzenegger, however, is for it.
Mel Gibson quote via The Guardian.
The Grudge and Team America: World Police box office information via Boxofficemojo.com.
Image of Gael García Bernal displaying his “inner transvestite” in Pedro Almodóvar’s Bad Education: Sony Pictures Classics.
George W. Bush Fahrenheit 9/11 image: Lionsgate Films / IFC Films.
Sarah Michelle Gellar The Grudge image: Columbia Pictures.
Chris Cooper Silver City image: Newmarket Films.
Susan Sarandon Shall We Dance image: Miramax Films.
Aamir Khan Mangal Pandey: The Rising image: Kaleidoscope Entertainment.
“Quotes: Pedro Almodóvar vs. Catholic Church Bigotry & Gael García Bernal ‘Inner Transvestite’” last updated in March 2019.