One of the earliest films to confirm Pedro Almodóvar as one of the most exciting, young European filmmakers of the decade is a bold and colorful venture into darkness, as the director takes a closer look at the fascination for the art of killing, symbolized by bullfighting. We’re introduced to three characters – a former bullfighter (Nacho Martinez) who gets a sexual kick out of extreme violence; a timid young man (Antonio Banderas) who claims to have murdered several men; and his defense attorney (Assumpta Serna) who is the real killer! A crazy mix, with a few very clever scenes, some of them decidedly not for the squeamish.
1986-Spain. 106 min. Color. Produced by Andrés Vicente Gómez. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Screenplay: Pedro Almodóvar, Jesús Ferrero. Cast: Assumpta Serna (María), Antonio Banderas (Ángel), Nacho Martinez (Diego), Carmen Maura, Eva Cobo, Julieta Serrano.
Last word: “In ‘Matador,’ the protagonists hurry into a cinema (she’s running away from him) where they are showing ‘Duel in the Sun’. […] For me, the films I see become part of my own experiences, and I use them as such. There’s no intention of paying homage to their directors or of imitating them. They’re elements which are absorbed into the script and become part of it. ‘Telling films’ is something that has to do with my biography. And I’m not talking about a film forum or the typical discussion about cinema (I hate those). I remember that when I was little I would tell films to my sisters, films that we’d seen together. I’d get carried away by the memory and while I was telling them I’d reinvent them.” (Almódovar, EmanuelLevy.com)