A young man (Gael García Bernal) visits the office of a filmmaker, script in hand, and claims to be an old school chum. The script tells the story of a transvestite, also played by Bernal, who visits a priest with a threat of blackmail. Once the script is shot, the filmmaker gets a visit from the real priest, who wants to set the record straight.
These interlocking visits form the framework of “Bad Education,” Pedro Almodóvar's intricately structured, fiendishly intelligent film about a pedophile priest, an opportunistic imposter, a transsexual junkie and the vagaries of storytelling, which premieres at the Smith Opera House on April 28. This is Almodóvar's first foray into film noir since 1997's “Live Flesh.”
“Bad Education” bends in on itself and tells stories within stories within stories, but it's no stunt. The emotional pitch and narrative intrigue never waver.
Bernal (“The Motorcycle Diaries,” “Y Tu Mama Tambien”) stays at the heart of the action with a multicharacter performance that further establishes him as an international star. As Ignacio, the go-getter actor who surprises his old filmmaker pal Enrique (Fele Martínez), he shows a touch of blind ambition that strikes Enrique as odd. Could this be the same guy with whom he shared a brief, furtive romance years ago, now chronicled in Ignacio's script?
The Smith screens “Bad Education” at 7 p.m. on April 28 and 30, at 2 p.m. on May 1 and at 7 p.m. May 2 and 3. Rated NC-17 for strong sexual content, language, drugs, violence and nudity, this film has a running time of one hours, 49 minutes. It is in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. All seats are $3 on Thursday and $2 on Tuesdays. Call 315-781-LIVE or toll-free 866-355-LIVE for details or to reserve tickets.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters.